Sunday, August 05, 2007

Can't Buy Me Love...Silicon Valley Style

Pity the poor S.V. millionaires profiled in the NYTimes today--who, even with a couple of mil in the bank don't seem to have enough money.
Mr. [Hal]Steger, 51, a self-described geek, has banked more than $2 million. The $1.3 million house he and his wife own on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean is paid off. The couple’s net worth of roughly $3.5 million places them in the top 2 percent of families in the United States.

Yet each day Mr. Steger continues to toil in what a colleague calls “the Silicon Valley salt mines,” working as a marketing executive for a technology start-up company, still striving for his big strike. Most mornings, he can be found at his desk by 7. He typically works 12 hours a day and logs an extra 10 hours over the weekend

Sounds like a workaholic to me....

Yet, for awhile now I've maintained that the Silly Valley is an amazing bubble, out of touch with the rest of the world--yet for some reason is dictating to the rest of us what sorts of amazingnewproduct! we just *have* to have, lest we be consider lesser beings. It sounds as if it's full of workaholics, some perhaps with various forms of other personality disorders (like workaholism, poor sense of self, self-definition from material goods) that keep them ignoring the richness of human affection for the slavery of TheNextBigThing (Webomatica agrees on this...we've agreed on lots of stuff re Silly Valley...and I love his comparison of the SV to Second Life...)

Dave Winer's take on it "Don't live in the shadow of this place. There's nothing there but people trying to make money, without a good idea why." (he left in '03 and prefers Berkeley--for the climate--if you like that kind of climate)

Frighteningly, and sadly, earlier this week in Penelope Trunk's Yahoo column, she gives 10 new workplace etiquette tips that reflect S.V. insanity--such as calling co-workers about work over the weekend,("The best way to get a life is to stop being so rigid about the distinction between time for work and time for life."--she must be smoking something really good, and I wish she'd share),
invite your boss to be your "friend" on Facebook (no, she's drinking the kool-aid actually) and to NOT blog pseudonymously (now our blogs are also our work.) Penelope calls herself a "brazen careerist"--I call her a nutty workaholic with no boundaries. Turn the cell phone off, girl, and enjoy the movie...

Perhaps, though, it's time for more folks to live where they want and to work virtually--travelling from time to time for good old f2f with work compadres, but spending time where their money and their lives are much better. We should not give in to the rah-rah hype-hype that we all have to live without healthy boundaries between our work lives and our home lives. WinExtra echoes the need for a balanced life...amen!)

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