Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Daddy Issues: Tech Edition

FLG has a long-standing theory that hyper-ambitious men are a product of absent or abusive fathers.  Subsequently, he realized he's not the only one.

At the time, he was mostly focusing on political leaders.   Because there's a certain aspect unique to political power that FLG thought was especially appealing for these types.   Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama being obvious recent cases.  But a recent story about Elon Musk's strained relationship with his father prompted FLG to look at tech titans.

Larry Ellison - When Ellison was born in 1944, his mother was unmarried, according to a profile in Fortune. She gave him to relatives to raise, and Ellison never met his biological father.

Jeff Bezos - The Astonishing Story Of Jeff Bezos' Biological Father Who Didn't Even Know Bezos Existed Until The End Of Last Year.

Steve Jobs was adopted as well.  John McAfee had an abusive, alcoholic father. 

On the other hand, as far as FLG can tell, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page had normal relationships with their biological fathers. 

And this is why FLG is hesitant to include tech leaders in the same category as political leaders.   Political leadership is explicitly about gaining power.   Page and Brin invented Google and it turned into a huge company.   But they turned it over to Eric Schmidt to run for most of the time.   My sense is that they were about results, not power.  There's a lot of, hey, got this cool idea and maybe we can make a lot of money from it, in the tech world.   Which is a different drive than political office, at least in FLG's mind.   Nevertheless, there is a significant number of dysfunctional relationships with fathers among tech industry titans.  FLG doesn't have empirical data, but it seems higher than the population in general.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.