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Chris Dixon’s Moving West. Should I Care?

The media has been full of sto­ries regard­ing the move by Angel investor Chris Dixon, from his reg­u­lar base in NYC, to Sil­i­con Val­ley, but does it mat­ter?

For any­one look­ing for media jobs, it may be an indi­ca­tion of where the market’s going and that despite the best efforts of major cities to devel­op their own tech hubs; Cal­i­for­nia is still where it’s at.

Chris Dixon – the Man

If you need a clue about where to put your hard-earned cash when it comes to tech star­tups, then Chris Dixon is the man to ask. Dixon is cur­rent­ly co-founder of Founder Col­lec­tive and for­mer CEO and founder of SiteAd­vi­sor which was acquired by MacAf­fee, and Hunch, which was swal­lowed up by eBay.

He’s a Har­vard-edu­cat­ed ser­i­al investor who cer­tain­ly seems to have an eye for a promis­ing new ven­ture hav­ing put mon­ey into Kick­starter, Skype, Drop­box, Foursquare, Knew­ton and Stripe, as well as oth­ers that are still in stealth mode. If he doesn’t know about it, then it’s prob­a­bly not worth look­ing at.

As well as an eye for poten­tial suc­cess, Chris has also been a vocal sup­port­er of New York’s tech scene. He’s heav­i­ly involved Hack­NY, a project designed to keep young peo­ple away from Wall Street to con­cen­trate on poten­tial­ly more lucra­tive tech­nol­o­gy, mobile and social media jobs.  Inter­est­ing­ly, when he sold Hunch to eBay, part of the deal was that the auc­tion giant would build a state-of-the-art cam­pus com­plete with hot-desk­ing options and space for speak­er series so that tech­pre­neurs could build their busi­ness­es from with­in their home city.

All that will change now though, as a new job as Gen­er­al Part­ner at Andreessen Horowitz will see Dixon make the move to Sil­i­con Val­ley.

Why Go There?

Andreesen Horowitz has always been adamant that it would nev­er expand beyond its Cal­i­for­nia base. Not that the team don’t like the bright lights of the big city, indeed some of its biggest deals are based in the Big Apple, includ­ing Foursquare, Quirky and Fab. How­ev­er the team at Andreessen Horowitz are known for tak­ing team­work very seri­ous­ly and if Dixon wants to play, he has to do it at their house.

How­ev­er Dixon is see­ing the move as a good one for New York. He said: “You can think of it as I’m aban­don­ing New York or I’m begin­ning the process of bring­ing the best ven­ture firm in the coun­try back to New York. I like to think of it as the lat­ter.”

That’s how Dixon might like to think about it, but those involved in NYC’s tech­nol­o­gy scene would be right not to hold their breath wait­ing for an Andreessen Horowitz office any­time soon. Hav­ing said that, he’s sure to remain a staunch advo­cate for his home city – after all many of his invest­ments are based there and some will soon be on the look­out for Series A.

Chris has made no secret of the fact that his next move will not be a start­up and the Andreessen Horowitz mod­el is one he’s always admired; and like it or not, the bulk of the activ­i­ty remains in Sil­i­con Val­ley.

“I’d be nuts not to take this job,” he con­tin­ued. “The real­i­ty is New York is doing well and grow­ing but is still sig­nif­i­cant­ly small­er than Cal­i­for­nia.

“If I was going to start anoth­er com­pa­ny, I’d argue I could be any­where as long as I can hire devel­op­ers. But if you are going to do ven­ture cap­i­tal at scale, it’s clear to me that Cal­i­for­nia is where you want to be based.”

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