Date: 03 March 2016
Publisher: Monder Blogue
Byline: Pierre Maginot
Headline: Venture Ramen
This week I am travelling through Silicon Valley in California. It is famous for Spaniard Christian names and silicon food. The valley extends from San Jose in the south to San Francisco in the north. I have not tasted a fine croissant since I left Paris, but this valley presents a new crisis of cuisine.
San Francisco continues its Twitter titter about inequality and privileged buses. The average price for a flat is $4,400 per month and that is for a tiny flat. Inequality is rampant and the technicrati are tone deaf.
I am reporting from the Venture Capital Summit in San Mateo as it celebrates the peonage of young engineers. These bedazzled, would-be technocrats celebrate a rite of passage known as “eating ramen”. This rabatteur system is similar to telling different people to bet upon every horse in a race. The incubator overlord is sure that at least one person will win and everyone else is left eating nothing but ramen noodles.
“Risk Management” is an oft repeated phrase at this VC summit. The funding gods proudly proclaim that only one in ten of their investments is profitable, therefore all startup companies must survive on ramen. This should be a source of shame.
Why shame? Because these capitalist should be ashamed to tell the pension funds and institutional investors that they are throwing darts that only hit the bull’s-eye one time in ten. A good venture capitalist should be to determine whether a company should be successful one time in two, or at least one time in three. Instead they brag that nobody can be more successful than one time in ten.
I have a solution (don’t I always?) Most states here sponsor lotteries that rob money from the poor and redistribute it to unionized teachers. These states could sponsor lotteries for business plans. The lotteries could be presented on television with spinning balls and flashing lights. One in ten business plans would be assigned funding for their project and the others could go on with their lives without subsisting on ramen. The governments could apply a double tax to the winners that would support future business plan lotteries. Entrepreneurs would thrive throughout the US, instead of only in Silicon Valley. Furthermore, they would not be forced to eat silicon croissants.