The slow-motion Silicon Valley train wreck

by Toby Manhire / 20 December, 2012
ReadWrite editor angrily denounces the players, and enablers, of the startup casino.
Investor cash is drying up. Start-up stocks are struggling. And the tech forecasters of Silicon Valley are spying something bubble-looking on the horizon. Many are sympathetic. At least one is not. “Let's All Shed Tears For The Crappy Startups That Can't Raise Any More Money,” runs the headline above a seethingly sarcastic post from Dan Lyons, editor in chief of ReadWrite, the site formerly known as ReadWriteWeb

He writes:

Here’s some stunning, Earth-shattering news: You know all those hundreds of incredibly stupid startups that have been raising seed money in Silicon Valley despite the fact that the people running those startups have no experience doing anything, ever, and have no idea at all how to generate revenue (let alone profit) with their lousy ideas, because, in fact, there is no way to make money with their lousy ideas, because in fact their ideas are lousy?


But who didn’t see this coming? For the past few years we’ve had people calling themselves “investors,” who have no experience investing, swanning around the Valley, slinging money at people calling themselves “entrepreneurs” who have never held an actual job, let alone run a company.


How could this have ended in anything but a train wreck?


We're Shocked - Shocked! - By All Of This


The media are as culpable as anyone, says Lyons.

The sweet irony is watching the buffoons who have been cheering on this clown show and raving about "traction" and "disruption" and "pivots" now reporting on the mess that they helped create.


Lyons’ fury is not just because of the hollowness of it all, however. He appears to have seen the best minds of his generation driven mad by the lure of the startup casino.

What really offends is that smart young people have been conned into thinking that starting a company is akin to buying a lottery ticket or rolling dice at Las Vegas - the odds are long but you never know, you might get lucky and strike it rich. So make something up, throw it out there, and see what happens. "Spray and pray," it's called.


Meanwhile our country is facing a crisis because we have a shortage of students in STEM - science, technology, engineering and math. Every big company in Silicon Valley is starved for talent. And there is an entire generation of young people who, instead of studying those hard subjects, would rather slap together the fourteenth version of a peer-to-peer car sharing service or alternative taxi service. Because it's easy and you might get rich quick.


 

 
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

The science of sibling rivalries
85949 2018-01-18 00:00:00Z Science

The science of sibling rivalries

by Sally Blundell

Who was the favourite? Who got the most? Sibling relationships set up patterns that last a lifetime.

Read more
The Post – movie review
85900 2018-01-18 00:00:00Z Movies

The Post – movie review

by Peter Calder

Meryl Streep shines in Steven Spielberg’s thrilling Nixon-era newspaper drama.

Read more
MetroLOLs for January
85710 2018-01-18 00:00:00Z Humour

MetroLOLs for January

by Metro

This month's LOLs include: Things your office is planning to implement in 2018 to “cater to millennials”.

Read more
Ending solo mum sanction could cost govt $25m a year
85960 2018-01-17 13:14:44Z Social issues

Ending solo mum sanction could cost govt $25m a ye…

by Craig McCulloch

Officials warn the cost could blow out "considerably" if the plan encourages more mothers not to name their baby's father.

Read more
Confessions of a shoplifter
85914 2018-01-17 07:11:11Z Crime

Confessions of a shoplifter

by Anonymous

A sticky-fingered habit finally catches up with a young Kiwi crim, who discovers the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Read more
Tidy Kiwis? We generate 734kg of waste each per year - and it's growing
85908 2018-01-17 06:59:32Z Environment

Tidy Kiwis? We generate 734kg of waste each per ye…

by Nita Blake-Persen

The government is vowing to cut the amount of waste New Zealanders create, which is estimated to be among the highest in the developed world.

Read more
Catholic Church wants child abuse inquiry to be wider
85904 2018-01-17 06:36:54Z Social issues

Catholic Church wants child abuse inquiry to be wi…

by Mei Heron

The Catholic Church is disappointed a Government inquiry into state abuse of children may not expand to include faith-based institutions.

Read more
The troubling rise of Australia's new Attorney-General
85835 2018-01-17 00:00:00Z World

The troubling rise of Australia's new Attorney-Gen…

by Bernard Lagan

The relatively young Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter has a track record in law and order that unsettles many.

Read more