Homepage / Technology / Silicon Valley techies are stressed, but they only have themselves to blame
Amazon says this Prime Day was its biggest shopping event ever Kudlow says President Trump is 'so dissatisfied' with China trade talks that he is keeping the pressure on As stocks regain their footing, an ominous warning looms Goldman Sachs downgrades Clorox to sell, says valuation is 'unsustainably high' How Satya Nadella has spurred a tripling of Microsoft's stock price in just over four years Kudlow says economic growth could top 4% for 'a quarter or two,' more tax cuts could be coming The one chart that explains Netflix’s stunning comeback US housing starts plunge 12% in June to a nine-month low Aerospace titans Boeing and Airbus top $110 billion in orders at Farnborough Target uses Prime Day to its advantage, logging its 'biggest online shopping day' so far this year Billionaire Marc Lasry sees bitcoin reaching up to $40,000 as it becomes more mainstream and easier to trade These are the 10 US airports where you're most likely to be hacked Amazon shares slightly higher as investors await Prime Day results Wreck of Russian warship found, believed to hold gold worth $130 billion A bullish ‘phenomenon’ in bond market is weeks away from fading, top credit strategist says Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: MS, GOOGL, TXN, UAL, NFLX & more Twitter shares up 50% since late April means most upside priced in, analyst says in downgrade EU fines Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Mortgage applications fall 2.5% as buyers struggle to find affordable homes America may not have the tools to counter the next financial crisis, warn Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson Investors are getting spooked as the risk of a no-deal Brexit rises EU expected to fine Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Ex-FBI chief James Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterm elections Elon Musk apologizes to British cave diver following baseless 'pedo guy' claim Disney, Comcast and Fox: All you need to know about one of the biggest media battles ever Xiaomi shares notch new high after Hong Kong, mainland China stock exchanges reach agreement The trade war is complicating China's efforts to fix its economy European markets set for a strong open amid earnings; Google in focus Hedge fund billionaire Einhorn places sixth in major poker tournament The biggest spender of political ads on Facebook? President Trump Asian stocks poised to gain after Fed's Powell gives upbeat comments; dollar firmer Stocks are setting up to break to new highs Not all FAANG stocks are created equal EU ruling may be too little, too late to stop Google's mobile dominance Cramer explains how Netflix's stock managed to taper its drop after disappointing on earnings Airbnb condemns New York City's 'bellhop politics,' threatens legal retaliation Amazon sellers say they were unfairly suspended right before Prime Day, and now have two bad choices Investor explains why 'duller' tech stocks can have better returns than 'high-flying' tech names Elon Musk is 'thin-skinned and short-tempered,' says tech VC Texas Instruments CEO Brian Crutcher resigns for violating code of conduct Google Cloud Platform fixes issues that took down Spotify, Snapchat and other popular sites Uber exec: We want to become the 'one stop' transportation app 'What a dumb hearing,' says Democrat as Congress grills tech companies on conservative bias Amazon shares rebound, report says Prime Day sales jumped 89 percent in first 12 hours of the event How to put your medical history on your iPhone in less than 5 minutes Investment chief: Watch these two big events in 2018 Even with Netflix slowing, the market rally is likely not over Cramer: Netflix subscriber weakness debunks the 'sky's the limit' theory on the stock Netflix is looking at watch time as a new area of growth, but the competition is stiff Why Nobel laureate Richard Thaler follows Warren Buffett's advice to avoid bitcoin Rolls-Royce is developing tiny 'cockroach' robots to crawl in and fix airplane engines After Netflix plunge, Wall Street analysts forecast just tame returns ahead for the once high-flying FANG group Roku shares rise after analyst raises streaming video company's price target due to customer growth China is investing 9 times more into Europe than into North America, report reveals Amazon says US Prime Day sales 'so far bigger than ever' as glitch is resolved Netflix is on pace for its worst day in two years US lumber producers see huge opportunity, rush to expand San Francisco to consider tax on companies to help homeless Homebuilder sentiment, still high, stalls as tariffs, labor and land drive up costs Powell backs more rate hikes as economy growing 'considerably stronger' Netflix history is filled with big stock declines – like today – followed by bigger rebounds Intel shares get downgraded by Evercore ISI due to rising competition from Nvidia, AMD Petco aims to reinvent the pet store with something you can't buy online Genetic testing is coming of age, but for consumers it's buyer beware Tech 'FAANG' was the most-crowded trade in the world heading into the Netflix implosion, survey shows Netflix weak subscriber growth may indicate a 'maturity wall' that could whack the stock even more: Analyst This chart may be predicting the bull market's demise Wall Street says Netflix's stock plunge is a ‘compelling’ buying opportunity because the streaming giant ‘never misses twice’ Tesla sinks after Musk tweets, again Boeing announces new division devoted to flying taxis Stocks making the biggest move premarket: NFLX, UNH, GS, AMZN, WMT & more Deutsche Bank downgrades Netflix, but says big subscriber miss is not 'thesis changing' IBM is experimenting with a cryptocurrency that’s pegged to the US dollar North Korea and Zimbabwe: A friendship explained Virgin Galactic spinoff Orbit to launch rockets from the UK with space deal Artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it destroys? That’s what PwC says ‘Treasonous’ Trump and ‘Putin’s poodle:' Scathing headlines follow the Trump-Putin summit China’s fintech companies offer ‘enormous’ opportunity, investment manager says Trump's performance at summit with Putin was 'unprecedented,' experts say Walmart and Microsoft link up on cloud technology as they both battle Amazon European stocks seen mixed amid earnings; Fed’s Powell to address Congress How I knew I should quit my day job and run my start-up full-time: Viral website founder China's stocks have been trounced, but the trade war may ultimately be good news for those shares Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel bets on crypto start-up Block.one Asian shares subdued open after mixed close on Wall Street; energy stocks under pressure Amazon cloud hits snags after Amazon Prime Day downtime Netflix isn't doomed by one quarter unless people start questioning the long-term investor thesis Tech stocks set to sink on Tuesday after rough evening for ‘FANG’ Netflix plummets after missing big on subscriber growth This wristband lets humans control machines with their minds The U.S. has a rocky history convincing Russia to extradite computer criminals Amazon suffers glitches at the start of Prime Day Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in modern history 'The United States has been foolish': Read Trump and Putin's full exchange Goldman Sachs recommends these 5 highly profitable companies — including Nvidia — to combat rising inflation Goldman Sachs releases 'tactical' stock picks for this earnings season Three red flags for Netflix ahead of its earnings report The bond market may be raising recession fears, but don't expect one anytime soon Cramer: Banks are 'making fortunes' but are still as hated as they were during the financial crisis Putin told Trump at summit: Russia never meddled in US election

