Ever read an article that makes you a bit nauseated, but mostly just angry? Here’s a gem on the millionaires of Silicon Valley. Dave Winer sums this one up pretty damn well:
You might as well live somewhere else and create, the network effect of being in the valley is negative. At least it was when I left, in 2003. It seems from the Times article that it’s getting worse. It’s great to see people on the east coast getting the message. Don’t live in the shadow of this place. There’s nothing there but people trying to make money, without a good idea why.
I’m no millionaire. I have no qualms against those who have made their money, be it by luck or by skill. But I have no patience – read NONE – for people who live not only better than 99.5 percent of Americans, but better than the top 99.999% of ALL HUMANS (oh, and better than 99.99999% of all humans who have ever lived), and have the audacity to complain about anything (and in public!).
“I know people looking in from the outside will ask why someone like me keeps working so hard,” Mr. Steger says. “But a few million doesn’t go as far as it used to. Maybe in the ’70s, a few million bucks meant ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,’ or Richie Rich living in a big house with a butler. But not anymore.”
It’s these same people that are setting these terrible role models for recent college grads who think they can come out of school, go start some company with a friend or two, and make a few quick million. Nobody seems to want to work anymore, just instantly be rich. And then to complain about it? No thanks.
note: I’ve really edited and re-edited this piece a few dozen times, it’s gotten me that riled up. I can’t tell if this is the best version or not, but it’s probably the most to-the-point.
updated: after a few hours sleep (two red-eyes in three days, nuff said) and reading Mark’s thoughts I decided to add one more comment: It is disappointing that the NYT article is so one-sided in its decision to portray rich SV folks in such a shallow light. Not that what they wrote isn’t true, and not that I feel any differently. I just have a hunch there are at least a few people reading that piece, feeling frustrated that their charitable efforts, good work ethics, family values, etc are being ignored. Unfortunately, I think the article was all-too-easy to write and the story they tell was all-too-easy to substantiate.
Maybe that piece (and mine, Winer’s, etc) can encourage someone else to go dig in to find if the bad really does outweigh the good? That’d be the ultimate “win” from all this. Until that happens however, I think the rant stands.