We've been fretting out loud for months that New York has slowly, but seemingly surely been overtaking Boston in the tech/biotech department. We've pointed out that this matters from both real estate and economic development standpoints because the city has gone all in on tech: The Menino administration has tied to the tech sector everything from new commercial towers to so-called micro-apartments in Southie to waterfront development in Eastie to increased inter-neighborhood ferry service. Heck, there's something called the Innovation District, which we challenge you to define in under 100 words (and we won't even count the prepositions).
The logic goes that if New York continues to overtake Boston in terms of tech job growth and venture-capital investment the city could be saddled with ghost-town developments that only further its reputation as an inhospitable place for outsiders, particularly young people (and, even more particularly, for young people with families).
Now The Globe Magazine weighs in on the issue with a long piece by staff writer Neil Swidey. He uses the eternal sports metaphor of the Sox vs. the Yanks to explain why perhaps New York has begun pulling ahead of Boston in the tech sector—and why this is another example in centuries of examples of how Gotham has outpaced us economically. The meta-reason: that inhospitality to outsiders and their ideas.
One other troubling echo of Boston’s past: a lack of diversity. In this case, we’re not talking about the anti-outsider homogeneity of the Puritans, but rather the homogeneity of Boston’s tech sector. Boston has gone all in on biotech and other life sciences. [Observers] say the city could come to regret this over-reliance, just as New York has come to question its all-in bet on finance. Although Boston still holds a slight advantage in some important tech areas, it’s all beginning to feel like one of those excruciating baseball seasons where Sox fans high-five each other from April through July, only to see the Yankees overtake them in August.
Yes, the prognosis re: New York vs. Boston over tech is negative; and the city seems ill-equipped to handle the challenge, instead engaging in a silly debate over hipness. We guess there's always Cambridge. Ever been to Kendall Square at 1 a.m.?
· N.Y. vs. Boston: the Endgame [Globe Mag]
· Boston's Tech Sector and Real Estate: What If? [Curbed Boston]
· Boston's Tech Sector and Real Estate: What If, Part II? [Curbed Boston]
· How to Talk About the Innovation District [Curbed Boston]
· South Boston to Get Hundreds of Manhattan Apartments [Curbed Boston]
· South Boston Techies Will Rescue East Boston Real Estate [Curbed Boston]
· Is East Boston the New Innovation District? [Curbed Boston]
· Boston Is for Lovers (Just Not Their Kids): a New Apt. Dynamic [Curbed Boston]
· Group Wanting to Make Boston Hip Loves Boston the Way It Is [Curbed Boston]
· A Day in the Life of Kendall Square: Lobster and Smartphones [Curbed Boston]