Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should
Consumed => “Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem” by Yiren Lu on NY Times.
Key takeaway #1:
“Part of the answer, I think, lies in the excitement I’ve been hinting at. Another part is prestige. Smart kids want to work for a sexting app because other smart kids want to work for the same sexting app. “Highly concentrated pools of top talent are one of the rarest things you can find,”
mfs => So the solutions to many of the world’s real problems are log jammed in group think? Great for VCs but for the rest of us that’s not a very comforting picture. Key takeaway #2:
“The face of web tech today could easily be a designer, like Brian Chesky at Airbnb, or a magazine editor, like Jeff Koyen at Assignmint. Such entrepreneurs come from backgrounds outside computer science and are likely to think of their companies in terms more grandiose than their technical components. Chesky, for instance, has described Airbnb as a “community marketplace that connects people through unique spaces around the world” — a valid business model, but not one that necessarily depends on any particular technology.”
mfs => That is, technology is a means, not an ends. In short, these various companies are looking to create products / service the market wants and needs. They are not just looking to be the next shiny new object. There’s a difference between focusing on the market (i.e., the ends) and focusing on technology (i.e., the means). Plenty get lost in that delta.
Key takeaway #3:
“One of Stripe’s founders rowed five seat in the boat I coxed freshman year in college; the other is his older brother. Among the employee profiles posted on its website, I count three of my former teaching fellows, a hiking leader, two crushes. Silicon Valley is an order of magnitude bigger than it was 30 years ago, but still, the start-up world is intimate and clubby, with top talent marshaled at elite universities and behemoths like Facebook and Google. These days, a new college graduate arriving in the valley is merely stepping into his existing network. He will have friends from summer internships, friends from school, friends from the ever-increasing collection of incubators and fellowships.”
mfs => And still more group-think.