June 4, 2021

Coolest hard-tech companies in NYC 2021

For years I've kept a private list of really cool tech companies in NYC. Now that I'm funemployed it's the perfect time to publish. This list is influenced by 1) my perception of the difficulty of the engineering behind the product and 2) the company's educational and OSS presence.

With no further ado and in no particular order, here's my list!

Backtrace

This company builds a product for debugging mobile crashes. Your app produces a crash dump and their debugger will help you figure out what went wrong. That's freaking awesome.

https://backtrace.io

Equinix Metal (previously Packet)

This company provides an API around scheduling hardware servers in their datacenters, not virtual machines. That's nuts.

https://packet.com

Digital Ocean

Ok I used to work for Linode and am still a massive fan but I love all the clouds and this post is about NYC not Philly. If you want to learn how Linux works you have to work here.

https://www.digitalocean.com/

NS1

This company does DNS. Seeing as it was DNS, if you want to understand how the internet works go work for this group.

https://ns1.com/

SquareSpace

The first program I made in 7th grade was a Java program that generated HTML from terminal prompts in my first attempt at a CMS. Stuff that builds stuff is amazing and SquareSpace is kinda OG.

They also just IPO-ed so the comp won't be imaginary!

Disclosure: my wife works here, but they've been on my list longer than that.

https://www.squarespace.com/

Grafana

Amazing platform. Everyone who can't afford Splunk or doesn't want to buy competitor's products uses ElasticSearch and Grafana. I didn't realize until double-checking my research that Grafana is even based in NYC. Let's hope they're hiring developers here.

https://grafana.com/

Frame.io

It's like Figma for video. Clearly the future.

https://www.frame.io/

DataDog

DataDog feels like the only real competitor in the hosted server analytics.

Their stock has been doing surprisingly well, or maybe I'm just tired from WeWork, Uber, et al.

https://www.datadoghq.com/

Chronosphere

I'm a sucker for startups doing hosted data and search because that's really hard. Chronosphere does Uber-scale log storage/analysis.

https://chronosphere.io/

Cockroach Labs

Worst company name but maybe one of the single coolest products in NYC. They built a PostgreSQL compatible scalable platform in Go. Everything about that is amazing.

They've also turned down my application like 5 times now though so maybe they're very picky. :)

https://www.cockroachlabs.com/

MongoDB

It's cloud scale! Need more be said.

https://www.mongodb.com/

Trail of Bits

I don't actually understand what they do or if they have a product but their Github presence is amazing and they're dedicated to educating the community which is one of the most important things I think a company can do.

https://www.trailofbits.com/

Capsule8

I moved to NYC for this company because the founders and product are insane. If you want to learn how compilers and Linux don't work, you've got to come here.

Disclosure: I own stock.

https://capsule8.com/

Two Sigma

Algorithmic trading? Maybe the smartest guys in NYC? They don't accept candidates without bachelor's degrees or they just don't like me. ;) They also host the only good tech meetups in NYC: Linux User Group and Papers We Love.

https://www.twosigma.com/

Jane Street

Another algorithmic trading company but this time with OCaml. They're so crazy you should see what the intern built.

https://www.janestreet.com/

Vimeo

Everybody loves an underdog story. And the CEO seems really cool.

https://vimeo.com/

Etsy

Their blog posts and engineering organization philosophy are widely regarded. And they've got a sweet headquarters in Brooklyn.

https://www.etsy.com/

Sisense

If you're not using ElasticSearch and you're not using Splunk, you might be using Sisense. Again, I'm a big sucker for data and analytics platforms.

https://www.sisense.com/

CodeAcademy

I am 100% on board with giving people opportunities in tech.

https://www.codecademy.com/

Stack Overflow

They were just bought! But they still exist I suppose. If you love .NET you've got to work here.

https://stackoverflow.com/

That's it!

Tell me what you think and if I'm missing any hard-tech companies in NYC. I'm sure I am.

Feedback

As always, I'd love to hear from you with questions or ideas.