Earlier today, Proximate’s dev team was sitting in the awesomely non-corporate (#82) Voltage Cafe in Kendall Square, doing our weekly wrap-up meeting. As I sipped my latte – I’ve got to say, Voltage’s coffee (#1) is the best around – I was struck with blog inspiration. I jotted a note down in myMoleskine (#122) for further research on a potentially important realization: white people like startups.
I’m not just talking about any white people, though, or even people who are necessarily white. I’m talking about the Christian Lander’s now-famous concept, book and blog Stuff White People Like, which has become a lasting favorite by skewering the affectations of people just like me and you, dear BostInno reader. Take a look at what I mean.
- We Bostonians always wring our hands about Valley centrality, but I bet it’s just because deep down we all love San Francisco (#91). Certainly the high density ofAsian girls (#11) in its startups must score SF some white-person-like. Maybe theFacebook (#106) defection still stings us too much to admit it?
- The Bay Area may be startups’ Mecca, but even many NorCal folks are jealous of those to their south when the ultimate tech networking event, TED (#134) takes place in SoCal every year. Everybody loves those talks, man. No science is too complicated with Keynote! Frankly, the talk videos are good for procrastinating too, what with my not having a TV (#28) and all.
- It might not be TED-worthy attire (unless you’re ironic (#50) like that), but I feel that Proximate became real to me when I ordered our first Proximate branded T-shirts (#84) (American Apparel, naturally). These are essential pieces of startup-kid gear, much like my MacBook Pro (#40); it speaks to my uniqueness but subtly counterbalances it with brand-conscious savvy.
- Even the negative aspects of working at a startup can be appealing, given the right mindset. Haven’t had a paycheck in months? It’s like an unpaid internship (#105)with equity! Have a liberal arts degree (#47)? No worries, promise to learn a new language (#115) – for me, it’s Ruby. Did your cofounder quit? Nice! That’s like adifficult breakup (#70), and luckily since you have great relationships with lawyers (#56) you’re not too much worse off.
And the love goes both ways, startup white people. Some of the stuff we love has started loving startups back. The Ivy League (#98) is big into innovation now (just look at Harvard’s iLab). And Barack Obama (#8) has made technology innovation a key part of his recovery plan – he even had our back on SOPA, which would have ruined music piracy (#93).
Did this post offend (#101) you? I’ll bet you’re into that. Still, I’d love to apologize (#55). But what can we take away from this epiphany; why is being called out on our affectations a little awkward? Maybe it’s because it makes us feel like we’re only in startups for the lifestyle. Maybe like, sometimes we’re faking it? In the words of my beloved Mobb Deep (#116), “ain’t no such thing as halfway crooks” (#107).
Consider it motivation, and see you around at Voltage.