You missed one *big* factor in why SV isn’t good to emulate: SV is mostly “show business” — big phantom valuations for vaporware, etc. SV’s startup culture is systematically absurdly prone to being taken in by BS, compared to all the places where a “tech startup” is just called a “small business”.

It’s one thing to mimic a system that’s truly been shown to work once. It’s another thing to mimic the simulacrum described in the marketing materials of a system that, like a ponzi scheme, pulls in wave upon wave of fresh meat to dash against the rocks in order to produce the raw material used to prop up a handful of names that can be passed off as “success stories” in later brochures. Because of the enormous amount of churn and hype, it’s often hard to tell that SV has in many ways an abnormally high failure rate, with even its successes still failing to make money; after all, real success is boring and undramatic: real success is the family laundromat on the corner that’s been running for eighty years, not the social network for dogs that gets a six billion dollar valuation on paper because the VC had the hots for one of the presenters and then crashes six months later because nobody wanted it.

Written by

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store