In the so-called ‘cradle of innovation,’ nearly everyone you know will testify that nothing is impossible. Its grandiose to the ‘Yes We Can’ claim is in fact, changing the world that we live in. The best of Silicon Valley is the belief that because you can, so you will. However, the worst of Silicon Valley highlights the same tomorrow in a much different light. The stress, anxiety, paralyzing self-doubt, stories of failure, stories of shortcomings, and the weighty expectations that tomorrow holds. In last few months, I’ve been able to tread the line between both the sides and form an opinion of my own. The harsh realities about Silicon Valley are that it has become increasingly invested in projecting an illusion of world-changing impact, but that is just the cream of the crop. There’s more…
Fake It Until You Make It
You ask someone in Silicon Valley, how they’re going, and the answer usually is ‘crushing it’. Shockingly, admitting mistakes is one of the biggest social faux pas in Silicon Valley. This means that when you are in a vulnerable position, instead of asking for help, you must actually paint yourself as a success. Speaking from my own personal experience, very few people will encourage you to be more vulnerable or transparent.
When India didn’t support Mark Zuckerberg-led internet.org initiative, Marc Andreesen tweeted saying, “Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?
Brilliant people in Silicon Valley have created transformative ventures – successful ventures which have changed the world for good. But the brilliant people in Silicon Valley seems to be worried that the rest of the world won’t find its way.
Startup Investment Is Notoriously Relationship Driven
In today’s world, automated investment is the word. In Silicon Valley, everything is automated, AI-driven and efficient as per its own standards, except when it comes to investing in startups. Here, raising capital, or getting the support of a startup accelerator is largely relationship driven. No matter how good your idea is, if you aren’t within proximity of a cluster of founder you aren’t likely to receive funding. You’ll either keep meeting people at cafes and offices for 18 to 24 months until you do get the capital or you finally give up.
Everybody in Silicon Valley Battles with Mindset Inequality
Every day, you will battle to balance between two completely opposite worlds. It’s going to a) the optimistic world you entered into with a college degree from MIT or Stanford and, b) malfunctioned self-worth which trickles down every part of your life. This mindset will put a bug in all opportunities, and your relationships and health.
Silicon Valley bromance comes in many flavors. There are those, who share their values with other like-minded people and discuss their superiority over emails. There are those who shrewdly conceal their views about the Mexicans or Asians or black people. They’ll only share once they start trusting you. Then there’s the other kind of bromance. Here people whether like-minded or not, will invest in your startups’ growth and help you bolster more audience.
So, what do you think? Apart from the aforementioned harsh realities about Silicon Valley, are there any others you would like to share? Share it in the comments.