30 Issues: Building NY's Tech Sector

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

technology, pcb, printed circuit board (flickr: dhammza)

It's Jobs Week in the Brian Lehrer Show's "30 Issues in 30 Days" election series. See the full 30 Issues schedule and archive here.

Jack Hidary, technology executive running for mayor as an independent, talks about what the next mayor could do to promote growth in the tech industry.

Then, Manoush Zomorodi, host and managing editor of WNYC's New Tech City, talks about how the tech sector fuels job creation.


Jack Hidary


Manoush Zomorodi

Comments [17]

Steve from NYC

For those interested in Jack Hidary and his tech-background:

Oct. 17 2013 04:51 PM

Nearly EVERY country in the world has a better/faster/cheaper internet infrastructure than the US/NYC!!

Oct. 16 2013 11:22 AM
sebastian Black from sunset park

"Micro Entrepreneur" is the best, most insidious euphemism i've heard yet.

Oct. 16 2013 11:22 AM
Guy from Behind you

You'd think we could count on independent media to question the assumptions--and the hollow core of--the philosophy wherein the desires of the tech sector are presented as inevitable and apolitical and good for us all. Sad we have to rely, not on Brian or the tech "reporter" (apologist), but on callers to signal the ugly underside of this new ideology. If you can sum up their political position on the presumptive incoming mayor as: "that's great he has an iphone," why are we listening to them?

Oct. 16 2013 11:19 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Unfortunately, a big part of the problem is the STOCK MARKET. Companies are so bent on providing big payoffs for shareholders, they ignore the needs of the people who work for them, who started them off and made them what they are. If we, the American people, are to survive, we need good jobs, job security, good benefits. We can't afford, as a society, to have all our jobs outsourced for the benefit of shareholders, because only the shareholders come out ahead. The pay for outsourced labor is minimal, the American workers lose jobs, income, savings, and only the wealthy benefit and become more wealthy while the rest of us descend into poverty.

Oct. 16 2013 11:18 AM


"Tech" is NOT going to save the world!!

Oct. 16 2013 11:18 AM

That taxi app -- talk about a free-market/libertarian dream come true.

Republican Guliani used the city's might to take over city license (medallion) sales in 1996 -- they were selling for $130K at that time and he said the city needed the money that these government licenses cost. Bloomberg helped pump up that price to well over $1 million (with all kinds of speculators in that market now, collecting their profits with each sale).

Tech has disrupted that "GOP version of Capitalism" scheme --the moment seems to have arrived for medallion-holders to consider whether they have been left with a HOT POTATO.

Same goes for Hotels vs.

Oct. 16 2013 11:16 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

When there we had the draft, and many of our young people had to go to the military, many got technical educations in the military, and then used their GI Bill to study engineering afterwards. The military was once a great training ground for technical workers.

Oct. 16 2013 11:15 AM
Henry Ferlauto from New York, NY

As far as policies or initiatives are concerned, I would like to see the next mayor to encourage the tech sector to keep their customer support / service jobs in NYC.

Typically they start here, but once they scale, many tend to expand elsewhere. There are plenty of facilities in the outer boroughs (e.g. Banknote building in the Bronx - that would make excellent support centers.

Secondarily and very much related, I would like to see the Department of Labor offer more modern courses. They're still teaching Windows and Office. That's great, but they need to teach the basics of cloud based services such as (in no particular order):,, ZenDesk, Acorn, Base, Google Drive (Docs), Asana, Basecamp, etc.

Oct. 16 2013 11:15 AM

Who can afford to work/do business in NYC?!?!?

People are forced to AirBnB their homes to strangers in order to afford their RIDICULOUS rent!!

There are so many better places to start a business!

Oct. 16 2013 11:15 AM
Sal from Long Island

I work doing database management and web development. The tech field is growing however it is still really hard to find affordable housing. If NY would like to attract a younger workforce then something must be done to accommodate more affordable housing.

Oct. 16 2013 11:13 AM
Erica Greene from Dumbo, Brooklyn

I think the next Mayor can support the tech sector by investing in computer science education in high school. Since demand is so high for computer scientists in industry, it is challenging to to find people who know how to program and are willing to teach high school. I think we need to train people who are already high school teachers to teach computer science classes in public schools.

Oct. 16 2013 11:10 AM
Guy from Everywhere

thank you Brian, for giving a voice to these poor, breathless techno-fabulists--they have such a hard time breaking through the media to get their message across!

Oct. 16 2013 11:09 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I worked in the "hi-tech" sector in Israel, and I saw what it takes to build a hi-tech economy in the middle of a desert and a war zone. Over 110 US high tech companies have developed R&D centers in Israel. Why? Are IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel, National Semiconductor, Google and a whole slew of others zionists? Hardly.
In Israel those companies found a young work force that had hands-on experience in the military, and very thorough hi-tech education afterwards in the vocational colleges and universities. First they get real-life hands on experience in the military and THEN go on to engineering school AFTERWARDS to understand what they were doing in the army.
And very motivated people, technically savvy, entrepreneurial and hungry to make money, will to take incredible risks and work on shoestring.
But the government does help to certain projects as well.

Oct. 16 2013 11:04 AM
RJ from prospect hts

I'm all for diversifying the kinds of businesses that operate in NYC. But there are corollaries: If there are city subsidies involved (rental, tax, etc.), will there be requirements such as where (and under what employment and environmental conditions) for the companies once they're established? Will provisions be made for targeted recycling efforts? Will there be enforceable agreements for successful companies to hire locally?

Oct. 16 2013 10:57 AM
M Carroll from Toyko, Japan

Can Silicon Alley compete with Silicon Valley? Not if the talented and young (or semi-young) can't afford to live and raise a family here. I am a native NYer, now in my mid 30's currently working in Tech in Tokyo and find it more plausible to settle here (of all places). Whats the long game?

Oct. 16 2013 10:57 AM
Salma from New York, NY

To expand the tech sector we need fiber optic cable everywhere in the city stat. I own a small tech business and we are expanding rapidly, but cannot move my office because Verizon FIOS is absolutely nowhere. Unacceptable! It was supposed to be mostly city-wide by the end of this year.

Oct. 16 2013 10:56 AM

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