Silicon Alley: The Rise and Fall of a New Media District (Cultural Spaces)

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Customer Reviews 0. So I began to wonder why such clustering would occur when the businesses in question were, by definition, not constrained by geography.


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My conclusion? Rather, it was the product of a unique set of events and individual characters, and the intricate, non-linear interactions between them. What makes systems adaptive and complex? First, these systems have a property called aggregation. This means that complex large-scale behaviors can emerge from the aggregate interactions of less complex agents. For example, the interactions of firms in the U. An emergent aggregate property of the U.

Aggregate properties are the result of nonlinear interactions among agents.

Silicon Valley - Wikipedia

Rather, the decisions of venture capitalists to consider New York firms and the amount they will invest is influenced by, among other things, what other VCs are doing. Complex systems also require inputs of energy and resources like cash, human effort, and raw materials. The emergence of Silicon Alley depended on significant effort by individuals and the organizations they created.

Once such resource flows interact, a complex system will often exhibit positive feedback effects, in which, for example, investments in dot-coms produce ever more investment in dot-coms. The pioneers in Silicon Alley came from a wide variety of professional backgrounds and industries, including advertising, graphic design, publishing, digital technology, software development, visual and performing arts, and journalism.


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As these people interacted, professional boundaries and definitions defined by traditional media and traditional industries began to fall away. The technology center required a building in which to showcase New York information technology. Rudin, the scion of a powerful real estate family, was aware of the new media start-ups that were locating around the Flatiron and Soho neighborhoods. The Rudins accepted the risky project, which was announced in June It was not easy convincing new media tenants to move downtown.

Most new media entrepreneurs viewed the Wall Street area as an unhip, starched-shirt ghost town. Nonetheless, new tenants were attracted by the cheap rents and excellent wiring. The event, broadcast over the Internet, was the first ever cyber-bill-signing. Local government and commercial property owners thus played a key role in creating the environment in which new media start-ups thrived. For during the same time, regional economics, technological developments, human resource characteristics, and individual initiatives helped created an opportunity space for Silicon Alley to emerge.

In the mids, there were significant numbers of unemployed New Yorkers. As befits a company whose roots are in music, one of its early angels was Bob Weir of the band Grateful Dead. The company is now largely owned by John E.

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Kluge of Metromedia Company, although Mr. Weir maintains his investment. Although he said he personally likes Williamsburg and still lives there, Mr. Huxley said that by the mid's it became obvious that the company needed a location in Manhattan. Huxley said. His decision to move to Manhattan came at a time when Trinity Church, which owns much of the property in the Hudson Square area, was in the midst of replacing the printing companies that had operated there for decades with higher tech tenants.

We did not so much target them as they started knocking on our door. Because of Hudson's industrial history there is plenty of electrical power for the big servers and the hundreds of personal computers these technology-based companies require, Mr. Heyman said. And because the site is close to the Holland Tunnel, where the main fiber-optic telecommunications lines enter the city, it is relatively easy to provide the robust communications services on-line companies need. According to Mr. Huxley, a grandson of the author Aldous Huxley, moving Muze into the Hudson Street building raised other issues.

Most of the company's employees enter data and add comment to the databases on music, books and videos.