This is somewhat a rant on an article about an article… In Tech is the New Wall Street, Joseph Walker seemed to feel like coming up with the pithy headline, “Tech is the New Wall Street.” Quoting from “The End of Wall Street As They Knew It,” there’s an arrogant comment by a current finance exec explaining how right now, you’d go to Silicon Valley instead so maybe you could be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Uh huh. That’s all it takes.
It’s disturbing, though perhaps not surprising just how shallow that article is. While it’s possible a migration of folks who otherwise might have gone to Wall St. into tech will have value, it’s conceivable there’s an attitudinal problem that will need to change on the way to such a transition. That is, one of unbridled selfishness vs. desire to create value. Obviously, a talented manager with financial chops can provide value to just about any company. But tech isn’t just about management; it’s about vision and value. Things the pure quant folks don’t seem to fully realize. While there’s nothing wrong with a healthy amount of personal selfishness, my personal belief is that this kind of motivational imperative isn’t what typically leads to good product craft. In fact, in a lot of cases for B2C products, something decidedly non-finance and not even technical is needed. That being, some empathy that could allow a visionary or product manager to sense a pain point worth solving or an unmet desire.