I don't live or work in the valley, but it's becoming more and more clear that things are koyaanisqatsi (life out of balance).
Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, wrote about this with great clarity this morning.
Times are good, money is flowing, and Silicon Valley sucks.
I don’t know what it is, but the same thing happened in the late nineties before the bubble burst. Lots of startups got funded that made no sense but people got excited anyway. A unique, beautiful and well executed idea was not a story worth talking about until that first round of big, eye-popping capital. People become more anxious, and more likely to snap at someone in anger or jealousy. Rumor mongering spikes, and a crucial balance is lost. It’s no longer about beautiful products and genius developers. It’s about the money and the status, and hot PR chicks and marketing departments.
I wasn't in the valley for the first one, but started MyTrafficNews by bootstrapping, and the whole dot-bomb thing actually helped us, made it possible for me to afford developers.
Now it's a bit nutso, and I am actually out looking for investors, but I'm not doing it in the midst of the insanity. I love my current startup, love the people I work with, I even love the customers -- the real live paying customers who depend on us for the tools they use every day.
I think that's the only way to avoid not only crashing when the bubble pops, but to have fun along the way.