Ari Steinberg, the former site director for Facebook’s engineering office in Seattle, is cooking up a new travel-oriented startup in town. The Stanford-trained computer scientist isn’t saying much about the startup, though it is operating in the travel space and will be based in Seattle.
“Sorry, no other details for now, still stealth :)” Steinberg said in an email. He worked at Facebook for more than six years.
TechCrunch reported on Steinberg’s departure from Facebook in October, noting that the engineer was an “instrumental figure that helped turn the news feed into one of the site’s most beloved features.” TechCrunch also noted Steinberg’s foray into the online travel arena.
Steinberg certainly will have plenty of company operating in the online travel sector in this town — which is home to Expedia and Concur (which interestingly just launched a new $150 million venture fund geared towards travel startups).
A lot of folks in the startup community have lamented the fact that Silicon Valley tech titans like Facebook, Salesforce.com and eBay have established new engineering centers in the region. After all, that’s making it just that much harder to recruit engineers.
For the most part, we’ve looked at the arrival of these companies as a benefit, creating a diversity of opportunities and adding more fuel to the local economy. (It’s certainly not lost on us that Google now employs about 1,000 people in the region).
And now here’s another potential benefit. As talented folks move on from opportunities at the bigger companies, one possible avenue for them is to create new startups.
That could be a very interesting trend to watch.