The role of luck in success or failure is underestimated. You have a good idea? You are the smartest guy you know? You have a mature business advisor? So you think, “The ‘most companies fail’ rule does not apply to my company.”
You have wildly underestimated the role of luck.
But the event also demonstrated the seductiveness of digital elitism, which incorporates social consciousness and intellectual discussion. “If we’re going to achieve greatness in the twenty-first century,” Eric Schmidt said, “…we have to start with some Silicon Valley thinking.” He stated that “Ultimately, this world will be owned by an entrepreneur.”
Digital elitism is optimistic, in that technology is positioned as a solution to an array of difficult problems. At the same time, it inculcates an air of superiority and a universality of experience that truly only applies to a very small number of the world’s most privileged individuals.
Digital elitism does not reconfigure power; it entrenches it. It provides justification for enormous gaps between rich and poor, for huge differences between average people and highly sought-after engineers. It idealizes a “better class of rich people” (as Kara Swisher put it) who evangelize philanthropy and social entrepreneurship — but it also promotes the idea that entrepreneurship is a catch-all solution, and that a startup culture is the best way to solve any problem.
I’ve watched with dismay as the Canadian government, under the leadership of Stephen Harper for the past seven years, has made my home country a tougher, meaner, less hospitable place.
In the past few days, the overall picture is stark and clear.
So I can’t help feel a bit pleased that there’s an air of scandal and malaise around Harper now, although I suspect he’s far too smart to have been caught by something as meaningless as a $90,000 Senatorial transgression. Monday’s by-election near-disaster for the Tories may portend a swing back to the middle for Harper (who lately has been all in with the conservative base), but we’re still a long way from a general election. And unfortunately, demographics and population trends favor his party regardless. The redistribution of seats before the next election will see 27 new seats added in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, the vast majority in suburban districts around the major cities — exactly the places in which the Tories cleaned up in the last election.