Tech's Richest Hate Showing Off Wealth

From Facebook to Google, Silicon Valley frowns on flashy spending
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2012 4:10 PM CDT
Tech's Richest Hate Showing Off Wealth
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attends the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 8, 2011 in Sun Valley, Idaho.   (Getty Images)

Facebook's staff may be full of zillionaires, but don't expect Ferraris in the parking lot. Silicon Valley, where almost 14% of homes earn more than $200,000 per year, is deeply opposed to conspicuous consumption—hence Mark Zuckerberg's iconic hoodies and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's underground house. "The message here is, ‘Keep shipping product,'" an insider tells the New York Times. "If someone buys a fancy car and posts a picture of it, they get ridiculed and berated."

At Twitter, co-founder Jack Dorsey sports $1,200 jeans, but they've got no flashy logo. And at Google, execs own private planes, but a manager told employees that fancy sports cars driven to work would see their windows smashed with a baseball bat. Such companies certainly have nothing against money, but instead of focusing on personal wealth, "they use it as a way of keeping score—how disruptive can you be in reordering the market," says an expert. "It is a means to do more, to make more money and ultimately build more." Click to read about Facebook's surprisingly so-so IPO day. (More Facebook stories.)

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