Sex in the Valley
Hemp Seed Round
Naturally, it’s the moment that everyone decamps for SXSW that scandal breaks. Fortune reports that the San Francisco venture firm CMEA Capital and former chief operating partner John Haag have been slapped with allegations of sexual harassment, racial harassment and retaliation by a trio of executive assistants.
Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins came as a shock largely because the prestigious firm has long had a good-guy reputation. This lawsuit, on the other hand, is jaw-dropping for its volume of allegations that are just disgusting. It reads like House of Cards meets Van Wilder. If even a handful of these claims are true, it’s enough to obliterate all our Lean In-inspired optimism.
It’s not easy being a computer programmer in Silicon Valley. Even with slides, buffets, and any other number of ridiculous amenities, the tech business can be a stressful and even physically painful endeavor (you try typing for twenty hours straight). But for many of America’s best coders, the remedy to stress is manifesting in a way bosses would probably rather not know about: they gettin hiiiiiiiigh, brah! San Jose, which is home to over 100 medical marijuana dispensaries, is seeing a noticeable uptick in the number of customers who work in tech, according to a report from Businessweek.
Woodside, California is a quaint, wealthy suburb in San Mateo County, situated about 20 minutes from the tech hub of Palo Alto. Because of its close proximity to big tech companies like Google and Facebook, many wealthy entrepreneurs (including Larry Ellison!) call Woodside home. And now, because of its plethora of eligible rich men, online dating startup SugarDaddie.com, which unites “wealthy, desirable and attractive people,” has offered the town $11.65 million to officially change its name to SugarDaddie.com, USA.
It’s not the worst idea we’ve ever heard.
Google’s Mountain View campus is home to a beach volleyball court, a bowling alley, a climbing wall, seven fitness centers, “more than 100 micro-kitchens” and, it seems, toxic vapors.
CBS says readings of TCE, or trichloroethylene vapors, as high as eight micrograms per cubic meter were found in Google buildings. Not to get too Erin Brokovich on you, but the normal range is five per cubic meter.
Somebody thinks they’re a player! Reuters reports that electronics maker Samsung is launching a Silicon Valley-based early-stage fund with $100 million to invest in startups, with an attentive eye to anything in “remote computing, cybersecurity, mobility and mobile privacy.”
Ballmer and Butthead
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.
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]
Dreams Do Come True
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.
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!