M.G. Siegler, a partner at Google Ventures, published an article recently claiming that Silicon Valley tech execs are losing touch with reality.
In an article published on his blog 500ish Words, Google Ventures partner M.G. Siegler published an article titled “Arrogance Peaks in Silicon Valley” which claims tech executives in Silicon Valley are becoming increasingly out of touch with reality. Siegler states that although this phenomenon pre-dates Facebook’s current scandal which has rocked Silicon Valley with the possibility of stricter regulation of tech firms, Facebook’s situation has brought it to the forefront.
“Increasingly, it feels like people in our industry, the tech industry, are losing touch with reality,” said Siegler. “You can see it in the tweets. You can hear it at tech conferences. Hell, you can hear it at most cafes in San Francisco on any given day. People — really smart people — saying some of the most vacuous things. Words that if they were able to take a step outside of their own heads and hear, they’d be embarrassed by.Or, at least, these are stances, thoughts, and ideas that these people should be embarrassed by. But they’re clearly not because they keep saying them.”
According to Siegler, this arrogance is so widespread in Silicon Valley that it’s commonly heard on an everyday basis: “But again, I feel like this is increasingly everywhere I look around tech. It’s an industry filled with some of the most brilliant people in the world, which makes it all the more disappointing. I won’t name names or give examples because I’m not an asshole. But also because I don’t have to. I’d wager everyone reading this will have clear and obvious examples of what I’m talking about in their own circles — even if only in their own virtual circles. This is everywhere.”
Siegler to some degree blamed President Trump for the issue: “I don’t know the cause of this. Perhaps we can blame part of it on Trump, even if only indirectly (a man who has gotten ahead in life by saying asinine things).” But admitted that there are other reasons for Silicon Valley’s growing arrogance: “If I had to guess, I’d say the root is an increasing sense of entitlement as the tech industry has grown in stature to become the most important from a fiscal perspective and arguably from a cultural perspective as well.”
Siegler finished his blog saying: “I offer no answers. Just observations. Because I think this is a very bad, and potentially catastrophic trend. We need Silicon Valley — the people behind these companies — to wake up. We need everyone to act like human beings, not like rogue AI programs vomiting up delusions of grandeur. I’m honestly not even sure that some individuals — people I know — could pass the Turing test at this point. Facebook is but a taste of what’s to come, I fear.”
Read the full post from a Silicon Valley insider here.