Yammer just got sold to Microsoft for over a billion dollars. Jive Software, the leader in "social software for the enterprise" is another Valley company, and it's worth over a billion, too. Salesforce, Successfactors, Netsuite... go down the list of Enterprise SaaS companies and not a single one of them is in New York City.
But isn't New York City the center of crappy enterprise IT experiences?
How is it possible that a small team of hackers hasn't escaped from the biggest midtown companies with a plan to free all of their enterprise brethren from cruddy software? Why is enterprise disruption completely dominated by companies outside NYC? We've made headway in just about every other area. Hell, we even made parts of the Mars rover, but off all things to suck at... Enterprise? Srsly?
Are we too close to the sun of bloated enterprise software? Have our wings of disruption burned off as we got too close? Do you need to go far away to a clean Valley whiteboard to rethink it all?
Or is it that you've got so many fast growing companies in the Valley that there's a critical mass of forward thinking, fast acting customers looking to do whatever it takes to make their employees more productive? Is it too hard to sell into the guy next door in NYC because he's part of the problem versus being willing to try the solution?
Enterprise acquisitions can be monsters, and if we're really looking for NYC to have the monster exits, it's tough to just rely on one of three companies to buy Foursquare, or the big three ecommerce plays--Etsy, Gilt and Fab, where valuation multiples tend to barely be above 1x revenues. It seems we should be ripe for huge enterprise disruption.
Maybe it's because some of our best and most thoughtful makers and designers have never even worked in big enterprises. A lot of the best product people in the Valley have seen their prior startups grow to hundreds of people--but in NYC, how are we expecting the super talented Brooklyn design talent to figure out how to kill off some clunky cube dweller experience when they're sitting in some agency's nest. Maybe we need some kind of exchange program? Expose our best thinkers to the worst software experiences of Corporate America for a while until they figure out how to fix it.
In any case, it's been pretty disappointing that we haven't seen real enterprise/SaaS disruption from NY--because having all of these customers in your backyard would certainly be an advantage.