Disruptions: Let Silicon Valley Eat ... Ramen Noodles? - NYTimes.com
Ottway Ducard stashed this in startups
You don’t have to spend much time in Silicon Valley to start hearing that the people don’t care about money. People here are just trying to make the world a better place. Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists eat ramen noodles for dinner and drive old, clunky Hondas to work. If they do make money, that’s just a tiny cherry on top of their altruistic Tofutti soy whip sundae.
That’s what people here would like the world to think. Let’s be realistic, these start-ups aren’t nonprofit organizations.
At Facebook, the first 250 employees are on a highly secret list called TNR250, for The Nouveau Riche 250. They discuss things they plan to buy when they sell their hundreds of millions of dollars in stock: boats, planes, artwork, even an island. (To be fair, philanthropy is also discussed.)
Venture Capital is a lifestyle:
“Today, being a venture capitalist is more about a lifestyle than it is about investing,” said Roger McNamee, a co-founder of the tech investment firm Elevation Partners. “They’re making a million bucks a year without generating much, if any, return. It’s like watching Fox News — these people are living in an alternate reality.”
Only 1 entrepreneur in 10 or 100?!
“Steve Jobs was very clear: he said, ‘Change the world, and the world will take good care of you,’ and people like Zuckerberg have absolutely followed that calling,” Mr. McNamee said. “But I think that you get one entrepreneur in 10 or 100 who is actually like that. For every Mark Zuckerberg, there are 10 guys pretending to be Mark Zuckerberg.”
I really, really like Nick Bilton's writing. I think it's interesting that the $1m birthday party fellow asked folks not to post photos to social media.
If folks take pride in humiility, it seems the aim is self-defeating. Humility, by definition, must be sincere and genuine.
There's an easy test for this; what percentage of employees and investors are willing to back folks in greater proportions for their desire or opportunity to change the world as opposed to potential and/or indicators of economic success?
And before we say that greater mission produces great profits, I'd recommend Adam's favorite startup: Janka, as a class example.