19 October 2015

Entitled Idiots Who Should Not Have Your Money

Nobody likes to be questioned.

But lately, some of Silicon Valley's big tech investors seem to be particularly upset that journalists are questioning some of the valley's hottest startups.

There's a fundamental difference in point of view here. The funders see first-hand how hard it is to build something and sympathize with the struggle. The journalists are supposed to be as objective and careful as possible and report what they find — even if some people don't like it.

The latest example is Theranos, whose science was called into question by The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was quick to defend her company, as you'd expect from a CEO.

But some VCs also seemed genuinely upset. Not at the substance of the allegations, but for not giving founders the benefit of the doubt when it comes to building something.


Startup founders have a really hard job. They are trying to do something new and drive society forward. The tech press doesn't know all the facts so you should give them a break.

The first sentence is indisputably true — it's hard (and lonesome) to found a tech startup.


The second sentence is where things get sticky.

A lot of tech founders are trying to do something new and drive society forward. But some of them are not.


The third sentence is where they completely miss the point.

Journalists don't set out to write takedowns of companies. But when a journalist begins investigating a company and finds something is amiss, and the story is well vetted and fairly reported, the venture community should welcome that reporting.
I'm beginning to think that of all the problems facing the business culture of the United States , it is the Ayn Rand inspired corrosive narcissism which is worst of all.

If you look at Theranos, for example, the facts are fairly clear.

The company has misrepresented the scope of its technology, and there have been repeated reports that the at least some of the tests are significantly less accurate.

This technology may, or may not, be successful at a later date, but it is clear that its valuation, one which makes its CEO a billionaire is Silicon Valley "Unicorn" bullsh%$.


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