*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•by your best friend erin griffith•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•*´¨`*•.¸¸.•
Friends, Sometimes the extreme optimism of Silicon Valley is inspiring, sometimes it is infuriating, sometimes it is amusing and sometimes it is grim. It can be all of those things! But one thing it does really well is deflect criticism with a simple retort: What are you building? Try it sometime! It works in almost any situation.
Your boss: “How’s that important project going?” What are you building?
Your partner: “What’s for dinner?” What are you building?
Your best friend: “How’s your mom?” What are you building?
Anyone: “I demand an apology for this rude behavior.” What are you building?
See???? (Bonus points: If someone asks you what you’re building, a good answer is “resentment.”)
Anyway, there’s this new app blowing up in Silicon Valley called Clubhouse and it just raised a very hot round of funding. The news cycle made me think about how Silicon Valley works. Cutting-edge technology and a change-the-world mission are paramount, but the big money is often made on addictive social media apps. My colleague Taylor Lorenz and I wrote about it here:
🏠Clubhouse is the hot new thing in clubby Silicon Valley.🏠
I worked on some other stories, too:
🚗This was supposed to be the year driverless cars went mainstream.🚗 (With Cade Metz.)
🤖These adorable driverless robots are trying to make it happen instead! 🤖(With Cade again.)
📉SoftBank is in crisis mode.📉 (With Ben Dooley.)
Important Business Matters
Startup everyone’s into: Pizza arbitrage.
Startup everyone’s over: Eating masks that let you “go at it like Pac-Man.”
Reason to go on living: Is this the bike revolution we have been waiting for?
Latest crush: Oh, Kenny G.
Latest heartbreak: Death sentence via Zoom.
Latest thing the kids are into: Hanging out at the bar in social distancing tubes.
Latest thing the olds are into: The Business Heroes™ at Quibi have blamed “everything that has gone wrong” on the virus and at SoftBank they’re comparing themselves to Jesus Christ. (“He was also misunderstood and criticized.”)
Latest thing the V.C.s are into: Michael Jordan. (See: The “great asshole fallacy.”)
Latest thing the sex dolls are into: Attending live sports events!
lol nothing matters
Back in January 2014, when I started this newsletter, it was called “Another Fucking Newsletter” …the joke being there were too many newsletters already. Considering the subsequent success of Substack and the octodecillion newsletters it spawned, you could say I was very wrong about that! (The Business Heroes™ among us would say my joke was not wrong, just early.)
I was also very wrong to think my bosses at Fortune magazine were cool with “fuck.” It was a long time ago and I was young, naive, eager to cuss. I had my whole life ahead of me.
Anyway, <parody old person voice> back in those days we had to mine our own gifs out on the open web. We had to scroll through pages of Tumblr search results, rip our own videos with shady websites covered in belly fat ads, and hotlink out, uphill both ways in the freezing rain with no shoes and nothing but gruel to sustain our weary bones.
Then Giphy, the search engine for gifs, came along. Without Giphy, EGTttHoB™ would never have launched such iconic innovations as this very section or the beloved pooping unicorn header (on hiatus during the quar).
And so this week’s “lol nothing matters” question is in honor of Giphy’s sale to Facebook and its new status as yet another cool, independent, overvalued Internet thing that got sucked into the borg. Fellow Business Heroes™, it is time to ask ourselves: What are you building?
current status expressed by stock photography:
“ready 2 build!!!!”
If you are a new reader and wondering, wtf this is, well, welcome and here is my attempt at explaining.