Salon's Andrew Leonard has a very thoughtful profile of Ro Khanna, a Democratic Congressional candidate in California and "Silicon Valley’s chosen one." Tech execs like Ron Conway and Marissa Mayer hope Khanna will keep taxes low and government as minimalist as Jony Ive design. It's just the beginning of Silicon Valley's march to Washington and Khanna is its beta test.
What if the perfect liquidity event for Silicon Valley was not a blockbuster IPO, or an acquisition that paid out at some insane multiple, but a literal exit from the United States of America? No more lumbering bureaucracies, no lobbying incumbents, no "petty" laws, no obstructionist unions. That's what a Stanford lecturer and genetics startup cofounder Balaji Srinivasan proposed at Y Combinator's annual startup school this weekend.
Ding-dong, it's official: Silicon Valley's dream of a meritocracy—where innovative ideas from scrappy entrepreneurs hustle their way to the top—is dead. A new analysis from Reuters reporter Sarah McBride found that the startups getting funded by top venture capitalists have one thing in common: pedigree.
There are really "two Californias," one in which many successful white people congratulate each other and spend money earned through silly ideas, and another, where the same thing occurs a little to the north. There's been a cultural crevasse between Los Angeles and Silicon Valley—until these two became friends.
Last week, in San Francisco, the lowly proles who work for Bay Area Rapid Transit went on strike. Tech columnist Sarah Lacy, who runs the incestuous startup publicity site PandoDaily, wants you to know how disgusted she is about this. How dare the transit workers have made life inconvenient for the only people who really matter, the ones who are changing the world with their startups?
A rising wind raises all rideshare helicopters—or so the pixel Pollyannas of the Valley would have you think, all progress and prosperity. And the fact that they're raking in more money than when gold was actually falling out of the ground. But if we're in boom times, what's up with all this bummer poverty?
George Packer's thesis in this week's New Yorker is simple and sober: "After decades in which the country has become less and less equal, Silicon Valley is one of the most unequal places in America." Yep. But it's the hideous truth behind the gilded new information economy, and the sloppy apologias are already streaming out.