Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

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Thread: Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

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    Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

    Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi
    RYAN TATE, Wired Magazine, 09.07.12
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    Emily Armstrong, a product manager at SYPartners, bought her Audi A4 six months ago. “I feel like, in San Francisco, everyone has one,” she says of her car. “My God, there are a million of them.” Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired


    In tech’s epicenter, they seem to be ubiquitous: idling in front of venture capitalists’ Sand Hill Road offices, rolling down the block in San Francisco’s South of Market Area, and cruising the corporate campuses at Twitter, Facebook, and Google.

    They’re not entrepreneurs, though they seem tightly correlated with startup hustle. They are Audis, a breed of German luxury car that seems to have uniquely captured the attention of the young and elite in Silicon Valley, where elegant user interfaces count as much as raw performance and where status symbols should be as subtle as an unreleased iPhone in the pocket of your Japanese-denim jeans. “One of the things I like about their cars is that they are technologically advanced, but understated,” says Andy Rubin, who heads Google’s Android division after selling the mobile operating system to his employer for an estimated $50 million. “I am a big fan of Audi, and have owned many different models.”

    Just as Northern California’s predilection for hot tubs and BMWs revolutionized how the swinging bachelors of the 1980s indulged themselves, so too could Silicon Valley’s budding love affair with Audi affect a paradigm shift in how hard-chargers throughout the country tool around town. “They’re everywhere,” says Spencer Chen, head of business development at mobile software company Appcelerator. “It’s the new entry car into the venture capital class.”

    ...

    What does seem unexpected is that so many deep-pocketed young Turks are buying Audis over the BMW, a rival German brand that was for many years the ultimate automotive signifier of being an up-and-coming young executive in the San Francisco Bay Area. It seems that BMW’s success as an emblem of prestige is exactly what has done it in with many buyers.

    “The problem with BMW is that there is a really high douchebag factor,” says Jacob Mullins, a senior associate at Shasta Ventures, now on his third Audi in seven years, a 2011 A5 convertible. “It’s just more prickish.”

    That sentiment is insinuated in one form or another by a number of other Audi buyers. “We were looking for a sedan that wasn’t quite as prestigious or snooty as the BMW, but that performed awesomely,” says Emily Armstrong, a project manager in the San Francisco office of consultancy SYPartners.

    The Audi is, of course, more than just an anti-BMW. Rob Coneybeer, one of Mullins’ Shasta Ventures colleagues, owns both, and praises the Audi’s interior, ability to handle bad weather, and highway performance. Armstrong says she fell for her six-month-old A4’s looks and four-wheel drive, a useful feature for San Francisans who want to navigate icy roads winding up to the slopes of Lake Tahoe, but who don’t want to endure the scorn local environmentalists tend to heap on sport utility vehicles.

    Full article: http://www.wired.com/business/2012/0...innys-in-tech/
    Last edited by Tone; 09-08-2012 at 03:25 PM.

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    Re: Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

    It’s not just the valley, IBs, Quants, MA’s, BE’s and don’t get me started about the actuarial types lol. Simply, the times they be a changing ;-)
    Any rigidity by an automobile manufacturer, no matter how large or how well established, is severely penalized in the market.
    -Alfred P. Sloan Jr. (1965) My Years with General Motors.

    Longitudinal powertrain Audi vehicles with quattro are indistinguishable from RWD vehicles with Full-Time AWD; both meet the criteria to be labeled RWD/AWD - to argue otherwise is a “logical fallacy” (argumentum ad logicam). Hidden Content

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    Re: Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

    HEH. Oh please. The "Audi trend" started back in 1999 and only now the media really picks up on it?

    Just goes to show the influence Silicon Valley is having on the hard-charging elite. But this is also the case in the hard core financial sector in San Francisco. You will see tons of Audis rolling down Montgomery St. (Wall Street of the West). But you'll also see the standard Mercedes and BMW. Also, more and more, one will see the new models from JLR and Porsche just as often.


