Working for the Empire

Mike Monteiro of Mule Design about startups whose first and foremost goal seems to be getting acquired:

Imagine you’re an X-wing fighter for the Rebel Alliance. You’re fighting the Empire, hard. You’re bunking down on the Snow Planet and you’re fighting hunger. You probably miss your family ‘cause you don’t get to see them too often because you’re going from planet to planet, hiding.

One day, Mons Calamari [sic!1] calls a meeting of all the fighter pilots and says: “Guess what guys, I made this great deal! We work for the Empire now.”

That’s a really boring movie. But that seems to be the prevailing culture [in Silicon Valley]: to build something small and threatening enough to the Empire that the Empire eventually absorbs you.

And the people at the head of that annoying Rebel Alliance, they get their payout. They get a nice house on the hot tub planet of Tiburon. But all those X-wing pilots get shoved in little TIE fighters with no force fields and get used as fodder.

Paraphrased from a discussion between Mike and Katie Gillum on episode 10 of the Let’s Make Mistakes podcast (starting at time 14:18).

  1. Or rather, Mon Mothma. See this tweet by Soroush Khanlou for the correction. ↩︎