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This Industry Is Completely Ridiculous. Let’s Hope It Stays That Way. | TechCrunch


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It’s more like what famed screenwriter William Goldman once said of Hollywood: “Nobody knows anything.” I’ve argued before that Silicon Valley is more like Hollywood than people realize — VCs as producers, founders as directors, most everyone desperate for blockbuster hits — and the Valley today is like the Hollywood that Goldman was talking about, the Hollywood of the 1970s, when nobody knew what might become a hit and so an anarchic wave of auteurs flooded the scene, Spielberg and Lucas and Coppola and Easy Rider and even, God help us, Zardoz, because producers were throwing money at everything, because nobody knew anything.

Let’s hope it stays that way. Because since then, Hollywood found formulas for success, and pretty much every tentpole movie follows them, and originality and auteur vision is mostly relegated to the indie circuit if and where it exists at all. I fear that the same may someday happen to the tech world; that now that the eyes of the entire world are upon us, the Bay Area has become the center of the universe, and hedge funds start dipping their feet into tech investing, the industry will find itself “growing up” and becoming staid and respectable, lionizing people in their 50s and 60s who have paid their dues rather than twentysomething CEOs with zero fucks to give and $19 billion — $345 million per employee! — to spend when they feel like it.

But while I may fear that outcome, it’s not actually what I expect. Au contraire. I think that instead of the tech industry being co-opted by bureaucrats, and politicans, and I-bankers, and other Serious People … it will co-opt them, and skew the whole world into its giddy circus of nonstop fast-forward ever-accelerating crazy unpredictable ridiculousness, and its surprisingly subversive results. I have a smug little suspicion that every would-be king and kingmaker who tries to take a bite out of the tech industry will instead find themselves unexpectedly devoured by us. Again, this is not always necessarily a good thing. But if nothing else, it promises to be awfully entertaining.

We live in truly crazy times. The Hollywood analogy is an apt one.

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