Tonight at an event called Digital Dumbo, members of New York’s digital advertising/communications community will attend the one year anniversary of the monthly get together. There, Carrot Creative’s Mike Germano, Brooklyn Foundry’s Brian Lemond and Drop.io’s Sam Lessin will announce that the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn is officially New York’s digital district. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
Like the financial, theater, fashion, garment and other “districts” of New York, Germano says the Digital Dumbo crowd are eager to put a flag in the ground. Despite being in Brooklyn, they contend that companies hoping to make a go at digital communications are most likely to succeed in the DUMBO neighborhood.
With clear views of the lower Manhattan skyline, DUMBO’s a beautiful spot to concept work. And since the neighborhood used to be home to factory after factory, Germano says his consortium is keeping with the city’s production tradition. Ironically, many digital shops are pegged as the production arm of larger agencies, a point that just occurred to me. Don’t you digital guys hate that? But really, there’s just a ton of digital shops there, and other companies playing in the digital space, too (see below).
Anyway, Carrot’s Germano has been pegged as the hardest pusher on this. He, Lemond, Lessin and probably others got the chamber of commerce to put a stamp on it. With a background in politics — Germano was the youngest something-or-other-local-this-or-that (sorry Mike, my notes are…scribbly) in Connecticut before starting Carrot with some friends — it’s not surprising that he was able to bring the community together. Germano is 28 by the way. I can’t tell you how much Lemond and Lessin added because the thing starts in 20 minutes and I’m still on 32 and Park. Let me know and I’ll update.
Update: “Silicon Alley is dead,” said Germano at a speech announcing the launch of the Digital District last night at Galapagos Art Gallery in DUMBO. Though start-ups still flood the California valley, Germano said in his speech that New York is leading in the interactive and digital arena, and that every day it’s gaining momentum. Stamping DUMBO the digital district makes that a reality for Germano and many of last night’s attendees whose businesses operate from the neighborhood.
So take that, Madison Avenue, a bunch of kids (relatively speaking, Mike Lebowitz has some grey) just pulled the rug out. And good for them — Madison Avenue, though incredibly convenient, is boring and hollow and inaccessible due to arbitrary doormen. You want a cool job in this game, catch the F train from Herald Square and head south. Or just hop on your single speed and cruise over the Manhattan bridge. But be careful — the low Brooklyn rents and pot-smoke-rife air may entice you never to leave. Goodbye advertising, hello 15 slices of pizza.
DUMBO’s digital group consists mostly of smaller shops, a point Germano was happy to make clear. Here’s a list of digital companies in the ‘hood. It’s long, and it’s not just agency-type-things.
Brooklyn Digital Foundry
The JAR Group
Freedom + Partners
Purple, Rock Scissors
Fresh Paint Studios, LLC
Studio Cake LLC
Strut NYC, Ltd.
Kim Wendell Design, LLC
Quint & Quint
My Bank Tracker
Capture Your Flag (Dumbo?)
Advanced Practice Strategies, Inc.
VE Enterprises LLC
OmniTI Computer Consulting Inc.
SmallPlanet Digital, LLC
Brownstoner Media LLC
Skram Media, LLC
Blue Barn Pictures
Tune Core Inc.
Hornet Animations Inc.
Catch Light, LLC
Dancing Diablo, Inc.
Table Ten Films, Inc.
Triangle Arts Organization
Oh, and Carrot Creative, but you go to the bottom of the list since this whole post is a super CC shout out.
How do you like that headline, advertising?