Over the weekend, my post on how being Republicans may have shaped the outsider mindset of the PayPal team was published on VentureBeat.
I’m saddened to report that the comments on the post seem to reflect a reflexive hatred of Republicans that seems to blind people to what I was actually saying.
Here is my key argument:
No one seems to have pointed out is the obvious fact that being a Silicon Valley Republican may very well be as strong a predictor of entrepreneurial success as being a Stanford CS grad student.
The reasons behind this surprisingly overlooked fact may be even more astonishing. A rock-ribbed belief in free enterprise can’t hurt, but I’m going to argue that the success of PayPal’s GOP mafia is simply the logical extension of one of the eternal truths of Silicon Valley: Outsiders make the best entrepreneurs.
And in our neck of the woods, Republicans are the ultimate outsiders.
Nowhere did I suggest that their support for particular policies or politicians was important; rather I wrote that being outcasts improved their chances at entrepreneurial success, just as in earlier eras, counterculture icons like Steve Jobs and Mitch Kapor rode their outsider status to success.
Yet the sight of anything positive being written about Republicans seems to have people in a tizzy. Here is a quick sample of comments:
“Chris Yeh what is the point of your post because you know next to nothing about politics or the mindset and mentality of this country.”
“Dude try finding another occupation in life…writing a blog doesn’t cut it for you…this was such a waste of time on your part.”
“Your attempt at becoming the Limbaugh for the tech set by manipulating sociolinguistics failed. The words “Outcasts” and “Republicans” are an oxymoron – your propagandizing.”
Now of course, the very act of writing a post on Republicans was a calculated attempt on my part to stir up controversy, so I’m actually pretty happy with the results. But it certainly doesn’t bode well for bipartisanship in this neck of the woods. Any closeted Republicans want to speak up?