Silicon Valley shrugs off Washington shutdown


  • Vivek Wadhwa
Publish Date:
October 3, 2013
Publication Title:
Washington Post, October 3, 2013.
Op-Ed or Opinion Piece
  • Vivek Wadhwa, Silicon Valley Shrugs off Washington Shutdown, Washington Post, October 3, 2013.


“I am still not over the fact people aren’t hyperventilating about this in coffee shops while high on coffee-grind fumes” said Washington Post editor Emi Kolawole onTwitter, in response to a message I had written saying she should relax and stop worrying about government shutdowns—now that she is in Silicon Valley.
Kolawole, a long time Washington, D.C., resident, is on a one-year sabbatical at Stanford University. Her comments illustrate the stark difference in the reaction to the government shutdown between the two coasts. True, most of Silicon Valley’s inhabitants aren’t experiencing the misery that furloughed government employees are. But the Valley seems totally oblivious to what is happening in the nation’s capital.
Note the reaction of the tech blogs. The only coverage on TechCrunch was an article about how a government website for comparing health insurance prices wasn’t functioning properly; VentureBeat wrote exactly one sentence “Government employees are not getting paid today, but the private sector is booming with 8 major funding announcements”; Gigaom had a three-line post complaining that NASA won’t be able to redirect asteroids.