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The Problem with Silicon Valley’s Youth

An exceptionally thought-provoking (albeit long) article on virtually everything about the Silicon Valley tech scene.

  • The Web 2.0 checklist: cloud-based, scalable, mobile-friendly. (They are buzzwords, but they are also true)
  • In pursuing the latest and the coolest, young engineers ignore opportunities in less-sexy areas of tech like semiconductors, data storage and networking, the products that form the foundation on which all of Web 2.0 rests.
  • e.g. Without a good router to provide reliable Wi-Fi, your Dropbox file-sharing application is not going to sync; without Nvidia’s graphics processing unit, your BuzzFeed GIF is not going to make anyone laugh. The talent — and there’s a ton of it — flowing into Silicon Valley cares little about improving these infrastructural elements. What they care about is coming up with more web apps.
  • These are the anxious questions that pervade Silicon Valley now, I think, more than ever — the vague sense of a frenzied bubble of app-making and an even vaguer dread that what we are making might not be that meaningful.
  • Recruiting talents becomes one of the biggest challenges for tech companies that do not fit the cool-and-hip start up bill.
  • One reason startups are becoming easier: APIs. The explosion of API that supply off-the-shelf solutions to entrepreneurs who used to have to write all their own code for features like a login system or an embedded map. Now anyone can do it, thanks to the Facebook login A.P.I. or the Google Maps A.P.I.
  • Tech is no longer primarily technology driven; it is idea driven. The idea itself could be so powerful that one could get away with a bug-ridden and lacking implementation.
  • Amazon Web Services (A.W.S.), a collection of servers owned and managed by Amazon, hosts data for nearly every start-up in the latest web ecosystem.




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