I’m not a tech entrepreneur.
As far as I know.
I’m probably more knowledgeable and a more habitual user of internet technology than, say, your dad. But the bar seems to be set not so much low as sideways, diagonally and through several different dimensions and I’m starting to wonder. Not to knock any of the people in that barf-making photo ensemble, because I’m sure they’re fine individuals and doing jolly well at selling sweaters, renting dresses, flogging events aggregators to publishing companies and whatever other economically necessary things they’re doing that they happen to do partially or entirely through the medium of having a website.
But some of them are clearly tech entrepreneurs in the same sense that I am a baker, that is to say periodically performing some of the activities and using some of the tools associated with that occupation without it being in any way something I would consider putting on my CV.
Some of them are essentially shopkeepers who have a website, which puts them in the same category as Tescos. Some of them are service providers of not-particularly-innovative tech services, which (excepting some of the older established figures who’ve earned respect by dint of sheer survival) doesn’t seem a lot to tweet home about, although I bet they bloody do. Some of them, on closer investigation than anyone without about a thousand years of spare personal development time should have to carry out, prove to have made an app or bought an office block to rent to other tech entrepreneurs. Some of them basically admit they’re in it for the coffee shop circle jerking. Hell, I might chance my arm with baker and tech entrepreneur if this is how the entry requirements work. I am available for drinking and stimulation in the Old Street area at any time. I’ll bring cake.
A few of these people actually do seem to be tech entrepreneurs though, and I note that one of them has cross-fertilized to this Ada Lovelace day feature about women in tech, which since it isn’t hampered by the ridiculous and misused “entrepreneur” tag features a higher standard of genuinely impressive people, some of whom work for multinational companies and probably never sold a sweater with an owl on it in their lives.
I would be worried about the misuse of the term tech entrepreneur if I wasn’t quietly confident that whatever it is the media thinks is representative of a recent (I mean like in geological epochs) phenomena is quite, quite wrong. Wherever the true tech entrepreneurs are, just keep your heads down and carry on and don’t wait for the Guardian to call is my advice. Here, have a cupcake.