While the rivalry may have been blown out of proportion, differences between the two cultures do exist. Avoiding stereotypes, understanding the differences and recognizing the strengths of start-ups in each area may help you leverage these distinctions to your advantage. A little cultural sensitivity may be your key to forming bicoastal relationships with other businesses that can introduce you to a whole new world of opportunities.
In pointing out the relative strengths of the different regions, most entrepreneurs and experts characterize Silicon Valley as a true technology center, unparalleled in software, hardware and a host of other computer-oriented innovations. (Think of tech titans like Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and Apple Computer). New York, on the other hand, excels in content, online advertising, marketing and e-commerce. (Think DoubleClick, iVillage and the slew of New York media giants that have put their publications online.) Janet Stites, publisher and co-founder of AlleyCat News in Silicon Alley, notes, "There's more of a media flavor here than a geeky computer flavor."