It's all just a game.
It's a game that you've got to play to win or sit back and watch as others run circles around you. It's the game of perception, and it drives careers, both for better and for worse.
I'd say it's more prevalent in the startup world than the rest of professional life, but it's not. I'm sure it's only more public. Accepting the tone of sounding overly bitter, I guess I'm just kind of sick of it. I'm sick of playing the game, listening to people drop names like YC or Dave McClure to make it sound like they know what the fuck they're talking about.
The truth of the matter is, no one really knows what they're talking about. Most of us are only playing the game. Regurgitating what we read so we're offered a speaking opportunity at a conference. Throwing incoherent experiences together to try to form something of value that prompts others to listen, so that one day, we may join in on the fruits of perceived status.
I'm just as guilty as the next person, but I don't want to be. I have to be.
I've been watching the tech industry morph year after year into something of a popularity contest. Maybe I'm just finally losing my blindness to it. Or, maybe it's becoming more pronounced. Who knows. Either way, it impacts everything. From job opportunities to valuation.
What's the solution? Play the game, I guess.
Just realize, the perception game is alive and well, and it likely runs the world around you. The ones in power usually aren't the most competent, they're simply the ones that boast the biggest names and talk the loudest talk. I've been trying to fight it, but there's no sense in pushing back. You either play, or get played.
By the way, you really missed out on that Jungle party.