3. Amazon's HQ2 could drain D.C.'s tech talent
Amazon is only just starting to post job openings for its second headquarters in northern Virginia — and local startup founders are watching with apprehension, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.
The big picture: Amazon HQ2 has the potential to turn the D.C. region into a tech hotspot, but smaller companies are worried that the short-term impact of Amazon coming to town will be a brain drain.
Why it matters: Top-tier tech talent is already more difficult to find in the D.C. area than in tech hubs like San Francisco and New York. And "startups are worried that Amazon will lure away the talent because they can pay so much more," says Jonathan Aberman, dean of Marymount's School of Business and Technology.
The backdrop: The startup scene in D.C. is nascent compared to that in other metros, but it's growing.
The impact: Now, "the fear is that, at first, Amazon is just going to hire our people ... and technical workers who are skilled will become more scarce and more expensive," Lewis says. "But most of us feel like, at some point in the future, they'll start to shed talent and wealth."
But, but, but: That shedding might not happen. Amazon's presence in Seattle hasn't spawned a startup wave, like Uber or Facebook have in Silicon Valley, notes Axios' Dan Primack.
The other side: Some D.C. companies are welcoming the arrival of the behemoth.
- "We want to hire more former Amazon employees," said Ethan McAfee, founder of Amify, which is located in Arlington, Va., just steps from the site of HQ2. "Now we'll have a lot more of those employees in Washington, D.C., and while Amazon is a great place to work, it's a very difficult place to work. And if there are 25,000, many will want to leave. Our goal is to be on that shortlist of the places they'll go."
The bottom line: Eventually, Amazon could be "a magnet for getting people in," says Aberman. "People who might not move to D.C. would move for a big tech employer."