Technology

Silicon Valley techies are stressed, but they only have themselves to blame

This post originally appeared on Om Malik’s blog and is republished here by permission.

Right there on the corner of Brannan and Fourth Streets, there is a billboard advertising some marijuana brand, saying, “Hello marijuana, goodbye stress.” It got me thinking about stress and what is that is making people stressed out? Also, what does it say about people living in this tech town — are we so stressed, because of work?

Then I read that piece in The New York Times about Esalen Institute, which described it as “a storied hippie hotel here on the Pacific coast south of Carmel, Calif.,” which has undergone a techie makeover. Now it is “Where Silicon Valley Is Going to Get in Touch With Its Soul.” At help are reformed rich techies who have found enlightenment and spirituality. The kind of people I tend to avoid in my daily life, so I do not lose my soul.

I have said in the past, San Francisco (and Silicon Valley) has become a cliche wrapped in a punchline, and this article and Esalen makeover is just the latest testimonial. By the way, well played Tristan Harris, for starting by preaching the addictive effects of new technologies and transforming into a new age guru for lapsed technologists. Deepak Chopra had to write a book, you did it with an essay!

And you can do it with all the creature comforts. You can spend thousands of dollars, so you can also talk about your spirituality over coffee, during cocktails and even do a podcast about your experience and path away from technology. Mindfulness is natural when you do not need to think about minor daily problems like making a living! Didn’t someone say religion is for the poor, spirituality is for the rich? You know opiates versus designer nootropics?

The whole thing seems like a damn scene from Silicon Valley. If I need Google and Facebook millionaires to find my soul, then the battle is already lost. Want to feel your soul — live among real people, breathe some polluted air, travel to the far corners of the world and come back and say thank you, god almighty that I can spend $5 on an espresso and $10 on some avocado toast. Seriously?

