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Blowing Bubbles


Tom Friedman started it but now, it seems, the rest of The New York Times has caught on to the – cough, cough – “rebirth” of Silicon Valley. We’re back, I tell you. And the hype-machines couldn’t be happier.
Two pieces in the Sunday paper – Gary Rivlin’s long assertion that there are still lots of wealthy young people in Northern California and Randall Stross’ look at CraigsList – put a few more chits down on the table. Since both Rivlin’s and Stoss’ preferred activity is writing books (they share a literary agent, too), I’m sure there are at least two more Silicon Valley tomes a’birthin’ here. Yet another sign of expansion.
No one in New York has been willing to believe that anyone in Silicon Valley has any money “left” since all of them lost all their cash betting on tech stocks. And why – why now? – the Times finds it necessary to weigh in a kind of backhanded way on Craig Newmark’s impact on its own business is going to remain a mystery. That story, too, could have been done a year ago when eBay bought its 25 percent of Craigslist.
Another measure of the valley’s increasing popularity? Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s hour-long appearance on Charlie Rose. The interview, taped in front of an audience Rose described as “smart, rich people” – meaning tech types – is interesting in a number or respects but most of all because it echoes the kicker in Rivlin’s piece, a sentiment that’s widely shared among tech folks. It’s all that “change the world” stuff. It’s job two around here. (Job one was making lots of money which makes it a lot easier to do job two).
”We are not ready to stop changing the world.” Rivlin quotes Sunil Paul who last year sold Brightmail, the company he started as the tech bubble was popping.
As a coda to all this: Naughty Nicky Denton, who hates San Francisco more than almost any of its former high-tech residents, was in town last week moaning about how all anyone out here cares about is money. The boys over at Silicon Valley Watcher, a “blog” that appears to be morphing into some kind of consulting operation (consultants, yet another sign of Bubblicious-ness) say Denton is seeking Silicon Valley-based writers for a site that could probably be best described as Gawker West or Defamer North.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 11:04 AM | Permalink

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