I lived in Barcelona as a kid, from 1990 to 1993. I only have good memories of this period. I love the city, I love the culture, I love the people.
I lived there as my mother was transferred there for work. She asked to be transferred there because as a kid she lived there. It is a family thing.
And talking about family, my godmother is half french, half catalan, half spanish, and half andorran. Yes 4 halves, long story!
Therefore I have history there, friends as well as family.
Barcelona is that great city where I grew up, where I went back to do my Master of Science in 2006, and a fun place where to enjoy life.
However, I never saw it as a big digital media place.
Now that I spent a year in New York, I can compare the 2 cities. They are many things they have in common
- The sea / the Ocean (only rivers in Paris / London)
- Cheap cab rides
- Easy access to the airport (compared to nightmare London or Paris)
- Fast commute from 1 side of the city to the other – out of rush hours (take notes London!)
- Bars, restaurants and lounges open late at night (Take notes again London!)
- Savings banks
- World top business schools (ESADE & IESE / Columbia and NYU)
- Sport clubs dedication and rivalries (FC Barcelona vs RCD Espanyol / NY Giants vs NY Jets; NY Yankees vs NY Mets)
- Big Telecom Media or Tech events: for instance Mobile World Congress 2012 for Barcelona, while New York has Web 2.0 Expo
- Startup communities growing
And this is the point that interests me the most here, digital media startup communities. For instance, New York City has Gilt Group
, Barcelona has Privalia
; Barcelona has Groupalia
, New York City has big offices for Google Offers, Groupon or LivingSocial. Having said that, I must state that Privalia and Groupalia are owned by the same people.
The connection can also be seen on political angles: NYC Mayor Bloomberg wants to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in the city that never sleeps (read NYC Venture Connect
to see events in NYC for that matter). For Barcelona, local authorities also want to help entrepreneurs to establish their new businesses in the Catalan capital, check Barcelona Net Activa