Silicon Valley & the Industry of Cool

yelpparty.bmpForbes’ Erika Brown has a good summary of how Silicon Valley has turned into a mini Hollywood.

She recounts the escapades of Russel Simmons and Jeremy Stoppelman, co-founders of Yelp, the local social site for reviews of bars and restaurants, who hold parties (see pic) with inebriated young women hanging over them, including a “Yelp Elite” mixer at the San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art ending in a girls-only kissing orgy. When asked where they want to be in five years, Stoppelman responds: “Sitting on top of a pile of money … [in unison with Simmons] … surrounded by women! Yeah! [high five]”

There is the book party hosted by billionaire Larry Ellison for political pundit Arianna Huffington at his swank San Francisco pied-a-terre. Nick Douglas, writer of the valley’s gossip site, ValleyWag, attended the soiree and wrote a column about it the next day, griping about his treatment by Google co-founder Larry Page and his girlfriend. There are Valleywag’s “Hotties of Web 2.Ooh!” contests, etc, etc.

Erika concludes:

I’m reminded of a scene from Almost Famous, a movie about an aspiring reporter who writes about an up-and-coming rock band. A crusty old journalist advises his teenage protégé: “You cannot make friends with the rock stars … They’ll buy you drinks, you’ll meet girls … I know. It sounds great. But they are not your friends. These are people who want you to write sanctimonious stories about the genius of the rock stars, and they will ruin rock ‘n’ roll and strangle everything we love about it … and then it just becomes an industry of cool.”

Most of the action is moving up to the city in San Francisco, leaving the more staid region to the south — the traditional “Silicon Valley” as quiet as ever.