A Defense of Absurd Silicon Valley Startup S***

Scooters at the office? Lightsaber battles? Champagne and fries? Starting work at 10 AM?

We’ve had it all at my company.

These are the strange trappings of the Silicon Valley startup culture that’s arisen in the last decade. They have their problems.

They can be excessive. They can distract from the real work at hand. They can be a waste of money. They can act as a cheap filler for real cultural and innovative substance. They can let you play “innovative startup” instead of *being* an innovative startup.

That said, there’s at least one important symbolic role this excessive, absurd startup s*** plays.

When you look up and see a high-level executive riding a scooter across your office floor, you’re reminded that you’re trying to build a new world. These sorts of things shake up what we think “work” is supposed to be like. They break our molds and our preconceptions, just like any good abstract or absurdist or surrealist art should do.

But this isn’t even the ultimate point. When we shake up our ideas of what *work* (which is so much of our lives) is like, we can shake up what we think the *world* is supposed to be like. And that’s where your head needs to be if you are trying to do something new.

Real change starts at home – or rather, at the office. So, in limited doses, excessive startup s*** does its job. Just make sure it helps you do yours.

Photo Credit: Startup Stock Photos

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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