Word From The Nerds: Dumbo Is The New Silicon Alley

by Rachelle Hruska · September 4, 2008

dumboGo HERE for some gnarly photos of DUMBO.

Lately, all that my nerd friends have been yapping about is DUMBO. Seriously, grab any young entrepreneur in the technology field and ask them if they've been to DUMBO and I'm willing to bet that, not only did they hop on the C Train that very DAY for a nerd herd luncheon, but that they are beat from the rest of the afternoon they spent there playing with their nerd toys together. Modern Humorist's Mike Colton couldn't be happier about his move from Manhattan to Dumbo:

"The area is 'industrial, but artsy, and seems to be on its way up.' 

Other tech startups in Dumbo include Gothamist, Element Inc., Drop.io, Big Spaceship, The Knot, Free Verse, and Carrot Creative, just to name a few. Hoping to find out why the nerd herds are all flocking across the river, we went straight to Mike Germano, the creative director of Carrot Creative to find out. He lets us in on the reason tech want to be in DUMBO, the culture of the area, and why we should care about l33t speak.

Why did you decide to be based out of Dumbo? Our main reason for relocating to DUMBO was the real estate cost relative to Midtown, the former cardboard-box factories that line the streets of DUMBO make for perfect loft-like office space. This type of environment is a boon to our creativity and even makes it possible for computer nerds like us to engage in our primary form of exercise: Nintendo Wii.

The area also has numerous wi-fi enabled coffee shops and scenic parks that allow us to take our work out of the office and still remain productive.

nerd herdWhat is the culture of DUMBO like?

Walking down Front Street is much like walking through a quad in a vibrant college. Young creative types are everywhere, it's not unusual to hear conversations brimming with l33t speak (nerd for relevant conversation about the Internet). The local parks are packed with twenty-somethings and film crews, both taking advantage of the scenic vistas in Brooklyn Bridge Park, all dressed like the latest Urban Outfitters catalog. The dress-code is decidedly Hipster, with everyone sporting graphic-tees representing some hot start-up or cheeky rip at some pop-culture figure.

Are you seeing a surge of tech startups?

DUMBO is also an entrepreneur's sanctuary, the aforementioned coffee shops, trendy cafés, and boutique everything makes the area conducive for every type of creative activity on the planet. The sheer number of people make impromptu discussions about the latest and greatest web company easier than tying your shoe.

The most brag-worthy reason about moving to DUMBO is that we have sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline from our cobblestone-lined streets and relaxing parks that Manhattanites can only see on TV.

Carrot Creative is a full-service new media marketing agency located in DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY specializing in social-interaction web development. By harnessing traditional marketing tactics and applying them to the social-web, Carrot understands how to position and execute marketing plans for businesses operating in the Internet age. Carrot's clients are among the most vaunted brands in America: Major League Baseball, The Onion, The Colbert Report, JCPenney, Virgin USA, BBH, Saatchi and Saatchi, and Weber Shandwick to just name a few.

Our clients are progressively changing the face of business and Carrot is there by their side creating and executing cutting edge brand-building activities that allow them to achieve their objectives.