Beating Silicon Valley


The most heavy of his pieces I've read so far, probably the most ambitious and idealistic. Without agreeing wholeheartedly, this is a rendition of the fella's idea.

I can only take his word about how damage this tinsel-town of technology is:

The current Silicon Valley is a cultural failure, with no values other than growth at all costs. It doesn’t even value technology itself, other than as a means for aggressive personal advancement. This culture says: be a “unicorn”. It says: take reckless risks, and hire and fire fast, and behave as if it weren’t peoples’ lives in the balance, but just currencies in a video game.

Essentially he asserts that this place is far too accepting, letting in half-ass suits that ruined it for technologists. Technologists voluntarily became the underclass; technological advancement gave way to "growth-hacking"; venture capitals are really meta-companies that serve to hold things back.

The way forward proposed is almost socialistically utopian, I can't accuse the guy of thinking small.

First it's about culture.

When you have a culture of substance, you trust that the people around you will support you even if you have a difficult year, become unpopular, or suffer a career setback. This allows people to take entrepreneurial risks that they might avoid in other cultures, and supports the famous Israeli chutzpah.

And then it's about being selective about who you let in. Quality of character is more important than quantity.

With that follow the idea of an elite subspecies of people who exhibit specific mindsets.

... the most creative, intellectually curious, and cultured people comprise, or ought to, a new form of human group...
  • The most important goal of technology is to eliminate scarcity
  • Sexism, racism, ageism, classism and religious bigotry have no place
  • Only people who are intellectually curious and cultured are eligible for leadership in human society
  • To abandon or betray someone because of rough times is unacceptable
  • Self-improvement and education are lifelong processes