This is not Silicon Valley

Keith Teare
16 min readSep 29, 2015


I wrote this essay in December 2013 whilst spending 6 days on the Island of Hainan between events in Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

It retains its relevance today in the context of the so-called Series A crunch and the Unicorn boom.

— —

The original essay

Since early 2011 I have been working with early stage companies through my role at archimedes labs. We have 14 portfolio companies and have been fortunate to work with some wonderful founders. has been acquired by GoDaddy; Quixey has raised significant rounds of finance, including $50m from Alibaba most recently; Kwicr is revolutionizing bandwidth use and has recently announced significant funding; and more than 90% of the remainder have been funded since we got involved with them. had the privilege of working with Khosla Ventures and True Ventures, Google Ventures, BetaWorks, Crunchfund and others.

I start the story here simply to indicate that what I am about to say — although I feel it quite personally — is not driven by anything other than my observation of the facts.

The Valley today is not the Valley I came to join in 1997. It is certainly different, and that is good. But in one regard it is worse, and significantly so. And we will all pay a price if that does



Keith Teare

Founder at SignalRank Corporation. Publisher of That Was The Week, Founder at Founding TechCrunch investor