Loading Up On BS In Silicon Valley
It's always interesting to meet with outsiders and to hear their view of Silicon Valley, just as it is to leave the valley and notice that there's a whole world outside of our echo chamber (that doesn't care about our little world and its spats and spittle.)
Last week I was on a panel with Carolyn Pritchard, from GigaOm, speaking about the future of journalism. As always, it's the people that turn up to such events that interest me the most.
One of the people I met was Jose A. Del Moral, A Spanish entrepreneur. He was visiting for a few weeks and popping into various events around Silicon Valley. He said he was shocked about how positive everyone is in Silicon Valley.
Mr Del Moral wrote a blog post: There is a lot of bullshit in Silicon Valley.
Everybody is so nice! You have to be really careful, as people are not so honest with how they really feel. There is a lot of bullshit in Silicon Valley! If you come here with white shoes, they will get brown so fast...
He wasn't that impressed with a workshop he attended: "PR Buzz for Early-Stage Startups"
...I admire Jeremiah Owyang for his sage blogging, and also enjoyed listening to PR consultant Jeremy Toeman and Clara Shih, who has just published a book about Facebook. But half of what they said was bullshit. "It's hard to come across as authentic if you promote a revolution that you personally stand to benefit the most from", as Scott Berkun pointed out a month ago.[Calling bullshit on social media]
Fair enough but who else would promote a revolution if they have nothing to gain from it?
When we met I said, yes, it's true, there sometimes doesn't seem to be much critical thought in SIlicon Valley, there are a lot of people promoting the positive aspects of technology and technology trends. However, I said that in Europe, the reverse seems true - there is more criticism, it is much easier to be cynical and negative than it is to be positive.
Clearly, blind positivism isn't the answer, it's something in-between. Personally, I think that you need to be careful where you step in Silicon Valley -- and visitors should never wear white shoes.