    As I've always said, THIS is the market Cadillac needs to compete in. If Cadillac cannot compete for mindshare in this market, they might as well throw in the towel.

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    Re: Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

    Quote Originally Posted by mgescuro View Post
    HEH. Oh please. The "Audi trend" started back in 1999 and only now the media really picks up on it?

    Just goes to show the influence Silicon Valley is having on the hard-charging elite. But this is also the case in the hard core financial sector in San Francisco. You will see tons of Audis rolling down Montgomery St. (Wall Street of the West). But you'll also see the standard Mercedes and BMW. Also, more and more, one will see the new models from JLR and Porsche just as often.


    As I've always said, THIS is the market Cadillac needs to compete in. If Cadillac cannot compete for mindshare in this market, they might as well throw in the towel.
    Though the trend may have started more than a decade ago, the fact that Audis are becoming commonplace may indicate the time is right for a new player to find acceptance. As you say, this is potentially a huge opportunity for Cadillac (and Jaguar). I would also submit that the tastes of folks working in these sectors likely mirrors their counterparts working in similar places around the world: if it plays well here, it will likely play well in lots of tech/finance centres globally.

    IIRC, there was a brief moment when the Infiniti G35 coupe seemed to find an opening with the tech crowd. I remember reading profiles of 'up and coming' folks in the tech world back when the first gen G35 came out and was kind of surprised how many had G35 coupes. That seemed to come and go quickly; I wonder if it was simply that Infiniti really didn't have anywhere for those buyers to go. The M didn't become compelling until recently and it's still not a class leader and there's also still not really a flagship (Q). To me, that's a cautionary story for Cadillac -- if the ATS catches on, Cadillac likely needs a solid CTS and Omega on the market quickly to capitalise on the success.

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    Re: Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

    It's so good to know how you can be even extry-speshuller, rather than just speshul.
    2017 Soul &, Titanium

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    Re: Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

    I am unique and original, just like everyone else.

    Boring.

    Life is to short to drive a boring car.


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    Re: Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    IIRC, there was a brief moment when the Infiniti G35 coupe seemed to find an opening with the tech crowd. I remember reading profiles of 'up and coming' folks in the tech world back when the first gen G35 came out and was kind of surprised how many had G35 coupes. That seemed to come and go quickly;
    Speaking of "douchebag cars", I really like the G-coupe's looks, but the owners of those cars tend to look like real meatheads.

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    Re: Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

    Where I live my 300C is as rare as a lower level Maserati in relation to the ubiquity of Audi A4, Mercedes C class, and BMW 3 series lease specials.
    I want a car so violent that the mere thought of full throttle would cause a heart attack. That actually going wide open throttle in would result in nothing less than instant death!
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    Re: Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

    So, if you show up on your first day as a product manager at SYPartners (or any other similar firm) driving a ZL-1 or BOSS 302 would you a)be castigated and banished to the mailroom ; b) respected for your willingness to go against the grain or c) be placed into a re-education camp.

    If you like Audi, buy Audi but please, please, please, don't buy it because you think that's what you're supposed to do or even worse because that's what all the cool kids are doing.

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    Re: Across Silicon Valley, You’re In With an Audi

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigPill View Post
    So, if you show up on your first day as a product manager at SYPartners (or any other similar firm) driving a ZL-1 or BOSS 302 would you a)be castigated and banished to the mailroom ; b) respected for your willingness to go against the grain or c) be placed into a re-education camp.

    If you like Audi, buy Audi but please, please, please, don't buy it because you think that's what you're supposed to do or even worse because that's what all the cool kids are doing.
    Put it this way, in certain lines of business, one has to "impress clients." Certain cars will NOT fit the bill.
    It isn't about horsepower or 0-60 times. It's about the image projected by the car and what it says about the owner and driver of the vehicle.

    THAT is the underlying message of the article.

    WHy SYPartners, BTW? Because they're out of SF?

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