Thursday, November 03, 2005

Like monkeys producing the works of Shakespeare

It's now been about two years since I moored my iceberg in the so-called "Silicon Valley". Let's just say I'm underwhelmed.

I have not been impressed by the way things get done out here in the Silicon Valley, it's slapdash, poorly managed, and all about how long you've worked in the Valley, not about talent. If you were employee #10 at Sun and Scott McNeally is your child's godfather, that counts more than how many products you've actually shipped to paying customers. You see the same serial losers circulating from company to company, like one VP of Engineering, who came to one company from another company that had once been an innovator, but then their engineering process collapsed and they produced software that was late, buggy, slow, and crashed all the time, one of the most spectacular meltdowns in technology history. And this guy was right there in the middle of the collapse of that other company's engineering process. And it wasn't until he was at his new company for over a year without a product happening that they finally dumped him... it's like a high-tech West Virginia, inbred, incestuous, and relentlessly stupid. Or like the Bush Administration. Hmm...

Frankly, my favorite manager -- who is far away from the Silicon Valley -- could outmanage the whole mess of these so-called "visionaries" out here. I put "visionaries" in quotes because they're techno-weenies -- they push technology for the sake of technology, rather than pushing technology as a solution for real-world products. They're geeks. They like playing with technology, they don't care for solving problems, all they care about is what's neato-wizzo. It's no wonder that most startups in the Silicon Valley collapse -- in the unlikely event they manage to produce a product, it's a product that solves no conceivable need, and is so user-hostile that only someone with a Ph.D. in Computational Physics could comprehend it.

It is only the sheer scale of the money being poured into the valley that manages to pull a few actual products out of a sea of failure. Let's face it, when there's *BILLIONS* of dollars of investment flowing into the area, sooner or later a few actual usable products will manage to pop out at the other end just by random chance. Like monkeys producing the works of William Shakespeare, only the sheer number of monkeys plugging away in the Silicon Valley manages to accidentally produce useful innovation... but man, what a wasteful way to do things!

- Badtux the "I'm a penguin, not a monkey" Penguin


  1. I just need a few million to get my idea "" off the ground. It would be a civilized "bum fights".

  2. If Larry Ellison was at your child's Bar Mitzvah, the only question would be "how many millions do you need?". Things are no longer crazy like during the dot-com craze, but only because the VC's are giving capital only to known cronies, not because they're investing wisely.

    - Badtux the Capitalist Penguin

  3. In addition to the stupidity, which also caused my brother to leave and try and come up with his own software, have you noticed there aren't that many great places to eat or relax without going to SF?

    At least you missed all the traffic, the driving habits reflected the hiring practices of the dotcoms.

  4. Oh, dear Snarky Penguin friend! Please tell me you aren't becoming bitter! Although I suppose you need a bit of it for the snark, eh? :)


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