Before taking the podium to speak at the newly-minted New York City headquarters of Yext—a location software company—mayor Michael Bloomberg took Howard Lerman, the company's co-founder and CEO, aside to issue some sage advice.
"He whispered in my ear: 'be careful or somebody else will eat your lunch,'" Lerman told Inc. "'Anyone is going to be able to swipe your business if you're not paying attention. The way you win is by outworking everyone else.'"
Mayor Bloomberg went on to deliver a four-minute speech at the Yext's "Housewarming" party, a christening of its new 40,000 square foot office. It was a continuation on mayor Bloomberg's push of the Made in NYC brand—an effort to attract start-ups to Manhattan.
As Lerman introduced the mayor, he handed him a hoodie and said, "I know you're wearing a suit on the outside, but that's not who you are. This is an industry where it's all about hoodies, and you're a hoodie on the inside."
As Bloomberg noted moments later, the evening was off to a sassy start, the mayor unafraid to return in kind. As he stepped up to speak, referencing Lerman's shoulder-length, curly hair, Bloomberg said, "My mother would have said you needed a haircut. Congratulations on your new digs; I'm just sorry you're going to have to travel so far to get back to your favorite karaoke bar."
Bloomberg went on to highlight his personal feelings about starting up in New York.
"I can tell you, my company never would have been remotely as successful if we hadn't started here," he said. "We couldn't have attracted all of the right people and the industries that we interface with. If you want the best and brightest, this is where you come. This is the intellectual capital of the world."
Yext allows businesses to update and tailor their location data and then works with search engines, directories, and mapping services to have to keep that information current. It calls itself the next yellow pages. The company said it recently reached its milestone of 100,000 locations, including 10 of the Fortune 100. The company said it has grown to 150 employees and has raised $67 million in capital.