Batten down the hatches, ya’all! There are plebeians trying to get into the gold Silicon bubble!
VC Seth Levine of the Foundry Group recently engaged in a nasty e-mail spat with an Anonymous Founder he turned down for funding. The founder, it turns out, is 55 years old, has been an entrepreneur since 1988, and has some pent-up bitterness about never becoming…well…successful.
The Anonymous Founder emailed, “I could have a cure for cancer, you wouldn’t give us a dime. Because you don’t know us, you don’t anyone who knows us, and in my case, I’m too old. You know how you could make the planet a better place? Start telling the truth to people.”
Mee-yow, Anonymous Founder!
Levine, in response, (kinda) calmly told the dude to stop being an asshole. Once again, the Anonymous Founder snapped:
“There’s discrimination in the tech world now. The tech world makes those on the inside richer, and it keeps those on the outside — there. It never used to be that way and yes, I’m angry about that. I need to deal with it.”
He then went on about not going to the right schools, not coming from the right family, ‘you ain’t know my struggle!’, et al.
Levine was miffed enough to tweet and blog about the whole incident. The AF’s complaints, of course, are indicative of larger complaints about Silicon Valley and rising income inequality — the basic idea being that hyper-startup capitalism makes the winners WIN BIG and the losers lose beyond their wildest beliefs.
However, I’m on Levine’s side with this one. For one thing, he was decent enough to give the AF his time of day, and seems to be serious about dispensing advice to any and all entrepreneurs…even failures. But also, the AF’s complaints of “pedigree” are hollow and unsubstantiated. Levine himself went to Macalester College*. I mean, freakin’ Macalester **stifles laugh**
Not to mention that the only entrepreneur I like in the food-delivery space, Arram Sabetti of ZeroCater, is a community-college dropout.
But if you happen to be the mysterious, furious AF, shoot us an e-mail! We want to know your side of the story.
*It’s actually a really incredible liberal arts school, but it’s tiny and it’s in Minnesota; not quite the ‘Stanford’ pedigree the AF complains about.