Digital Divide?

Two Cultures

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."

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This article was originally published in the December 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Digital Divide?.

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