Disbelief and shock across the Silicon Valley is how one can describe their initial reaction to the results of the just concluded U.S. Presidential elections which saw Trump emerge victorious.
However, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel had backed Trump at the Republican National Convention and donated 1.25 million dollars to the Trump campaign. He even congratulated Trump on his victory in a statement he made on Tuesday night.
Marco Arment, co-founder of Tumblr had this to say to Y-Combinator for supporting Thiel, “This is literally paying a huge amount of money to directly support a racist, sexist bigot with rapidly mounting allegations of multiple sexual assaults,”
“[Y-Combinator is] defending the large-scale support of racism, bigotry, and sexual assault by an influential partner and advisor to their startups as its own form of ‘diversity’.”
Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator, tweeted his response on Sunday night, saying Trump is “an unacceptable threat to America” and “unfit to be president”.
Prominent leaders like Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and other big names in the Silicon Valley contributed heavily in terms of donations to the Clinton campaign. According to NBC News, Silicon Valley donated 60 times more to Clinton than to Trump.
Trump’s election manifesto and his campaign speeches on policies like alternative energy, higher taxes on Chinese goods, illegal immigrants, lost manufacturing jobs, outsourcing, immigration policy changes, hiring of foreign labor, were all against the interest of Silicon Valley and their business modules.
Iran-born Sherwin Pishevar, entrepreneur and venture capitalist went as far as calling for the secession of California from the United States. He recommended the name of Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom as president of the California Republic.
Pishevar was supported by Dave Morin, co-founder of the Social Network Path, who said that he was with Pishevar in his call for secession. Jason Calacanis, co-founder of Weblogs Inc., had this to say about California, “increasingly more distinct from America” with the hashtag calexit.
CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk had said before the election that Trump “probably wasn’t the right guy” for the presidency. One can speculate that he isn’t ecstatic about the outcome.
Jack Dorsey, founder, and CEO of Twitter tweeted a number of times basically calling for unity in protecting one another and accountability of the Govt. However, not once did he mention Trump’s name in his tweets.
Here are some them:
“I commit to using the privilege I currently have to always speak this truth to power and to ensure the common good leads everything we do.”
“We are one country, and we have one goal: provide for the common good. We must question anything that gets in the way of that.”
“We all must hold each other, especially the leaders we put in power, accountable to that truth.”
“This country was founded on one self-evident and undeniable truth: all people are created equal.”
At a web summit held in Lisbon, Portugal, Dave McClure, the Angel investor who also founded and runs 500 Start-ups, lost his cool after learning about the election results.
“If you’re not f_____ pissed right now, what is wrong with you?” He shouted. In fact, he even urged all those present to stand up in a show of protest against the President-elect Donald Trump.
Some were rather diplomatic in their statements. Ryan Hoover of Product Hunt seemed to be one of them, when he said at the conference, “I knew it could happen, of course. I mean, it was obvious, there were millions of people that supported him, I was just very surprised to see it actually play out, considering the polls and projections were so far in Clinton’s court.”
Greylock partner, Josh Elman, said “I don’t know what to say. I don’t drink and I still feel a little hungover.” One of the U-turners was the high profile CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, whose tag on a picture of himself and his daughter read, “Feeling hopeful,” with an emoji showing wide, happy eyes and a grin.
Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bozos was another who sang a different tune commenting, “Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump. I for one give him my most open mind and wish him great success in his service to the country.” The same Jeff Bozos who had said in October that Trump’s conduct “erodes democracy”
Chris Sacca, Venture Capitalist, and an ardent Trump critic before the results tweeted, “We in the tech community are willing to work with President-Elect Trump to help those Americans who need it most,”
As we have seen so far, there has been a series of mixed reactions, anger, diplomatic statements, about-turns, surprises, and calls for secession, it remains to be seen how the Trump Government and Silicon Valley get along in the not too distant future. Let’s wait and watch!