Silicon Valley is taking itself a tad too seriously, and a few of its shriller residents have taken note.
weeks have seen the birth of a few new blogs poking fun at America's
crucible of technology, among them
whitemenwearinggoogleglass.tumblr.com, a relaunched version of the
classic Valleywag.com, and, perhaps most discussed,
Call it the zeitgeist. To a
certain class of steely-eyed observers, Silicon Valley's overvalued
startups, its kingmakers, and those who get caught up in its hyped
products need taking down a peg.
A sampling: "I love Quora. Like I
love Prince Harry: for his sad, never-be-king desperation," wrote the
anonymous scribe behind Jesus Christ Silicon Valley in musings about a
question-and-answer service little used outside Silicon Valley that has
nevertheless raised $50 million.
A spokeswoman for Quora declined to comment on the blog or whether company founders had read it.
the reborn Valleywag, editor Sam Biddle took aim at Larry Ellison and
the movie "The Wind Gods," which documents the Oracle chief executive's
sailing exploits in the America's Cup.
"There's been something
missing in his aggrandizing oeuvre," Biddle wrote. "Maybe an invite from
Larry Ellison to the premiere of a movie about Larry Ellison."
An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment.
Valleywag, a widely read blog owned by Gawker Media that shut in 2008 due to low advertising, relaunched in April.
Men Wearing Google Glass is the simplest site, little more than a
growing gallery of photographs of men sporting the new wearable Google
computer. Individually, the photos might not catch the eye, but
collectively they manage to look ridiculous. "In its favor, if Google
Glass didn't exist, all these Silicon Valley guys would be having
affairs or buying unsuitable motorbikes," reads the site's sparse copy.
commentary once filled blogs about Silicon Valley, but many died out in
the mid 2000s. Think F*ckedcompany or Uncov, blogs about troubled
companies of the dotcom era and beyond that died in 2007 and 2008
Perhaps the best known: the Secret Diary of Steve
Jobs, a blog written anonymously by a writer using the pen name Fake
Steve Jobs. It took almost a year before his identity as then-Forbes
writer Dan Lyons was uncovered in 2007.
Over the past five years
or so, the digerati have gone relatively easy on Silicon Valley. Those
who have poked fun at the Valley range from AllThingsD's Kara Swisher to
commentators with Twitter handles like crazydrunkvc and Vinod Coleslaw -
a parody of the well-known venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. But they
are mild compared to the musings of today's new crop, who seem to find
inspiration in the booming start-up economy.
our accomplishments out here, and we over-tear people down," said Kenny
Van Zant, the business development head at Asana, a business software
company founded by two Facebook alumni who said he had glanced at some
of the new blogs.
Some think the new crop is pushing it too hard.
you see it from the inside it makes you want to make fun of it a little
less," says Philip Kaplan, the founder of f*ckedcompany. A New Yorker
when he wrote it, he has since moved to Silicon Valley and founded
But being mean apparently pays when it comes to
amassing readers. "What you have to do is find a sacred cow and line up
the spears," says Uncov founder Ted Dziuba. "What you have to do is be
That, many readers say, defines Jesus Christ
Silicon Valley, which started to get noticed with a withering critique
of Dave Morin, the founder of social network Path.
for Path declined to comment on the blog, whose writer Tweets under the
handle Jesus94306, the zip code for part of Palo Alto, home to many tech
Some may call the writer a coward for not putting a real name behind the posts.
sound career-related thinking could be behind the secrecy. Just
consider the case of the writer behind the Bitter Barista blog, a snarky
look at customers of a Seattle coffee shop in Seattle. As soon as his
identity came out in February, the barista got fired.
© Thomson Reuters 2013