I smelled the douchebaggery a mile away

What can I say? I walked into a big startup tech party last Friday, mostly because I got in for free. First, I can’t turn down anything free. Second, I like to watch (disaster). Third, someone asked me to come.

But as I walked the mile from my office, I smelled the douchebaggery.

I remember this back in 2006 when I attended a pool party sponsored by a startup organization. Back then, I was a little bit more naive, a bit more bushy-tailed, and very dense. The only people in the pool were giggling girls who seemed more like admins or booth babes. Everyone else was dressed for the South Bay summer in the geeky way that most of us were—fully clothed. I remember thinking, “This is it! This is how my life is going to begin!”

Then shortly after that, guys talked to me about the most boring topics ever. “Let’s talk about my business idea!” one proposed.

“Okay!” I said obliviously and agreed to dinner on a Saturday evening in Berkeley.

Needless to say, I almost brought my laptop. I almost had an approach from my UX experience. Until there was that non-oblivious side of me that called out, “um, there’s something wrong with this picture.”

So for nearly 7 years, I never went to another event like this again. Until last Friday. Where I saw a mechanical bull. Where I saw…booth babes? Where I had to navigate through crowds to find anything interesting. Where I desperately wanted to leave within an hour. At least, I got chocolate-flavored coconut water. Now, that was interesting.

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