Inspired by an article at N+1, Remco writes about the importance of keeping it real. Australian startups, he argues, don’t need to recreate Silicon Valley.
In the north American spring of 2016, Anna Wiener, a writer for N+1, published a post, titled Uncanny Valley. The article was styled as a first-person account of life at a dying startup. You could call it a eulogy, or maybe it’s a wake up call.
It includes these ‘recollections’, looking back at her life: “…we see now that we’ve been swimming in the Kool-Aid, and we’re coming up for air.
I skim recruit emails and in the perks it includes:, craft beer on tap, kombucha on tap, wine tastings, Whiskey Wednesdays, Open Bar Fridays, massage on-site, yoga on-site, pool table, Ping-Pong table, Ping-Pong robot, ball pit, game night, movie night, go-karts, zip line.”
Wikipedia describes The uncanny valley as a hypothesis in the field of aesthetics. It exists when features look and move almost, but not exactly, like natural beings. It causes a response of revulsion among some observers.
It may be an overly dramatic characterisation. But applied to startups, the warning is that there’s an awful lot that are almost – but not exactly – like real businesses.
The latest phrase now gaining traction (to use that over-used word) in Silicon Valley is unicorpse. It was first used in a July 2015 Techcrunch article.