Peter Kafka

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Is New York’s Digital Boom Slowing Down?

Want a job at a digital company based in New York City? You should have been looking earlier this year, says a headhunting shop.

Cook Associates Executive Search says hiring at “pure play” Internet and digital companies in New York has been slowing down throughout 2012.

Cook says hiring at digital companies increased by 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2012, down from 5.6 percent in Q2 and 6.2 percent in Q1.

Cook offers a variety of reasons for the slowdown, ranging from Web-specific conditions — a tapering in VC funding to global ones — it’s the economy, stupid. But some job growth is better than no job growth, and Cook says the 320 companies it surveyed still added some 900 jobs in the last 3 months, bringing total employment to around 26,000.

(And yes, New York City is still no Silicon Valley, and it never will be. And that’s OK!)

Cook says Google tops the list of job-adders in the city, which isn’t surprising at all, since the search giant has been fueling digital employment in New York for years — that’s why it dropped $2 billion on a block-long building in Chelsea two years ago.

But it’s worth noting that several of the other top employers in Cook’s survey are almost brand-new: Rent the Runway, AppNexus and Warby Parker didn’t exist a few years ago, and now they’re hiring like mad. Here’s the full top 10 list:

1. Google
2. Rent the Runway
3. Amazon
4. AppNexus
5. eBay
6. Facebook
7. LinkedIn
8. Gilt Groupe
9. Etsy
10. Warby Parker


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work