Good news, everyone. Quora, the Q&A site where tech types go to talk about their feelings, has finally addressed the all-American experience that is accumulating a great big pile of filthy lucre. The answer, it turns out, might surprise you.
Someone posed the question, “Is Getting Rich Worth It?” And one answer in particular is currently bubbling up on tech blogs and Twitter. Rather than simply replying “duh, of course,” and burning Lambo rubber into the Palo Alto twilight for a delightful night of strippers and cocaine, an anonymous user took the time to get introspective, confessing that “sometimes I think wealth is really a burden,” adding that “A slower path to wealth might be a lot healthier to my career and to my life in general.”
There is a spectre stalking Silicon Valley, reports the Wall Street Journal. Specifically, it’s the ghost of once-bright hopes for wealth-creating IPOs. Zynga, Groupon, Facebook–none of them turned out quite like everyone hoped, and it is bumming out the rank-and-file in a big way.
The worker bees have lost a lot of the paper wealth Read More
It’s hard to come out the other end of Bravo’s Real-i-Tron with anything in the way of dignity. Just ask these gilded lilies. Something about the cocktail of ambition, insecurity, and actual cocktails tends to make one’s better judgment obsolete.
Thus, we can’t vouch for how the world will perceive stealth startup founder and Ampush Media alum Kim Taylor when Randi Zuckerberg’s creation (working title: “Silicon Valley”) debuts this fall. But over coffee in Midtown last month, Ms. Taylor came across as disarmingly articulate, well-versed in the chutes and ladders of Startupland, and, dare we say, sensible.
Blame her Midwestern roots, or the trial-by-fire of helping to grow a bootstrapped company to revenue in the high eight figures in its first two years.
Are we in the twilight of Silicon Valley? Yammer CEO David Sacks seems to think so. [TechCrunch]
It’s like the worst Cosmo quiz of all time: Is your Web 2.0 company an Amazon, or a Pets.com? [AllThingsD]
In July, Americans watched 36.9 billion online videos. Americans should probably go outside more often. [CNET]
Here is a terrifying platoon of noodle-slicing robots. [Eater]
Internet jokerster Tom Scott pretended to put the Ecuadorian embassy on Airbnb. [Twitter]
Apropos of very little, we give you Tim Berners-Lee’s original World Wide Web announcement, for your nostalgic pleasure. [Google Groups]
Microprocessing pioneer Victor Poor has passed away. [New York Times]
Alley vs. Valley
In honor of the Zynga-enriched Pincuses, who recently closed on a $16 million Pacific Heights pile described as ”very massive, very Old Money,” Curbed has an envy-inducing little roundup of swank mansions belonging to wealthy West Coast techies.
Suddenly, the Valley as tech nirvana makes more sense than ever. Not since the Gilded Age has it been possible for even the wealthiest robber barons to lay claim to this much space in Manhattan.
The new home of Mark and Allison Pincus is not merely spacious but just about as historic as you can get out in California, short of moving into a Spanish mission:
Listen, we understand the desire to reside in a big ol’ tech bubble. It’s so warm and cozy here, with beanbags for office chairs, free lunches prepared by gourmet chefs and cashed-out friends lending you spare Burning Man costumes. Why would you ever want to leave?
But sometimes the need for a reality check burns a hole in your chest, just beneath your hand-sewn, perfectly tailored Everlane shirt. While whipping through the city in an Uber expensed to your corporate card, you might grow a little wistful, hot tears fogging your Warby Parker specs. As you listen to MGMT on the iPod you got as a company Christmas gift, you might become nostalgic for a time when “pitching” referred to baseball and you could easily relate to How The Other Half Lives.
XX in Tech
Many of the tech-talking ladies of Silicon Valley, like so many women with discretionary income to burn, love fashion. Only, if this New York Times piece–dubbed ”Breaking Tech’s Fashion Taboo”–is any indication, they’re not allowed to just enjoy a thing that they like. No, they must justify it.
Let us start by trotting out a truth apparently universally acknowledged, which is that style is suspect among denizens of the West Coast tech scene (or at least style that doesn’t involve the latest fashion in socks):
Alley vs. Valley
The latest CB Insights report on venture capital investment just dropped, and we’ve spent the morning digging into the data. Local entrepreneurs might want to sit down, because this is gonna sting a little.
Overall the quarter was a big one, with 812 deals adding up to $8.1 billion. The report points out that’s the biggest single quarter since the dot com days. (And what with Digg and Yahoo dominating the headlines, you’d be forgiven for getting a little confused on the year.) Seed stage investments made up 22 percent of those deals, which fits with our anecdotal sense that startups are springing up like mushrooms after a rainstorm.
In terms of deal volume, New York held onto the number-two spot for the second quarter in a row. A big part of that is digital: The report calls California and New York a “two-headed monster on the internet front,” and points out that “larger funding deals enable Florida and Washington to challenge Massachusetts for the #3 spot.”
Sex in the Valley
When VC firm Kleiner Perkins filed its response to partner Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination suit (nearly a month ago now), included in the flurry of legal documents were requests to require Ms. Pao to submit to binding arbitration.
Now the Mercury News reports that the presiding judge has spoken–tentatively, at least–and she’ll be required to do no such thing. Kleiner argued that partners signed arbitration agreements with each of the firm’s new funds; Ms. Pao’s lawyer rejoined that only an umbrella agreement would do, and his logic apparently carried the day.
Of course, we should also note that lawyers for both sides are still due at a hearing today, where Kleiner has a chance to try talking the judge into reversing his ruling. Maybe somebody’s got an ace up his sleeve?
Much ado has been made about Randi Zuckerberg’s foray into reality television with Bravo’s new series Silicon Valley. The show will follow the lives of a handful of fresh-faced founders as they struggle to get their budding startups off the ground from an outrageously gorgeous “villa” nestled in the San Francisco hills.
Today, The New York Times ran a new piece about the show, chronicling the self-righteous reactions Valley types have when Hollywood cameras burst onto their hallowed ground. There’s nothing new about this tsk-tsking: Area bloggers have long since clutched their pearls and baby-faced tech wunderkinds have already tweeted their disgust (“Yuck, please stay in LA”). But the piece does boast some juicy quotes that have us thinking Silicon Valley will be all that we’ve eagerly anticipated and much, much more.