When I see reasonably intelligent and civilized young, single people who talk with upspeak my immediate reaction is 'Val'. For my international readers, a Val is short for Valley. You may be familiar with the term. If not, check out the YouTube.
So I watched this attractive young woman on television - one of those tech talk shows, and she started spewing about her experience at forgettably cutesy spelled dot com which was funded. Funded means you and 12 other twentysomethings with a cool idea managed to convinced somebody with 100 million dollars that you're worth 4.5 million and you have a year to prove it. And 85% of you fail, some spectacularly - meaning you make it for 3 years and get another 40 people and 12 million dollars and *then* fail. It's a story as old as most old dogs.
What surprised me was how instantly it occured to me that she and 12 of her friends would be an unlucky 13 as soon as she started speaking. The very idea of of spending about five million bucks on any endeavor headed by people with less than 5 years work experience, no kids, overpriced undergraduate educations and caffiene fetishes just seems ridiculous right off the bat. And yet we all know it happens. It happens a lot. It shouldn't happen much at all - but it's how a lot of us think about money and work.
There is a small part of me that wants to start a conversation: The only reason I'm not a Silicon Valley millionaire is because... But I don't want to go there or even think I'm going there. It just seems obvious to me that certain things ought to fail. I'm pessimistic today.