Temporarily poor tech billionaires


“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

But how about tech millionaires?

What separates the successful from the not so in Silicon Valley is not always obvious. What is obvious however, is that the people trying to make it in ”the Valley” do not have the odds in their favor. Those who make it make it big time, but there are a countless number of other examples as well. Just like every actor in Hollywood is going to make their breakthrough after the next audition, everyone’s next business idea, app or endeavor will be their breakthrough in Silicon Valley.

However, people need to make ends meat in between their startup attempts here as well, and because of this, it can be very useful to have a day job that pays the bills. We visited Nova Workforce Development to find out more about the labor market in Silicon Valley.

”Sorry about the jeans, it’s casual Friday”, says Kris Stadelman, director of the company, when we meet her.

”That’s ok, we’re from Sweden”, I tell her.

At Nova, 60 per cent of the job seekers have a higher education – and the most important thing to get ahead in the career here, seems to be networking.

”It’s all about networking. So we teach networking and organize programs for networking. And the point is – we have 30 years of alumni who now has jobs in the Valley, so we use our network of previous job-seeking clients for the existing ones”, Kris says.

In Sweden, it is said that networks influence roughly two out of three recruitments. Perhaps the Swedish labor market could learn a thing or two from Silicon Valley, by getting job seekers to meet with the already employed to a higher extent?

Most of the job seekers in Silicon Valley probably are not ”temporarily embarrassed [tech] millionaires”, but a larger number of them may at least be ”temporarily embarrassed happy employees”.

If you have too high expectations, you might become disappointed. But if you expect nothing, that might be self-fulfilling. By having both the right attitude and the right counseling, the chances of making the right career choices probably are a lot better.