Remember how, once a year, your high school’s assistant principal and algebra teacher and the starting quarterback would all gamely appear in a student-made video, usually to celebrate Homecoming?
You probably won’t be surprised to see a similar phenomenon in Silicon Valley.
Ballmer and Butthead
Have we told you how mind-numbingly excited Betabeat is for HBO’s forthcoming comedy, Silicon Valley? That the network’s inspired decision to hire the creators of Beavis and Butthead to write a TV show about startups thrust us into a fit of giggling anticipation?
CES is so uncool that it has magically transformed into cool. Cool? [TechCrunch]
Over 2 million people pledged close to $320 million for Kickstarter projects in 2012. [Kickstarter]
Apple is reportedly working on a less expensive iPhone to help reassert its dominance in the smartphone market. [Wall Street Journal]
The average salaries of Silicon Valley will launch you into a fit of despair. You’re welcome. [How to Write a Business Plan]
There’s a mystery complex in Western China and even the CIA analyst who spotted it on Google Earth can’t figure out what it is. [Wired]
It’s cold as a witch’s tit, the Port Authority was evacuated this morning thanks to a rank gas smell, and one Betabeat reporter just burnt her arm on the heating pipe in her bathroom. Clearly 2013 is already off to a great start.
Oh, and throw one more thing on the pile: After a banner year for startup types getting their way in Washington, the New York Times reports that regulators are expected to tighten the reigns on tech companies in 2013. That means Alley and Valley types alike are looking uneasily in the direction of D.C., trying to figure out what the swamp things in the capitol district will be cooking up this year.
Dreams Do Come True
If the sunny, overblown drama of Bravo’s Start-Ups: Silicon Valley has left you aching for a bleaker take on Valley culture, then we have some wonderful news for you. Deadline reports that HBO has just greenlit a new pilot called Silicon Valley, produced by cult comedy icon Mike Judge.
The show will be a single-camera affair, offering a dark take on the “high tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success.” You know what that means: hoodies!
All the world loves a prodigy, but nowhere more so than Silicon Valley. Investors love to talk about all the exciting ideas flowing forth from the 20-somethings, and it sometimes seems startups are half business, half playroom.
It’s all very exciting if you’re a college kid looking for an alternative to the 9 to 5 grind. But if you’re a technology veteran in his fifth or sixth decade, it looks a lot different. In fact, as Reuters reports, it looks a whole lot like age discrimination run rampant.
The news broke this weekend, but it’s now official: New York tech mainstay Chis Dixon is joining Andreessen Horowitz as a general partner. And–in a loss for the local tech scene–he’ll be picking up stakes for Menlo Park.
But they don’t even have converted factory spaces for their coworking spaces!
Just this May, Read More
The long saga of Color, the ill-fated, infamously over-funded photo-sharing startup, just gets weirder and weirder. After rumors swirled that it was shutting down for good, the company’s assets were acquired by Apple; now, TechCrunch reports that former employee Andrew Witherspoon (who was laid off) is suing both Color and former CEO Bill Nguyen for a host of shocking reasons, including “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
If even a handful of the accusations in this complaint are true, there’s been major misbehavior happening at Color Labs. And if Mr. Witherspoon has made them up, well then he missed his calling as a novelist.
Last night marked the much-feared premiere of Bravo’s “Start-Ups: Silicon Alley“–a bikini clad-allegory about the startup world’s penchant for self-aggrandizing that vacillates somewhere between a light-hearted brother-sister romcom and “True Life: I Have No Fucking Clue How to Pitch a VC.” It’s your standard Andy Cohen clubhouse fare with the life cycle of an early stage company as a plot device.
But it’s hard for Betabeat, sitting pretty in New York City, to assess what, exactly, the show gets right and wrong about Valley culture. Is the primary mode of socialization really costume parties? Can you get humans to deliver room service to your dog just by saying “social media” three times? Thus we enlisted a native Spencer Chen to separate the real from the fake, borrowing from the recap format pioneered by chroniclers of that other cinéma véritée classic, “Gossip Girl.”
Last night my girlfriend and I hosted a viewing party for the premiere of Bravo’s latest reality show, “Start-Ups: Silicon Valley.” (Yes, startups is spelled with a hyphen and mixed caps and that alone should have been a signal of things to come). It’s definitely one of the more polarizing things to hit the Valley recently because this time, it’s personal. Danny Trinh, a well-known product designer for Path, captured the general sentiment:
Silicon Valley Dispatches
Listening to the presidential debates, it’s easy to feel bummed about the economy. But there’s a place–a bright, sunny place, far to the West, where the world feels as new as the money–whose denizens are feeling upbeat. That place is, of course, Silicon Valley.
The Mercury News reports that, according to a poll conducted by researchers at San Jose State University, Silicon Valley locals are feeling increasingly optimistic about the state of their state economy: