Today we hear from Reid Genauer, Chief Marketing Officer of Magisto, a video editing app that turns your everyday videos into high quality movies in just a few clicks.
What is your take on the current scene in New York today?
I think my take is probably similar to that of most people who work in Tech in New York. This place is on fire! No one is contesting the power and relevance of Silicon Valley as the epicenter, but just like finance has several hubs (New York, London, Hong Kong) so, too, does tech – California, New York, Tel Aviv and others. New York is coming of age in terms of being a tech center.
What do you see happening over the next 3-5 years?
We will continue to see New York grow as center for technology. For one thing, we are seeing major media companies, which primarily reside in NYC, embrace high tech either by incorporating it into their operations or by investing in 3rd party ventures. With the advent of Cornell Tech in NYC and the focus from VCs, entrepreneurs and the city itself, we are going to continue to see the New York tech scene boom.
What do you see as challenges?
One is a perceptual challenge. There is an allure to CA that draws a lot of attention in the form of media, capital and talent. So the onus on us as a community to manage the perception that surrounds NYC tech, and accurately transmit the momentum that is afoot in NY.
Another interesting challenge is the nature of East Coast vs. West Coast investors. Being tied so closely to the financial centers, New York investors are more risk averse. The nature of high tech startups is that the risk/reward profile is pretty extreme. I don’t discount the need to manage against that spectrum to match your firm’s investment thesis, but I also know that that the most disruptive and most exciting technology typically is the hardest to predict - and the most risky. Real innovation creates new markets. No one could have predicted how quickly mobile computing has come of age and yet it’s where we see almost 100% of the growth in the tech and media world. My point ultimately is that in order for New York to create giants like Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft, we need to place some big bets on real innovation, not just moderate bets on safe transitional tools.
Where does your company fit in the ecosystem?
We are transformative. I can’t decide whether we’re re-segmenting an existing category, digital imagery, or inventing a new one in personal movies.
Either way, there is a real market need. We have 1 billion smartphones on the planet creating more than 8 billion video clips a month. People need and, more to the point, want ways to enhance their videos and to share them. The volume of raw media being created, coupled with the personal nature of that media, represents a massive opportunity for Magisto and for New York.
What’s interesting about Magisto is that the product and technology team sit in Tel Aviv. The company was founded there, but our business is in the U.S. We chose New York as our headquarters in part because we see ourselves as a media company. More practically, the time difference makes it virtually impossible to have daily interaction with California. New York is a logical beachhead for us and for many foreign tech companies looking to enter the US market. I think we in New York will continue to benefit as a beachhead for foreign talent and technology coming into the market. History repeats!
Read what other thought leaders are saying in the “Pulse of the Alley”.