Why does America ‘hate’ Silicon Valley?

Oct 03, 2013

FORTUNE -- I'm usually based in Boston, but have spent this week in the Bay Area. Yesterday while taking meetings on Sand Hill Road, someone asked for my thoughts on why so many outside Silicon Valley vilify those within it.

I suggested that the Valley's public figures often seem to exude a particularly insular narcissism – that so long as the tech biz is thriving then everything else is largely irrelevant. For example, I’ve had conversations with a dozen folks since arriving here Monday. Only one brought up anything about the government shutdown.

It also probably doesn’t help that so much of the local tech press is personally friendly with industry insiders – thus prompting outside media to be particularly harsh (as a counter-example, not as much NYC financial press spends its free time with bankers or PE execs – there’s much more of a separation). And then there is everyone's general tendency to tear down what we first built up, particularly when the build-up involves copious amounts of wealth.

The person who asked me had her own theory: Tech entrepreneurs launch companies to disrupt some established order. Upon becoming successful, however, they often fail to recognize that they’ve become the new established order – and therefore are particularly chafed when someone begins attacking them…

Your thoughts?

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