I was fortunate yesterday to have an op-ed piece published in the Sunday New York Times. The headline was, “Jerks and the Start-Ups They Ruin.” My basic argument is that the problem with tech bros is not that they’re jerks, it’s that they don’t know how to run companies. They’re not very good at business. Some privately held venture-funded tech unicorns (eg Uber) now have presumed market valuations bigger than the market value of companies like Ford and GM. But the people running these companies are not in the same league as the people running traditional corporations. Not even close. Why do VCs keep handing over hundreds of millions of dollars to people who have no experience in business, have never successfully run a company or even a division of a company?
The piece received some good feedback on Twitter, mixed in with some grumbles, some from tech bros insisting there is no tech bro problem, and some from women saying a bro shouldn’t be writing about the bro problem and should leave this topic to women.
I’m always wary as I wade into any conversation on diversity except when the issue is age — on that topic I’m safe. (Sigh.) But I’ve come to believe that all forms of exclusion (on basis of age, race, and gender) are related and that all of us should be linking arms to talk about it and raise awareness and push for change.