Silicon Valley: The Gambling Tribe

06.12.2017

Home to countless start-ups and place of longing to all tech nerds – in the Silicon Valley, a society arises with its own history and social structures. Sociologist Olivier Alexandre takes a critical look at this community. He will be speaking at the GDI on 22 January.

Male Teck Nerds

While other industries rely on secure standardization, the Silicon Valley is dominated by risk. Olivier Alexandre, Research fellow at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, says, those who invest in tech start-ups play with uncertainty and are rewarded with high profits if they are lucky. In addition to daring investors, this attracts mostly young, male and highly paid software developers.

Drawn by the promise of rapid advancement, they are united by the drive for innovation. They call themselves community or family - although they are in constant competition with each other thanks to their hyper-specialization.

Alexandre described how this community works in a seminar at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). Here you find the transcript of his colleague, economics professor Michel Ferrary.

At the conference "The Return of the Tribes" on 22 January 2018, Alexandre sheded a light on the few winners of the game and their secretive path to glory.