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Entertainment vs. Tech Industries

April 2, 2009

vcmike

I just had a fun conversation with a long time tech entrepreneur who now finds himself working for a business that is owned by a large entertainment company. And he is finding himself dismayed by the cultural gulf between the managers of his unit and management of the parent company.

Needless to say, he finds more merit in the aptitude and value of the tech managers.

He summed it up by saying “now I know why Terry Semel was never able to integrate into Yahoo.”

3 Comments

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  1. Sharon Mandell #
    April 2, 2009

    How specifically did he characterize the differences? Inquiring minds want to know…

  2. April 2, 2009

    Following the strange mix of both tech and entertainment startups in Los Angeles, it is night and day between the two industries. Tech startups tend to be driven by merit, ability, engineering, and intellect; entertainment startups tend to be driven by who-you-know, celebrity, marketing, and status. That’s not always the case, but there is a fairly significant culture gap between the two.

  3. April 3, 2009

    Working in tech in LA, dabbling in screenwriting, and having a lot of friends in entertainment, i completely agree – there is a huge cultural divide. Personally, i think it comes down to this: in tech, your whole life you’ve gotten steady, relatively objective, validation about your abilities – you got good grades, you went to a good school, you can write code etc. But in Hollywood, it’s art, and it’s all subjective, so the entire industry is wildly insecure. Even the most attractive actors are told the majority of their careers that they’re too fat/tall/skinny/. Studio execs have no idea if they’re good or lucky, and have no idea whether they were good, or the fact that spielberg directed the movie made it good. So there’s a tremendous amount of insecurity that drives the entertainment culture that some people thrive on, but most people who work in tech cannot stand.

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