As you wake up to this post chances are the world economy is looking unpleasant and at the core of the storm is an issue I think is unnecessarily woven into the fabric of Silicon Valley and the technology world as a whole. The issue is an insane attitude towards money and business, and in our case we have adopted it through idolizing Silicon Valley types.
As you read this the world is suffocating on American debt issues and at the same time some pimple-faced kid that hasn’t ever run a business or even made a penny in his life is being offered millions of dollars in VC to get that next great idea off the ground. It’s more than likely that the kid will burn through all of the cash and his business will fail. Ironically when he fails the community will congratulate him because in this industry failure for some crazy reason is good.
So basically the motto is grab as much borrowed money as you can lay your hands on, as young as you possibly can and if you fail… it’s okay. More crazy is that making money is not even really something most people in Silicon Valley are interested in, they just want to get acquired and drive off into the sunset.
Young kids building new start-ups today look up to the likes of Mark Zuckerberg for inspiration, when in fact they should rather be standing in awe of the guys down the road developing websites and applications for local businesses for money. Mark Zuckerberg and any other Silicon Valley douche-bag you can think of are the worst role-models for kids because they teach kids bad habits.
What happened to the real entrepreneurs? Remember those guys? Yes, The guys that built real businesses and not money burning doomsday devices! I miss those guys… because you could always learn a lot from them.
I recently started a services business and realized how many good lessons kids today could learn about business from doing simple services work: Everything from acquiring new skills like marketing, business management, development… but most importantly learning how to make money instead of borrowing it.
I am sincerely not impressed by the hotshot attitude that is laying waste to brilliant young minds and millions of dollars every year, what we need to go back to is being impressed by the real bootstrapping and business building attitude that we take for granted and even consider boring.