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David Lifson: “I would definitely consider Philadelphia over San Francisco”

This is Exit Interview, a weekly interview series with someone who has left Philadelphia, perhaps for another country or region or even just out of city limits and often taking talent, business and jobs with them. If you or someone you know left Philly for whatever reason, we want to hear from you. Contact us. When […]


This is Exit Interview, a weekly interview series with someone who has left Philadelphia, perhaps for another country or region or even just out of city limits and often taking talent, business and jobs with them. If you or someone you know left Philly for whatever reason, we want to hear from you. Contact us.
When deciding on the headquarters for Postling, co-founder David Lifson said he had only crossed one city off of his list of possible locations: San Fransisco.
“The West Coast is so much of a tech bubble, it’s really easy to forget who your customers are,” says Lifson.
When Postling, a web application that allows small business owners to streamline social media campaigns, graduated from DreamIt Ventures, the company took some time to decide where to move next. After some thought, the company chose to leave Philadelphia for North Jersey and New York City.
We ask Lifson, why he decided to leave Philadelphia and why the state government impresses him.


How did you come to Philadelphia?

I’m originally from Warren, New Jersey and [before DreamIt] we were all working from home. We knew we wanted to do an incubator program and we wanted to do one that was close to New York because my co-founder Chris [Maguire] and his fiancee have a house in Jersey City and they didn’t want to be too far apart.
At the time there was no incubator program in New York so we applied to DreamIt and TechStars in Boston. Once we got accepted into DreamIt, we withdrew our application from Boston.
Was there a specific moment where you realized it wouldn’t work out here?
The tech scene is interesting in Philadelphia and it would have been a nice place to be, but it just didn’t make sense for us.
Would you ever return to Philadelphia if he, say, sells his house?
Right now we really like being in New York.
Let me put it this way: The East Coast is generally better than the West Coast. The West Coast is so much of a tech bubble it’s really easy to forget who your customers are and the level of sophistication they are at.
We deal with small business who know nothing about technology and they like it that way. If I go to a cafe in Palo Alto, they know about technology that I don’t even know about yet. I like the fact that we are in a diverse city like New York – and Philadelphia is like this as well – you are surrounded by real people, diverse people, who are your customers and not in a tech bubble. So would we consider moving to Philadelphia? Sure.
New York is hard to beat: there’s a greater access to talent, there’s more startups here that can teach you more things, but I would definitely consider Philadelphia over San Francisco and over Palo Alto.
If someone were to ask you about your time in Philadelphia, what would you tell them?
I found that the startup community was really eager to learn and really eager to help and that’s really important for the growth of the community. If it’s the opposite situation, you’re in real trouble. Philadelphia is very vibrant, open and hopeful. The community realizes that a rising tide raises all boats.
Is there anything else you wanted to add?
We certainly love that Pennsylvania has the Ben Franklin [Technology Partners]. There is government-level support for technology in Pennsylvania and that’s fantastic. Postling has created six jobs, if you can do that many times over, that’s a lot of jobs and that’s what this economy needs.
What can we look forward to out of Postling?
In a couple weeks, we plan on launching our first consumer-facing product. It’s the first time that the small business owners that use us will have something to show their clients.

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