Photo: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Steven Levy at Wired has a great interview with Mary Meeker, the Wall Street Internet analyst turned Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist.Meeker was one of the first people to spot the rise of tech companies in the mid-nineties, and her annual presentations on the state of the technology are must reads.
One of the most interesting parts of the interview is where Meeker talks about how Silicon Valley has helped or hurt people during the recession:
Wired: Life is good for entrepreneurs, but what has Silicon Valley done for the rest of the country?
Meeker: I think people’s lives are better because they have access to all this information at a very low cost. Entertainment is cheaper, it’s easy to get help, it’s easier to stay out of trouble. I believe that technology has made what has been a very difficult time less bad.
And there’s a second part. Silicon Valley is different than it has been in the past. Compare the Oracle team in the 1980s—very sales-driven—with the Facebook management team, for whom changing the world is more important than selling ads. There’s a different ethos and a different mindset, A lot of really talented recent college grads have been humbled. They’ve seen stuff happen to their parents or their older brother or their family in a difficult economic time. They don’t feel entitled, and they feel that they need to make their own way. These kids are creating some unbelievable stuff.
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