Steve Blank says Facebook killing Silicon Valley

Source: Eva Blue/Flickr

Blank says Facebook has changed the equation of startups and venture capital for the worse.

Steve Blank cofounded E.piphany, started Zilog, MIPS Computers, and others, and teaches entrepreneurship at Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, and other schools. Years in the Valley and deep in the culture, when he speaks about Silicon Valley and startups, people listen. But will they listen when he says Facebook is killing Silicon Valley?

Hard to fault Valley venture capitalists for wanting to go big with Facebook, or if they missed, swing for the fences looking for the next iteration. But chasing an easy social media startup means more traditional Valley startups, people doing hard things to solve big problems (Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Google driverless cars etc.) will lose out to more geegaw apps on iPhones.

Call the coroner

Well put. The continued erosion of horizon makes me very sad. This kind of thinking, lack of vision and bandwagon jumping is delaying the project that will displace the web as the king of all Internet services.

danphx64 on

Silicon Valley is not the next big thing. The world is desperately in need of a new kind of innovation, and there is still a chance that the United States is the country that will do it.

Linda from Deerfield on

Like, dislike social media

the social media explosion in investor ROI has created very quickly a larger pool of greater individual wealth. these are pools of smart people with more money than they know what do with.

Christine (@cag123) on

High School students spend millions of hours gossiping on Facebook rather than studying math and science so that can lead the next big thing.

Brbr2424 on

startups that require relatively smaller amount of capital (i.e., software based startups that can use Amazon EC2) are killing startups that are much more hardware intensive and thus require more capital

tytso on

Missing the point

I see no sign of the trend he describes. And if it were happening I'd see it.

pg on

Please don’t confuse popularity with creation. It just makes you seem less in-tune with the field. Please do actual research before spouting off misinformation

James Goodrich on

None of the examples you cite: Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Google driverless cars, Google Glasses, are disruptive startups at all. None of them have experienced clear success let alone dismantling an industry the way that the iPad or iPhone have.

Sanity Inc on

it's not a bad thing if a lot of entrepreneurs hit singles right now on this wave, and set themselves up to hit a home run later on a bigger problem.

krschultz on

Could the argument be made that VC groups follow what's popular, and Facebook has redefined what's popular? If you had money to invest, would you try to get on base (software apps, social media) or swing for the fences (cure cancer, revolutionize society)?

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