In today's Daily Telegraph columnist Damian Thompson has a pop at what he describes as "The spoilt luvvies of Silicon Roundabout".
In his article Thompson claims that Tech Start-ups in the East End are being spoon-fed by the Government with taxpayers money and says that start-ups in the area are brimming with enthusiasm but "they aren't producing results to justify the hype". Thompson comments that "Cameron's Government is sponsoring start-up 'entrepreneurs' through various channels under the mistaken belief that they're capitalists" and refers to their "subsidised office spaces in east London".
Mr Thompson clearly does not know much about the property market in the City Fringe and the "subsidised office space" he refers to is probably the Google Campus building mentioned in Milo Yiannopoulos' blog "Entitlement" from last week and Stu Bradley's entertaining blog "Google Campus: Oddly Anachronistic" from last month (both critical of companies and individuals who have a bad case of all-the-gear-but-no-idea and who are enjoying hanging around at Google Campus or the trendy bars of Shoreditch).
The reality is that office rents in the City Fringe have been going up and, if you talk to Hatton Real Estate you'll soon discover that many fast growth companies often struggle to secure the space they need because they simply cannot meet the terms required by property owners. Not quite the subsidised office space that Thompson talks about.
Thompson also confuses Silicon Roundabout (aka Old Street Roundabout) with Tech City (the area from Clerkenwell to Stratford) - two different things entirely. If he did look at the map of Tech City he would see that there are over 1,000 companies listed and I would guess that very few of them have discounted office space or receive any Government money.
Thompson is right about one thing - the City Fringe and parts of East London have changed. The area is ubercool and it is where bright, young, tech-savvy, global citizens are living the dream. And this is why tech companies are locating here. They have to be here if they are to attract the brightest talent and is why some large, "Old Technology" companies are moving into London and away from the provinces (Nokia from Farnborough to Paddington for example).
Imagine you are a young and talented technical whizz kid and you have been offered two jobs. One is based in Shoreditch, the coolest part of one of the coolest cities on the planet, and the other is on a soulless business park near to a sleepy dormitory town in the home counties with "excellent links to the M25". Where would you rather be?
As Shaun Simons of Hatton Real Estate says "It's all about culture and authenticity". You can build incubator spaces anywhere but you can't recreate the buzz of the City Fringe. That's why tech firms, start-ups and established businesses, want to be here.
And yes - quite a few luvvies too.