What’s your historical London and New York connection?
I was born just outside of London but grew up on the East Coast of the US, in darkest Appalachia. I remember being in awe of New York from my visits as a kid very clearly. I moved to the UK for school, and when I was a VC with Benchmark and Balderton in London, I was fortunate to travel to NY regularly and fell in love with the tech scene there. When we set up Lyst [a fashion discovery and shopping site], we knew we wanted to start in London, but having a presence in NY early on was very important to us – so much so that our first employee was based there. Now we have an office in each city – the US is our largest market today by a long way – and I split my time between the two.
Describe your experience in New York as a Londoner.
New York is a very easy city for Londoners to love – both cities are part of a small group that have a pace of life and energy that’s addictive and hard to find elsewhere, but they do it very differently.
It’s hard to describe, but there’s an open-minded feeling in New York that anything is possible. London feels more reserved and comparatively more afraid of new ideas, although I think that’s changing.
How can NYC and London best engage with each other? By spending time together and learning how each city works.
Favorite London secret spot: In the east, the rooftop of the Boundary (pictured below) in Shoreditch is perfect for sunny days; and in the west you can’t beat a winter pint by the fireplace at the Windsor Castle in Kensington.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Living between NY and London is amazing, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be right now.
From the 3460 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + LONDON