It seems only fair that while I’m off enjoying a (Southern Hemisphere) summer road trip, I should continue to provide my readers with some thoughts.

I figured seeing I’ll be a million miles from anywhere, and unable to access decent connectivity, that a series of my ranty-est posts, with some new rants thrown in for good measure would be appropriate.

So here goes – in an effort to annoy many, provoke thought in more, and just give a rest from the tedium for everyone else, here goes the Summer Rant Redux Series….

This one isn’t a repost – but is fresh. I was watching the coverage from the 2009 Le Web conference when I saw an interview that Mike Arrington did with YouTube founder Chad Hurley. It got me thinking lots about the Silicon Valley echo chamber, putting people on pedestals and rich kids and their games.

You see, after selling YouTube to Google for $1.65B, Chad decided to take the money and really make a difference to the world by… investing, among other things, in a Formula One team. Le Web organizer Loic Le Meur interviewed Hurley and asked what made him want to invest in a F1 team. In what has to be seen as the epitome of vacuousness, Hurley responded that:

I’d been wanting to do something related to sports, I just couldn’t decided (sic) which one

How’s that for passion huh? Even better – watch the video (at about 2:00) when Hurley demonstrates his total and utter ignorance of anything about F1 other than the money – rich boys toys huh?

All this got me thinking about a post that Tara Hunt wrote. In a “biting the hand that feeds” move, she questioned what she was seeing at Le Web and explained her reasons for leaving Silicon Valley saying that she was:

surrounded by a group made up of people who weren’t incredibly positive, who threw their power positions around to feed their own egos (and keep their power) and were more focused on being famous/recognized/etc than they were on making the web a better place

Whatever happened to Tim O’Reillys impassioned plea to “make stuff that matters”? Whatever happened to humility, to passion, to making a difference?

Now I’ve been lucky enough to spend a reasonable amount of time in the Valley and know that there’s beautiful people doing fantastic work on stuff that really makes a difference. problem is there’s the usual suspects of limelight dwellers who get the bulk of the attention.

So here’s to a 2010 that sees more balance, more utility and more equity. (Oh and sees Chad put his money into something really worthwhile).

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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