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Silicon Valley's Entrepreneurial Myth

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Monday, 11 July 2016 08:34 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Before James Comey, FBI director, simultaneously enumerated Hillary Clinton’s grave email transgressions and announced that “no charges are appropriate in this case,” experts universally lauded him as an apolitical straight shooter.

Now, that’s no longer the case. Reputation requires consistently walking one’s talk.

Silicon Valley has a worldwide reputation as ground zero for entrepreneurship, because of its history of being a hotbed of technology and inventors. But, is the appellation accurate?

Years ago, when company founders loathed government intervention, loved capitalism, believed in the survival of the fittest, and risked everything to start companies, it was true.

Now, big government and the progressive pols who promote it are popular in the Valley.

Incubators, risk-free safe spaces for tinkerers, abound. Talk about diversity adumbrates that of meritocracy and victory. Success, in many circles, is disdained, while its detractors ironically tool around in expensive Teslas.

And that’s the paradox. Entrepreneurs cannot coexist with big government, which favors high taxes, oppressive regulations, and large corporations — and loves to shut down kids operating lemonade stands.

Despite the capital sloshing around Silicon Valley, and the capitalism that created it, the beneficiaries of this wealth — most notably, billionaires Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), Eric Schmidt (Google), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Reed Hastings (Netflix), and Marc Benioff (Salesforce.com) — overwhelmingly, and hypocritically, support Hillary Clinton for president.

How’s that possible? Hillary, a statist, hates business. But, she loves money, which she happily takes from business moguls to perpetuate her power and maintain her lavish lifestyle.

On October 24, 2014, at a Boston rally for failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley, Clinton uttered this gem: “Don’t let anybody, don’t let anybody tell you that, ah, you know, it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs. You know that old theory, trickle-down economics. That has been tried, that has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”

After hearing this, a real entrepreneur would reject Hillary in a heartbeat, as would the majority in an entrepreneurial geography. Well, this is what a logical, rational thinker would presume.

But, understand this: Silicon Valley, the supposed bastion of entrepreneurship, leans left (and inward). Worse, leaning right is viewed as moral turpitude and bad for one’s career.

At the recent Code Conference, a private confab of tech and media elites, held at a high-end resort near Los Angeles, a venture capitalist (VC) from Silicon Valley told CNBC, albeit anonymously, that he supports Trump.

Why the secrecy? He fears that revealing himself would damage his reputation.

Let’s unpack this: a VC, a capitalist who funds the wheels of commerce in Silicon Valley, is afraid to admit publicly that he will vote for a capitalist. Allow that defining example of hypocrisy and tyranny to sink in.

On June 28, 2016, Hillary Clinton unveiled her Initiative on Technology and Innovation to an adoring, cheering Silicon Valley audience. Some highlights:

  • Affordable high-speed Internet in all American homes by 2021
  • Investment in computer science and STEM education, and training for 50,000 teachers in related subjects
  • Diversifying the tech workforce and funding tech and STEM education at historically black colleges and universities
  • A student-loan-deferment program for entrepreneurs, with the option to forgive up to $17,500 in debt if they launch businesses operating in distressed communities, or social enterprises that provide measurable social impact and benefit

How will Hillary pay for her socialistic largesse? On what constitutional basis can she propose and enact it? The clapping seals didn’t ask. They never do.

Since Barack Obama became president, the U.S. has doubled its public debt, experienced anemic GDP growth, and watched more companies die than form.

Why? Government’s too big and too bad. Clinton wants it bigger and badder.

If Hillary Clinton really wants to help entrepreneurs, her initiatives would be to cut government, cut taxes, and cut regulations.

Real entrepreneurs expect and demand such cuts.

Yet, Hillary gets applause in Silicon Valley. The walk and talk don’t match.

Without free enterprise, small government, and risk, merely existing as the biggest hotbed of technology and inventors does not suffice to earn Silicon Valley its reputation as entrepreneurial ground zero. In reality, it’s a myth.

Marc Rudov is a branding adviser to CEOs, and is the author of "Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO's Guide to Branding." He is the founder of MarcRudov.com. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.




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Hillary gets applause in Silicon Valley. The walk and talk don’t match. Without free enterprise, small government, and risk, merely existing as the biggest hotbed of technology and inventors does not earn Silicon Valley its reputation as entrepreneurial ground zero.
entrepreneurship, silicon, valley
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2016-34-11
Monday, 11 July 2016 08:34 AM
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