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Of Software, Marketing, and Diversity June 7, 2013

Posted by Peter Varhol in Technology and Culture.
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Oh, Shanley.  It pained me to read your latest missive on the marketing chick and the culture of misogyny.  It pained me because you are sometimes right, but perhaps more often not (or, to be fair, visa versa).  Yes, I’ve seen what you describe, although I would suspect not with the raw intensity you have.

Part of that raw intensity, I suspect, is driven by the Silicon Valley culture.  Whatever exists in America is magnified by the hype that the Valley types like to bring to anything that exists within its confines.

Many of us are too full of ourselves to recognize the value of others in a common endeavor.  Because we are not confident of our own position, we naturally if unreasonably order ourselves at the top of an uncertain food chain.  That means we tend to denigrate those without our particular skill set.

But that particular culture is nowhere near universal.  Many (I have no idea what percentage, but I suspect most) grow out of it.  Those who don’t are sentenced to a life of bad pizza, online games, and no social life.  They pay for their inability to adapt.

There is no single techie who can build, market, sell, and service a software product, and that hasn’t been possible for at least 30 years, if ever.  We all know that the most elegant and advanced technical solution is not likely to win in the market.  Those that build those technical solutions are at a loss to understand why they aren’t accepted, and are more likely to blame others than themselves.

So we create the marketing chick and denigrate her, even though marketing is a necessary skill for success.

It is a human failing, with the intensity increased by the win at all costs mentality in Silicon Valley.  Perhaps you see so much of it because of where you are.  That’s not to say it is right.  But it is to say that elsewhere it may be different.



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