The Ilusion Valley and its fairy tales


Society is changing. In the last 100 years we had more advance in technology than the thousands of years before that. A large part of the advance in the last 20 years occurred in he same tiny space that we all know as the Silicon Valley.

Then something known as the personal computer came up, after that the ipod, then the smart phones. Now all kinds of technologies try to get their share of the cake. All kinds of .com’s and crazy products come up from there, and a lot of people want their little piece of heaven. Silicon Valley now can be compared to Hollywood during the 30s, the golden age! Actors all over the world went there dreaming of being the next movie star. It is the silicon valley golden years and people will go far to get in the spotlight. But how far?

In the last weeks I heard of 2 similar stories of people going a little bit too far. One is Elizabeth Holme’s from the health tech start up, Theranus. The other Bel Pesce, a Brazilian girl know as the girl from the valley. I don’t know if you have been following the news, but Elizabeth Holmes, who promised to disrupt the health tech industry by making cheap blood tests with only a few drops of blood, appeared to me more like a Steve Jobs wannabe than the real thing. Bel Pesce in other hand, is one of the most expensive and booked speakers in Brazil, turned out to have exaggerated a ˜little˜ bit in her resume.

Both cases aren’t concluded yet, what everybody in both cases knows is that there are information that was hidden, not to say that they were made up. What nobody knows is exactly what is true and what is not. What I am most curious about is why those confusions even happened. Is the desire of being someone who is changing the world so big that people are actually making stuff up? And does Silicon Valley is so blind by its late success cases and inspiring stories that it will believe in every tale that is told without checking for the actual value and accurate technology? Not only that, but also are journalists so hungry for a good story that they will glorify any person who self-proclaim as a successful entrepreneur with a conquering story?

Both Elizabeth Holmes and Bel Pesce went very far with their own stories. Bel Pesce got an army of fans – almost 700 thousand followers on facebook – she wrote 4 books about her achievements and entrepreneurship counsel, uncountable articles in the biggest magazines of Brazil were written about the notorious girl from the valley. Elizabeth Holmes made it to the cover of Forbes, was compared to Steve Jobs (she even adopted the black turtlenecks for a while) and her company got to be evaluated at 9 billion dollars.

Another thought to be consider is what both of them have in common, this is the ability of creating a great story around themselves. Let’s face it, we fall in love with stories, not necessarily the technology. Silicon Valley has not been a place where the best programmer thrives, but the territory of the best storyteller and branding. Just look at Steve Jobs and Wozniak. I am not saying that Jobs didn’t had a talent, he had a great one. It just wasn’t about engineering and tech, it was about design, product creating and branding. The problem here is when all those talents aren’t being backed up by an actual good technology or service.