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East Coast or West Coast? One founder breaks it down

When we came across nuF, a group-planning app based in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, we had to ask cofounder Brandon Schechter about the pros and cons of each city.

As everyone knows, everyone’s moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. It’s less expensive, the weather is better, and the people are less pretentious and nicer. (I’ve heard. As someone who reads books, I don’t know if I’ll ever make it out there.)
“In an era when it has become fashionable for New Yorkers to grumble that their own city is becoming a sterile playland for the global-money set (Dubai with blizzards, basically), Los Angeles is enjoying a renaissance with a burgeoning art, fashion and food scene that has become irresistible to the culturally attuned,” the New York Times wrote last year in a much-discussed article.
So when we recently encountered a Brooklyn and Los Angeles-based startup, we couldn’t help but ask them to weigh in.
Brandon Schechter is cofounder of the app nuF. The app is designed to make hanging out with friends easier, eliminating the friction and annoyance of group texts and without the formality of a Facebook event. Originally from L.A., Schechter now lives in Williamsburg. His brother and cofounder, Lane Schechter, remains in Los Angeles.
We asked Brandon to break down the differences for us:
Social Life

  • “We’re a lifestyle mobile application. This is something where I think New York is a hotspot more so than L.A. or anywhere in California except maybe San Francisco. This is a place driven by going out and having your different circles of friends: work friends, college friends, home friends, and dating. Even in Brooklyn, your kitchen is probably tiny and you’re not cooking so much. So in this regard Brooklyn is crushing it.”

Fundraising

  • “We’re trying to close a seed round right now and we’re getting interest for both places. In New York, angels and VCs, a lot of them are really interested in fintech. I think the difference is, from what I’ve seen, is the West Coast is OK with a product today that doesn’t necessarily generate revenue right off the bat. But here in New York, they want to really see that. They’ll give money but they don’t want to hear about speculation. It’s like, ‘We don’t want to hear about what you’re going to do tomorrow, we want to see what you’re doing today.’ On the West Coast, there’s much more like, ‘We like your product. Don’t worry about the revenue stream.'”

Cost of Living

  • “There are actually a lot of startups in L.A.: Tinder and Bumble and Snapchat and a ton of other ones that haven’t gained name recognition. It’s growing and it’s getting a lot of traction because it’s cheaper than living in the Bay Area. That’s a thing about Brooklyn, as much as I want to be here, it’s tough. You only get so much money in seed, how are you going to get enough to stay alive? When you look at what it costs here and get the talent you need, you have to pay them to survive, too. L.A. is nowhere near what it costs to live here.”

Quality of Life

  • “I think it’s really the pace of life. I’ve got friends that moved to the West Coast and say, ‘Whoa, life is different.’ In Brooklyn, life is fast paced, you try to prove yourself as a startup in much less time than people on the West Coast. People do things a little slower on the West Coast. I’m not sure if either is better.”
Series: Brooklyn

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