Or is it is a hyper-aggressive frat party, where arrogant Masters of the Universe throw mad money around and Kool Aid drinkers build stupid things?
Perhaps it is a little of both. Sadly, the second narrative is the one that seems to have taken hold in media coverage these days, especially regarding Silicon Valley.
Those who actually work in the field know that it isn’t so simple. Sure, you have the offenders – we have all heard the stories about bad behavior. But some say that businesses, including tech companies, are doing their best to step up and make a real difference when politicians can’t or won’t (see Frank Bruni’s excellent NY Times op ed The Sunny Side of Greed).
Reputation and brand can be funny things, and very resilient. E.g. Amazon is often portrayed as the enemy of publishers, but this has not seemed to hurt it too badly. Similarly, institutions ranging from the NFL to the American auto industry have had their reputation issues, but still hold a special place in our hearts.
For all the dings to tech, it continues to have an allure; and it is hard to argue against its importance to our economy and the careers of many. Moreover it is growing, as how we define the industry changes.
The Times wrote that As Tech Booms, Workers Turn to Coding for Career Change. I said on this blog that there is Gold in them Thar Apps, and App Developers. David Kirkpatrick of Forbes famously wrote Now, Every Company is a Software Company.
More and more companies are rushing to adopt the tech label, according to another recent NY Times piece. Apparently, businesses and investors see an upside to the being associated with the field.
One thing is for certain. When it comes to image problems, the PR industry is here to help. And if every company is a software and tech company – well, the future looks pretty good for tech PR, I’d say.