What It Is Actually Like to Be in the Engine Room of the Start-Up Economy

NY Times

Here are some choice quotes:

I was wholly devoid of most human boundaries or morality,” he notes in passing. In other words, he was a start-up chief executive.

García Martínez shows how a start-up is less about making a product that actually does something than desperately demonstrating you are worthy of being hired by Google, Twitter or Facebook. He describes the way the big companies resemble life in Cuba or Communist China circa 1965, with “endless toil motivated by lapidary ideals handed down by a revered and unquestioned leader,” not to mention the posters on the wall proclaiming, “Proceed and Be Bold!” This is a place, he points out, where people take their laptops into a toilet stall and keep typing as they do what they came to do. If that strikes you as unseemly or unnecessary, you’ll never make it in Palo Alto.

García Martínez’s big break was hyping his way into Y Combinator, in effect the valley’s finishing school for innovators. He labels the YC entrepreneur profile as “bomb-throwing anarchist subversive mixed with coldblooded execution mixed with irreverent whimsy, a sort of ­technology-enabled 12-year-old boy.” He fit right in.

I never made it in Silicon Valley – and you can probably see why.


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