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A partner at Alphabet's GV venture arm says Silicon Valley is 'losing touch with reality'

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Key Points
  • M.G. Siegler is a former reporter for tech news sites TechCrunch and VentureBeat, and is now a partner at Alphabet's GV venture group.
  • He argues Silicon Valley's arrogance has come to the forefront in recent weeks, as Facebook has been called on by Congress and the general public to address massive data mishandling and opaque user privacy policies.
  • But Siegler says the issue "isn't only about Facebook."
A scene from HBO's Silicon Valley featuring founder of fictional internet start-up Pied Piper, Richard Hendricks, played by actor Thomas Middleditch.
Source: HBO

Silicon Valley is getting too arrogant and "losing touch with reality," Google Ventures partner M.G. Siegler wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

"You can see it in the tweets. You can hear it at tech conferences. Hell, you can hear it at most cafes in San Francisco on any given day," Siegler wrote. "People  —  really smart people  —  saying some of the most vacuous things. Words that if they were able to take a step outside of their own heads and hear, they'd be embarrassed by."

Siegler, formerly a reporter for tech news sites TechCrunch and VentureBeat, has been with Google Ventures for more than four years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He argues Silicon Valley's arrogance has come to the forefront in recent weeks, as Facebook has been called on by Congress and the general public to address massive data mishandling and opaque user privacy policies.

But Siegler says the issue "isn't only about Facebook."

"The nerds have taken over the world. Now they're showing signs of being drunk on such power," he said. "And speaking accordingly  —  offering up cringe-worthy statements that only showcase a complete and utter lack of self-awareness."

Siegler declined to name examples of the type of behavior he compared to "rogue AI programs vomiting up delusions of grandeur" — but claimed examples are numerous and easily identifiable.

Siegler was not immediately available to comment on what inspired the post or how Silicon Valley might correct the trend. But he wasn't optimistic in his post that regulation or industry leaders would do the trick.

"Our industry is still filled with a lot of great, empathetic people," Siegler said. "But the worst of us are increasingly drowning out the best. Because saying something tone deaf will always reverberate more on our current internet than something thoughtful. And the fact that it's increasingly people in some position of power saying silly things just exacerbates all of this."