Finding your soul begins by discovering our ability to listen! Alternatively, by sharing a smile, a laugh and just by being human to everyone – from friends, colleagues, family and especially strangers, including those who are not from the same station in life as you. As my mama once said, you feel better about yourself by making others feel better! In fact, every holy scripture, ever philosopher and every holy man has said that for eternity. Again, you need to find your soul – start by listening and caring for others, not going to some spiritual version of Barry’s boot camp.

Enough about that and let’s talk about why are we in the Valley stressed out, so much so that we have to spend thousands to get in touch with your soul.

  • Question: Why are we stressed out and who is to blame.
  • Answer: Most of the stress we feel here in Silicon Valley is self-inflicted.

Is it the envy of the other which makes us stressed out?

I think so? When I was on Facebook, I was scrolling through everyone’s fabulous life. I felt stressed out about my own life – never mind the fact that I have a great job, I am lucky to alive after a brush with death, and more importantly, I can do as I damn please and live life on my terms. I turned off Facebook, and just like that my stress went away.

Twitter and its echo-chamber? It was making me angry. So I limited it to a few minutes a day, and just like that ambient stress went away. We live with so many irrelevant stimuli in our world and need to take steps to find ways to ignore them. Stop reading Medium for its dollar store wisdom. Also remember, everyone there is selling you something. Eventually, you will be monetized — it is the only one real law of the web.

So the best you can do is control your actions. You do not need a few days in techno-spiritual retreat, where you guru — who by the way is the chief evangelist of brand marketing at Google and is wearing an Android smartwatch, so he does not miss notifications from Twitter about his talk on connecting to your inner-net.

However, let’s get back to the real question: What is the actual cause of stress here in Silicon Valley that we need Deepak Chopra 2.0? Why don’t we face up to the fact that many of us in Silicon Valley are living lives that involve telling ourselves a lot lies.

Startup founders often talk about disruption and innovation, when in the end, all they are doing is tweaking to grow faster, and in the process wanting the whole company to think of ways to grow faster and faster.

The majority of startup companies are built around this myth that they are disrupting the broader world, so the culture inside those startups is constructed to amplify that opinion. Seriously, you are doing on-demand parking or on-demand laundry; you are not innovating or disrupting anything except the peace of mind of your employees.

But, if you are a founder telling his team that we are disrupting the food industry, then your entire team is buying into that idea. You start setting targets, which are somewhat artificial, without any clue about the reality of real people. The whole machine is moving towards those false goals, and when they are not met and then suddenly everyone is feeling stressed.

Don’t get me wrong — I know how it works. I have lived this story as an observer (reporter), a protagonist (founder) and now as an investor. Growth — rather implied growth gets you the investment dollars from professional investors. And then you have to justify the money you get from the investors by showing growth– a lot of it so that you can get more money to show more growth. In some cases, growth translates into the number of users, in other instances, it is the completion of a product, and in yet another set of companies its discovery of new methodologies. It is all growth — investors: professional and amateur, don’t like to invest in things that are static or going backward. To “grow my money” is human logic.

The challenge is that no one sits down and asks themselves why they need money. What is that you, the founder, are trying to do and what is the cadence of your business? By understanding those issues, they can make a good judgment when taking venture dollars so they can grow along expectations of their investors.

When you are not self-aware, you ended up finding yourself in a place where you have to do unnatural things to scale your business. And when you do that, you push your teams, and suddenly the whole system starts to feel excessive pressure. Think of it as playing music on speakers that can only handle 50 watts of power with an amplifier that has 10 times the power and turned up at full blast. Something is going to blow. You and your team are going to need the Mary Jane (sorry they are calling it Eaze) to lower your stress.

Alternatively, if you are feeling flush, you can also book a session or two at the Esalen Institute 2.0!

Om Malik is a partner at True Ventures and the founder of Gigaom. He has previously held various editorial roles for Business 2.0, Forbes.com, Red Herring and Quick Nikkei News.

Source: Tech CNBC
Silicon Valley techies are stressed, but they only have themselves to blame

Comments are closed.