by Tom Kaneshige

Techies Ditch the Hoodies and Google Glass

Mar 04, 20142 mins
Consumer ElectronicsInnovationIT Leadership

In the Silicon Valley, techies -- blamed for gentrification and sky-high rent -- have become the recipients of nasty stares, curses, threats and even physical confrontation. So you can't blame them for trying to go incognito.

In San Francisco, techies have become the recipients of nasty stares, curse-laden rants, threatening finger-pointing, even physical confrontation; techies are accused of causing gentrification and sky-high rents in many parts of the city. It’s gotten to the point where many techies try to avoid looking like a techie and becoming a target.

But what exactly does this mean?

You’re an easy mark when standing in line waiting for a Google bus, but some techies are making sure to doff their badges and other techie attire when out on the town. Most people know what techies wear: t-shirts, jeans, sneakers and hoodies. Venture capitalists walk around in zippered v-neck sweaters.

Mark Zuckerberg in Hoodi
The hoodie, modeled here by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Indeed, Silicon Valley has a dress code, writes Queena Kim at Marketplace Tech. “Silicon Valley is full of tribes: there are the engineers, designers, product managers, salespeople, entrepreneurs and VCs,” she writes. “And each tribe has its uniform.”

One surefire way to show everyone you’re a techie is to put on Google Glass. Just expect a little blowback if you do. Last week, tech consultant Sarah Slocum went to a Haight Street bar called Molotov’s and threw a new kind of Molotov cocktail onto the scene. She wore Google Glass around patrons who promptly criticized her techie-ness.

Slocum claims the glasses were ripped off her face while someone stole her purse, phone and wallet and took off, reported SFGate. Slocum says she wasn’t recording until tensions started to rise. Here’s an animated reenactment of her Google Glass encounter:

Wearing Google Glass during last call at a bar might not have been the wisest choice, given the volatile mixture of privacy concerns about Google Glass, alcohol and techie backlash.

Of course, techies shouldn’t have to change their dress, remove badges and leave Google Glass at home before going out in the city, but the anti-techie sentiment here only seems to be growing.

So why put a bullseye on your back?