Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Silicon Valley's festival of Dionysus...

Posted by Tom Foremski - August 22, 2007

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The Geek Life is tough. The startup regime is brutal. You are here because you are the best of your class, your group, your country. You sleep whenever you can, you live and breathe what you do...

And despite that, you will likely fail because only 1 out of 20 startups will amount to anything.

These days there are no weekends anymore. For example, on Saturday and Sunday we had BarCamp--hordes of developers roaming the streets of Palo Alto.
http://www.podtech.net/home/3932/barcamp-3-hordes-of-developers-roaming-the-streets-of-palo-alto

The pace of life in Silicon Valley is always accelerating. We are always on.

Where does Silicon Valley blow off steam? Clearly not at weekend geekfests.

It is at Burning Man. From the boardrooms to the trenches, that's where you'll find a key strata of Silicon Valley this coming week.

Burning Man rises up out of the desert and for one week becomes one of Nevada's largest cities, as glittering as its others, and then it disappears. Burning Man teaches people how to work together to create amazing things without any commercial return to the participants. And then those amazing things are gone.

In many respects it mirrors Silicon Valley, its thousands of startups that arise out of nothing and then disappear, usually without any commercial return. But their ideas and culture radiate into our modern world, around the world--as does the culture of Burning Man.

The point of it all, in both arenas, is the involvement in an extraordinary creative process. Totally unique and so swiftly transitory.

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From Wikipedia:

Dionysus or Dionysos, the Greek god of wine, represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficial influences. He was also known as Bacchus.

He is viewed as the promoter of civilization, a lawgiver, and lover of peace — as well as the patron deity of agriculture and the theatre. He was also known as the Liberator (Eleutherios), freeing one from one's normal self, by madness, ecstasy, or wine.

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