Facebook in… New York?

December 3, 2011, 12:53 AM UTC

Disclaimer: The following is written by someone born and raised near Boston.

Back in October, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the following at a Y Combinator event:

“If I were starting now I would do things very differently. I didn’t know anything. In Silicon Valley, you get this feeling that you have to be out here. But it’s not the only place to be. If I were starting now, I would have stayed in Boston. [Silicon Valley] is a little short-term focused and that bothers me.”

Earlier this month he returned to his old Harvard stomping grounds on a recruiting trip. From The Boston Globe:

Zuckerberg said that Facebook would expand first in Seattle to get “the culture right” for its first satellite office before heading east. 

That was a bit odd considering that Facebook has had a Seattle engineering outpost since August 2010, but still was an indication that he wasn’t yet ready to cozy Facebook up to the Atlantic. And, again, that was just two weeks ago.

Today, however, Facebook announced that it is opening an engineering facility in New York City. The press conference is literally occurring as I write this — with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg — and here are the two questions I hope someone asks:

  1. 1. For Sandberg: Mark recently said that if he was starting now, he’d have stayed in Boston. Did he mean he just would have moved to New York rather than to Boston? If not, why wouldn’t you base your East Coast engineering hub where your CEO believes the company would be best situated in 2011?
  2. 2.  For Bloomberg: What incentives, if any, are you providing Facebook for it to expand in your town?

It’s not so much that I’m a homer as it is that I’m confused…