Arbron Media Associates

A New Tale of Gold-Digging

As someone who has “cut the cord,” I got REALLY excited when I saw that HBO released the first episode of their new series, Silicon Valley, to YouTube.  After seeing billboards advertising the show in the NYC subway system plastered with the heads of every endearing nerd I love from Hollywood, I was geeking out.  How very typical, I thought, knowing full well that nearly 25% of millennials do not have cable, a network that produces very high quality, but expensive content, would make available the first episode of a series that deals with concepts that members of said generation have cut their teeth on – the Internet, “start-ups,” Facebook, and the booming economy in Palo Alto, for example.  So I watched.  And that tasty treat was enough to hook me, let me tell you.  During the episode, while the aforementioned concepts were familiar, some aspects of the show (a young techie has struck it so big that he hosts a party for all of his friends, with live entertainment from Kid Rock, or a guy stands in the waiting room of an office while two Internet tycoons bid for his website idea, quoting amounts in the millions like pocket change, for example), were wildly unimaginable, even for me.  Watching the episode brought to mind a close friend who is on his way to experiencing that kind of fame and fortune, after the company of which he is a partner developed a mobile app. that is likely to revolutionize the way businesses function.  While the credits were rolling, I texted him and asked if he had seen the episode (he had).  I told him that it made me think of him, and I let him know how excited I was for him in this new venture.  He replied back, thanking me, and let me know how eerily accurate the show is.

 Certain themes from the episode (the self-conscious geniuses with their fledgling ideas struggling to house themselves in the Silicon Valley real estate vacuum juxtaposed with the power and egos of the godlike creatures who have already made it big) made me think of another tale of prospecting in California.  This is America’s new Gold Rush, plain and simple.  Just like in the days when people flocked to San Francisco proper in search of riches, only to find that they lost more than what they started with: many will try, few will succeed.  I’ve seen research that suggests that as little as %0.01 of mobile app. developers will see financial success.  I have to wonder if history is repeating itself in that the groups that are actually profiting from this system are the ones that sustain the bubble – only this time, instead of the innkeepers, brew masters, johns, and mining tool manufacturers, it’s the real estate industry and HBO…

So if the chances of success are so small, why do it? 

What that %99.99 doesn’t show is that, of the individuals and companies apps. that don’t realize financial success, some are just gunning for brand recognition, product awareness, or fun and enjoyment, and what’s not to love about that?  Perhaps some do actually do it for the thrill of the chase, or the belief that they can and will break this thing wide open, just give them time.  The truth is, people and businesses were always “starting up,” we just didn’t call it that.  Anytime anyone went into business for themself, that was and continues to be a “start-up” – it’s just that now, after seeing things like Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook explode, we liken the term to this image of tech companies that have made billions from computer programs and apps.

In the meantime, for the rest of us, the landscape looks somewhat the same, minus the technological advances that make it so easy (and cheap) to do things on our own nowadays.  That’s why after reading this article on the current face of entrepreneurism today, I’m confident to say that at Arbron Media Associates, we’re doing just fine.  Cheers!

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