The Grass is Always Greener

My buddy Jeremiah Owyang, founder of Crowd Companies, did some original research recently. He asked his Facebook friends who were not from Silicon Valley for three words each to describe the Valley.

He published the results on his blog, and converted the responses into word clouds. There are the positives:

And of course the negatives:

credit: Jeremiah Owyang

But when you put them together, you get the full flavor of Silicon Valley’s perceptual schizophrenia:

What a giggle! Technology innovation at the forefront, followed closely on by arrogant, expensive, self-absorbed, and bubble. A little further behind, insular, male, delusional.

Jeremiah asks the question whether this image problem is important. Should the Chamber of Commerce launch a big PR campaign designed to help the Valley’s image?

As a veteran of 40 years of effort to brand Arizona as something other than what it really is, I know the Chamber should save its pennies. It’s not about the image; it’s always about the product. A brand is no more than a promise made to a stakeholder about a product, and the words above are all real characteristics of “Silicon Valley” the product.

I suppose a group of rich assholes could throw in some money and put lipstick on the pig, but I’d rather see that money spent 1)improving the product itself, and 2)housing the homeless.