I really don’t get people who go out of their way to crap on the hard work and efforts of founders and startup teams. The simple form of such crapping is pure sour grapes. The advanced version is “Silicon Valley is not trying to solve big problems”.

In honor of today’s outstanding YC demo day, I’ll reprise some thoughts from my July 7 tweetstorm on this cynical and pointless canard. There are six logical problems with the false choice of “make trivial apps for 20-something SF hipsters” vs “do things that matter”.

  1. “Make trivial apps” vs “do things that matter” are not actually in conflict-there’s plenty of room and plenty of money to do both.
  2. It’s often hard to tell which is which up front. Almost all big world-changers were dismissed by critics as trivial at first.
  3. Observer bias: Only read consumer tech blogs, only go to consumer tech conferences, think SV only works on consumer tech.
  4. Battling cynical critiques: Founders who articulate the big vision for changing the world get called arrogant and vainglorious. Both criticisms are leveled with no cognitive dissonance: Founders are either not pursuing big ideas, or are out of control egomaniacs if they are.
  5. Subtext often that communication tech/apps in particular somehow aren’t important or don’t matter, vs energy, education, etc. Why? Communication is the foundation of collaborative work, which is how all the important problems gets solved. People working together.
  6. Anyone who thinks SV can be doing more/better/different, come join us and participate in building new things, products, companies.

The central truth of Silicon Valley is that there’s always more to do, and there are always new opportunities to build and contribute. I couldn’t be more proud of today’s YC amazing demo day crop, spanning more problem domains than ever. Silicon Valley spirit is thriving.

Sources: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13



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