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We live in a TMZ world. Where the worst of people get most “likes” and moral imbeciles receive unseen user retention. We live in the times when ridesharing mobile applications are valued higher than some countries’ GDPs; when term “pre-money evaluation” is somehow justified and accepted by the majority of investors in the US; when 870,000,000 people are actively dying of hunger every day.

June 2016.

LinkedIn, a frankly shitty obsolete heavy web site that helps recruiters and offshore developers “connect” with whoever they wish, gets acquired by Microsoft for $26.2b.

Will Oremus from Slate sums up what LinkedIn is very accurately:

“Microsoft needs to start by admitting that LinkedIn, as a standalone service, is not very exciting. It works well enough for job recruiters, depending on the industry, and can be a powerful research tool if you know what you’re doing. For the average user, however, it’s a de facto public bio, an impersonal alternative to friending people on Facebook, and an inexorable spam machine. Those use cases have their value, but they basically haven’t changed since the service’s early days.”

Here’s the screenshot of my LinkedIn page today:

A $26,2b page.

Despite all the speculations about what MS will do with LinkedIn, one thing is crystal clear — billions of dollars have been wasted. This acquisition feels like a spit in the face of all hardworking value adding businesses and people. This is what evil looks like today.

But this month we had 2 more disgusting financial news.

Didi Chuxing, a.k.a. “Chinese UBER” unexpectedly received $7.3B from various investors including Apple.

 

Why is this news disgusting? It’s awesome. The world is moving forward and if you haven’t hopped on the train, it’s your fault.

Well, this particular news makes me sick, because of the reasoning behind the money. Turns out there’s no reason.

Here, from TechCrunch:

I remember back in high school we had a guy in our class whose parents were doing pretty good financially. Teachers could smell money like hungry predators tracking down injured pray. That rich kid was always receiving high marks and network of teachers involved in this vicious circus grew. They were hoping to get something back. They did. Unusually high marks allowed that guy to enter some great school overseas, so he did just that. We never heard from him again.

This astonishing investment in “Chinese UBER” is awful because it can’t be justified. It’s a whales game. Giant capital sets new bars, new rules and disrupts old principles. It’s a great pattern in a perfectly safe, fed and happy world. Our world is none of those things.

Finally, UBER slams the door against my head with their “not so impressive” $3.5b financial aid from private Saudi Arabian investors.

These numbers are silly.

This feeling of something being wrong comes from realizing that we’re basically talking about:

  1. a shitty web site
  2. a ridesharing mobile app
  3. a ridesharing Chinese mobile app

$37,000,000,000 all together.

Slowly, without much noise, Silicon Valley has become the new Wall Street. Startups are penny stocks, hedge funds are aggressive outsiders, big funds are whales and all those “keynote speakers” and “coaches” sharing rooms with each other in SoMa are low level brokers.

I never count someone else’s money. Nor do I support democrats in their attempts to make the rich pay more taxes (it’s one of the main reasons I actually realized that I was a republican by nature).

But this whole tech paradise looked a lot like 1969 in San Fransisco at some point. I remember CEOs of young bold companies wanted to add value, to change the world, to make a difference.

It felt like those talented young people would become astronomically wealthy and really change the entire world (not just the way SF bay area lives), to give away all profits to conquer hunger and poverty (not by delivering more food to UBER EATS customers’ homes in big US cities), to help people being able to afford houses in places they grew up in (not to create a mile long gap between people from tech and people from wherever), yada-yada, blah-blah-blah.

 

870,000,000 of our brothers and sisters are undernourished out there. 21,000 people are dying of hunger every day. You’ll wake up tomorrow and another 21,000 is dead. To help them join our circle of life, feed them and socialize them the World needs approximately $30B a year.

Right now I can’t put my family at risk to help those people with anything life changing. I donate every time I can.

But when my companies mature and start generating significant profits, rest assured — no child will die of hunger ever again. I can’t help victims of heart attacks, strokes or cancer.

But food can be provided. Food is a commodity. Food can be manufactured, stored and delivered.

You can’t call yourself a world changer if you’re only talking about your back yard.

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