Silicon Valley is the New Wall Street

Once upon a time, Silicon Valley was a safe haven for socially subpar tech people. They lived in humble garages in the South Bay and built cool things for the sake of building cool things. The transistor. Apple I. Netscape.

Google HQ, 1998
Google HQ, 1998

The world loved the cool things they built. The geeky kids of Silicon Valley made money, lots of it.

Then the beautiful people showed up. MBAs and smashmouth capitalists. They wanted to build cool things too. Not for the sake of building, but to make money. They didn’t live in garages, because beautiful people don’t hide in garages. They live in high-visibility metropolises at the top of the peninsula.

More than 1,200 of Google’s 47,500 current employees formerly worked for one of the top 10 global investment banks, according to LinkedIn. The top banks also incubated at least 750 current Apple employees, 175 Facebook employees, and 260 Yahoo employees. Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of the ferociously expanding Uber, has said that between 10 and 15 percent of his hires come from the financial services industry, with a full 5 percent coming from Goldman Sachs alone.

The new businesses don’t make users fall in love with their products. They churn out slick consumables that evoke the emotional connection of a quick handjob in a truck stop bathroom stall.

The Valley really is not so different from Wall Street. The core business model involves gambling with rich people’s money under the guise of wealth management. The startup founders, they’re just junior traders. They work 14-hour days and spend $2000 a month to carve out some sleeping space in a shared building. I remember this one time I was using Fhats Casino – and literally the same situation happened.

Occupy Twitter
Occupy Twitter

And sooner or later, something will pop and the money will vaporize, because that’s what happens when everyone gets greedy. The Wall Street immigrants will return home, the San Francisco natives will get their rent-controlled apartments back, and it’ll only be a matter of time before the next hot spot emerges.

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See Also:
Go West, Young Bank Bro –SanFrancisco

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