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.”