Living in a Bubble


Living in a Bubble

I have written before about how where one lives and works can affect how they see the world. Nothing can exemplify this more than Silicon Valley.  The folks up there are surrounded by technology, EVs, and a constant barrage of news and discussions about how the world is going to be changed by their good works.

They believe in their hearts and souls that the entire world is going to work, play, and live as they do in the San Jose, Palo Alto, Cupertino , Santa Clara, and the San Francisco Bay area. It is anathema to them to consider that 100 miles away in Fresno, or a thousand miles away in Salt Lake City, or 1500 miles away in Dallas people live differently, drive differently, have different wants and needs.

This came rocketing home to Mark Lawrence at SpotHero a few years ago when he attempted to raise money in the VC money wells in Silicon Valley. The following quote is from the Business Insider:

But in 2015, when looking for Series B funding, Lawrence found what he describes as an “annoying echo chamber” among venture capitalists. “They would say to me, ‘But no one is driving anymore,’ or, ‘The future of parking is valet,'” Lawrence said in an interview with Business Insider. “I said, ‘That just isn’t the case in the rest of the US, and we have the data to prove there is a market,’ but they weren’t interested…They thought the solution to mobility was to actually add more labor to the process,” he added. “All those valet companies they wanted to back have blown up and the bubble has been proven wrong.”

So Mark returned to his home in Chicago and between there and New York, has raised a total of over $117 million, the most recent amount, $50 million, virtually all from non-Silicon Valley sources.

The United States is the third most populous country, after China and India on earth. Americans come in every background, color, shape, size, and income level. If “one size doesn’t fit all” means anything, it reflects this country.

There is no question that the wizards in Silicon Valley have produced magic that touch all our lives, but in many cases, its just that, “touch.” They don’t control, and certainly don’t change how many people in areas outside the Bay area, the west side of LA, Seattle, and the DC/NYC/Boston corridor view the world. They would do well to follow Mark and find out what is going on in the rest of this most diverse country on earth.


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John Van Horn

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