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5 comparisons between Berlin and Brooklyn from this German entrepreneur

We sat down with Dudler at the Richol Bakery in Crown Heights and he gave us some of his observations about Brooklyn, NYC and comparing both with Berlin

Luc Dudler works for German creative community Somewhere, and he’s been exploring the startup and creative scene in New York City for nearly two months.

Somewhere is a startup out of Berlin that recently pivoted from helping companies to tell the stories behind their products to helping creatives show off their creative progress.

Dudler, whom Technically Brooklyn first met last week at Glimpse NYC in the Bloomberg Building, spent the last seven weeks in New York City on behalf of the firm, meeting startups, creatives and users. This past Friday, the founders arrived in New York to pick up where he left off, as he returns home to Berlin.

We sat down with Dudler at the Richol Bakery in Crown Heights and he gave us some of his observations about Brooklyn, NYC and comparing both with Berlin:

  • Started his visit on a couch in Williamsburg, near the border with Bushwick. Only planned to stay a week but stayed a month.
  • Favorite neighborhood: Dumbo, but with a caveat. He said that it’s so hard to really know a neighborhood quickly. In his words, he only had “snapshots” of the places he’d been.
  • “I got a feeling that a lot of people live here [in Brooklyn] even if they work at big firms in Manhattan,” he said, adding, “Everyone tells you that everything creative is happening in Brooklyn.”
  • New York City is much louder than Berlin, a city of only 3 million where hardly any buildings rise over five stories. He found a lot of relief coming to the waterfront in Brooklyn or to its parks for some calm.
  • While many people are saying that Berlin could be Europe’s big startup hub, he saw a real difference in quantity and depth of startups here. For example, noting people in New York will have on point pitches for startups that are actually just side projects for small teams of entrepreneurs with full time jobs in agencies or other firms.
  • In Berlin, coworking spaces are “like little harbors” you can sail into as needed. While in Brooklyn there weren’t many you could hop into for a day or two and leave, more oriented toward full memberships here.
  • He met with people at or visited many startups, including Etsy, Konichiwang, the Made In New York Media Center and taking in a Creative Morning at Galapagos Art Space. He met with a Community Manager at Kickstarter on his last full day in town.

Dudler told us that depending on the direction the company takes and investments that come in, they could potentially relocate to New York at some point. It’s only a possibility now, and much too soon to say.

The company is focused on developing its user base. On the About page, the site promises a significant new feature release soon. It will be interesting to see how the company orients its users toward sharing their creative process specifically, rather than simply thoughts along the way. For the moment, it looks a bit like Tumblr, but the team is focused on people’s work.

Dudler said, “Finding meaningful work is so important. We spend so much time working that it should be fulfilling in some way.”

 

Series: Brooklyn
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