On the back of two weeks spent in Palo Alto making good progress with Iris AI, it is more difficult that ever to make sense of some of the events that we witness at home, particularly when it comes to politics.
The never-seen-before solid elector backing of four solid nationwide political parties in last December’s general election (up from two) has not lead to what a lot of voters expected: different attitudes towards political representation.
The substanceless bickering, the overacted confrontation, the short-term win-lose tactics, the lack of respect towards voters and their ability to grasp a real argument from mere posturing. Yes, all that has, if anything, become more dominant rather than gone away.
In Silicon Valley things have a different aroma. The pay-it-forward culture is a reality. With its issues, sure, but it is generally true that people will make an effort to be helpful to each other even when there is no immediate payback in sight.
This has worked really neatly for us as a startup. Most of the great meetings we have been able to arrange over the last couple of weeks have originated from rather random connections on the basis of goodwill. Very, very far away from a tit for tat mentality.
It is as if professionals in the Valley area sensed that benefiting the collective with their individual actions good things will happen to them too.
And even with this in mind. One of the investors at GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) told us the other day in a meeting that Google’s founders, and Larry Page in particular, have this vision that people in SV are too often ‘overfighting’. They better not use Spanish politics as a yardstick, I couldn’t stop thinking as the words left his mouth!
Now that in all likelihood we will head towards another campaign and elections in June, we should pause for a second and re-evaluate why, collectively, we do not force these changes through, rewarding and punishing relevant actors accordingly.
After all it is a well-known fact that if you want different results you should not continue to do things in exactly the same way!