Home » World News » The cofounder of the new social app Upstream explains why he moved his family from NYC to Miami and may build the company from there
The cofounder of the new social app Upstream explains why he moved his family from NYC to Miami and may build the company from there
Alex Taub, 33, is cofounder and CEO of Upstream, a new professional social networking app and platform.
After he and his wife and daughters contracted COVID-19, they decided to swap their two-bedroom apartment in NYC for the extra space, yard, pool, and sunny weather that Miami offered.
With his new lack of commute and added space, Taub is more productive in his work than ever; the hardest part is being away from family.
Regardless of the status of a COVID-19 vaccine, Taub thinks the remote work trend will continue to grow over the next few years and that less-populated cities may become new hubs for tech and business.
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I grew up in NYC on the Upper West Side; my parents still live there. Other than nine months spent overseas between high school and college, I've lived my entire life in Manhattan — most recently with my wife, two daughters, and our dog in the 60s on West End Avenue.
I run a startup called Upstream — we're building the best way to grow your professional network. Users can join communities, give and get career help, attend events to meet other professionals, and spend meaningful time together; it's what LinkedIn Groups would look like if it started today on your phone.
We're a small team of four and had been in the initial stages of building the product, working out of an office in the West Village, when COVID-19 hit.
We stayed in New York until July.
Our apartment was right near Mount Sinai West and our building was home to a lot of the doctors, so unfortunately we got COVID-19 pretty early on (at the end of March). Once we tested positive for antibodies in April, we began to think about what the next few months or years might look like in the US.
Read more: Founders and VCs have spent this year secretly chatting on Upstream, a new social app where big name tech players like Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners can network with users
We considered how officials weren't taking it seriously as well as the difficulty of having our-four-year-old daughter doing pre-K on Zoom, a baby, and two full-time working parents in an NYC two-bedroom. (My wife works at an organization called Disability In, which works with Fortune 500 businesses to achieve disability inclusion and equality.) It was hard to get anything done. We started to think about the winter and the cold weather and future lockdowns — and what we could do about it.
A lot of people we knew were sharing notes on what to do and where to go to get out of the city. Out of all the families in my daughter's class, I think only one or two stayed; many just accelerated their inevitable moves to the suburbs.
We had Miami, Los Angeles, and Austin on the short-list — but to be honest, Miami was the only one we seriously considered.
We had gone to Miami on vacation back in February, so there may have been some recency bias, but we've simply always enjoyed coming here. We wanted a warm winter location and wanted to stay on Eastern Standard Time. We wanted to be able to get back to NYC quickly if we needed to, as our families are all still there. We're Jewish, so we also wanted a good Jewish community within reach. No state tax and having our votes matter in an important presidential election were added bonuses, but they didn't come into play as much when making the initial decision.