HOLMDEL - Jay Bhatti sat in the cavernous former Bell Labs building one morning this week and recalled his time as an intern at Microsoft, listening to Bill Gates.
Gates told the interns that he put down stakes in Seattle, where workers wouldn't be distracted by the Silicon Valley frenzy and could focus on building something great. That's what New Jersey should aim for, Bhatti said.
"I think the challenge for New Jersey always has been that given that New York City is so close, they compete so hard with New York City," he said. "And they try to be too much like New York City. That’s the wrong thing for New Jersey to be."
Bhatti could help reinvent the Shore. The 42-year-old Marlboro resident is a partner with BrandProject, a venture capital company that has offices in New York City, Toronto, Seattle and, soon, at Bell Works here.
MORE AT Asbury Park Press: Tech in NJ: Forget Silicon Valley; be Seattle