I regularly read the ‘silicon alley insider’ web site. I have a love hate relationship with it. I do it partly to remind me how inward looking and narrow peoples focus can be. To the writers on SAI, the only big thing happening in the world is the battle between smartphone companies, and the biggest news in the universe is if a silicon valley startup orders new office chairs. It is incredibly inward-looking. As someone who doesn’t even own a ‘smart phone’ (my phone doesn’t even have a camera) and isn’t even sure where his phone is right now, I feel like I’m watching aliens through a telescope.
What I find most awkward about that silcon-valley-mania, is the obsession with venture capital and startups. it seems there is only one possible way to be in business:
- Start up a new company. Must be NEW! nothing older than a week, or you are yesterdays news!
- Employ young people. They must be young. The younger the better. Nobody with any experience at all. if they are good looking, much the better!
- Spend a fortune on flash offices and furniture. Have ‘zany’ stuff such as slides and table football in the office to show just how totally crazy you are! (Also helps scare off older people).
- Don’t worry about making a profit. profits are for losers. Spend any money that would have been profits on a superbowl ad, especially a hip one that doesn’t even mention your product.
- Smooth talk venture capitalists into lending you hundreds of millions of dollars, which you will spend on bonuses for the CEO and CTO, despite not earning a cent in profit yet.
- Sell to google or facebook, and then goto 1).
This is probably a smart move, if all you want from life is money, but there is only so much money can buy. once your strategy earned you $10million, whats the point? what are you doing?I have a strategy for what to do with my life if I ever have $10 million, and it’s not about making more.
Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur schmuck because I run my company this way:
- Make a game, using savings to finance it.
- Make profit from sales of the game
- Stash some aside for a rainy day
- Make the next game, financed by last games profits.
Schmuck or not… I sleep safely at night knowing positech is 100% privately owned and 100% debt free and influence-free. No bank, no investor, no business partner can turn the lights off tomorrow. In an increasingly debt-laden world, with every possibility of future economic wobbles and debt-financing squeezes, maybe I’m not the dumb schmuck plodding along, but the wiley old tortoise who will still be here after the startup kids are locked out the office because the creditors demand their money back?
Ha! who am I kidding, I bet lots of them sleep on a pile of gold on their own private islands already :D