Silicon Valley Dispatches
Meanwhile Back at the Valley
Vine might end up on App Death Row thanks to Instagram’s new video feature, but don’t feel too bad for the folks at parent company Twitter. If @twentitled is any indication, the biggest problem on their plates is too much steak and caviar.
The @twentitled account is allegedly run by a real-life Twitter staffer. In the same vein as @GSElevator and @CondeElevator, it chronicles overheard complaints and first-world problems of Twitter staffers.
Do you ever look at a centuries-old spiritual practice and think, “Huh, how can I use this to make myself a better employee of Google?” Apparently someone does: Wired reports that meditation and mindfulness are the hottest thing going in Silicon Valley.
Googlers are signing up in droves for “Search Inside Yourself” training, and the company has instituted “mindfulness lunches.” Facebook and Twitter apparently have “regular in-office meditation sessions and arranging for work routines that maximize mindfulness.”
Sex and the Valley
America may be the land of the free (relatively, like compared to North Korea), but it’s also apparently the home of the lazy.
Big Silicon Valley tech companies are stepping up lobbying efforts for immigration reform — not because their hearts bleed for the impoverished, but because we Yanks just aren’t cutting it vis-a-vis tech savvy. According to Reuters:
In news of the complete and total bummer variety, new numbers show that founders of California tech companies are still overwhelmingly white guys. But hey, it’s not a total monoculture: Asian men fare well in Silicon Valley, too.
The stats come courtesy of Catherine Bracy, who spoke yesterday at the Personal Democracy tech conference. She moved to San Francisco to run Team Obama’s technology field office in 2012, Mother Jones reports. When she arrived, she was struck by the “jarring inequality visible everywhere in Silicon Valley — between rich and poor, between men and women, between white people and, well, everyone else.”
Ballmer and Butthead
Like the proverbial knight in shining armor, Sean Parker is riding to the defense of his own wedding. In response to the charges that his event basically trashed a redwood forest in Big Sur, he wrote a heartfelt letter to the Atlantic, which originally uncovered the report alleging damages.
For starters? “First and foremost is that nobody goes out of their way to get married in a redwood forest unless they really love redwood forests.” He continues:
Sex and the Valley
The highly anticipated Silicon Valley comedy from the mind of Beavis and Butthead creator Mike Judge has been picked up by HBO for a full season, according to Deadline. The show doesn’t have a title yet, but we already know it opens on “the shit-brown hills of Mountainview,” and stars Martin Starr of Freaks and Geeks and Party Down fame.
Sex Drugs and Code
The Rosewood Hotel on Sand Hill Road, conveniently nestled near almost every important VC firm in the Valley, has long been a hotspot for wealthy VCs to meet potential mates. This is due in part to love concierge Amy Andersen, founder of the super stealth matchmaking company Linx Dating. She helped cultivate an unofficial “Cougar Night” at the hotel after setting up a meet-and-greet there for her wealthy clients in 2009.
Provigil, the Adderall-like drug used to combat sleepiness, is experiencing a resurrgence fit for our maximum-efficiency lifestyle. Back in 2008, TechCrunch cofounder Michael Arrington penned a post about how Silicon Valley entrepreneurs were increasingly using the prescription pill to stay awake for long periods at a time and focus better. Now, New York Magazine reports Provigil is making a comeback among traders and entrepreneurs, some of whom affectionately refer to it as “Viagra for the Brain.”
Ballmer and Butthead
As HBO drums up promotion of the upcoming season of Games of Thrones, the premium cable network is trying a different approach: cozying up with the digerati. (Historically, HBO has greeted the Internet much Night’s Watch would approach a horde of White Walkers.)
Last week, the cabler held elaborate Games of Thrones-themed events in techie hotspots like Silicon Valley and Seattle–home base to Internet giants like Amazon, Google, Netflix prone to disrupting the archaic television distribution process.
Get excited! Mike Judge’s much-anticipated (by Betabeat, at least) comedy about Silicon Valley has begun filming a pilot in downtown Palo Alto. So the local news hounds at KPIX San Francisco sallied forth to take in the action on University Avenue and explain the show for locals:
“It’s a comedy about six programmers trying to create software that will earn them big bucks. That’s not really a comedy, that’s what people do down here all the time.”
Oh, it’s a comedy, alright.