First, some history about this article:

  • The readers have spoken  —  I’m going to write about startup culture in Africa and Southeast Asia!
  • Oh shit, I actually know very little about startup culture in Africa and Southeast Asia (even though I lived in Malaysia and Singapore for 21 years).
  • After doing some research, I’ve learned about a bit more about these places but my knowledge is far from comprehensive.
  • I know, I’ll write about the history of Silicon Valley first to provide context.
  • The more I read the more I realize the depth of my hubris. I’ve never even been to Silicon Valley.
  • Fuck it, I’ll write a ‘lessons learned’ post.

Why I’m interested in Silicon Valley

As previously mentioned, I’ve never been to Silicon Valley. But the 408 area code has taken on the status of a technological and entrepreneurial holy land in my mind.

In the past decade, startups in the Bay Area have sought to disrupt every imaginable industry from personal investing to space exploration to indiscriminate one-night stands. Still, if you’ve been following the Silicon Valley narrative in recent years, you’ll pick up on some disturbing trends.

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