When I read this fascinating Gary Rivlin piece on the upward angst of so many Valley entrepreneurs, it felt vaguely surreal, like I was reading the treatment for a technology-centric cross between Grease and Saturday Night Fever. Before getting to that, I was fond of Marc Andreessen’s apt metaphor for the behavior of digerati in the presence of Larry and Sergey of Google fame:
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the billionaire co-founders of Google, were [at the party], so [Andreessen] was able to amuse himself by watching the valley’s newest kings as they met their public.
The scene made him think of a study by a Duke University professor that has long fascinated him: monkeys were willing to forego substantial amounts of fruit juice (”That’s like crack cocaine to monkeys,” according to Andreessen) just to stare at a picture of one of their brood’s alpha monkeys. ”There was this mob effect around Larry and Sergey,” Andreessen recalled when we met for a late breakfast one morning at his favorite hangout in a strip mall near his Palo Alto office. ”The pair would try to move, but the crowd just surged with them.
Anyway, to return to the Grease/Fever thing, all these wailing wannabe-wealthier coders give me this mental image of the “Grease Lightning” scene from Grease, albeit with coders replacing the dancing mechanics:
Why this code is automatic
We’ll get some xmlhttprequest and some DOM, oh yeah
(Keep talking whoa keep talking)
Client-side graphics and whizzy interface oh yeah
(I’ll get the money I’ll kill to get the money)
With a decent datastore they’ll be waiting at the door
You know that ain’t no shit we’ll be getting lots of tit
Code, code, code, code, code, code, code, code, code