Shockwaves reverberated across Silicon Valley as real estate mogul and GOP candidate Donald Trump upset rival Hillary Clinton to become president-elect.
While California has gone to every Democratic candidate since 1988, its San Francisco tech hub is a notable Democratic stronghold. From Google Chairman Eric Schmidt to Apple CEO Tim Cook, prominent leaders of Silicon Valley have contributed to Clinton’s 2016 campaign for president. In all, Silicon Valley has donated 60 times more to Clinton than to Trump, according to NBC News.
Trump’s policy positions are at odds with Silicon Valley’s culture. His plan to put high tariffs on China-manufactured goods would hurt companies’ global supply chains, reports Tech Crunch. Additionally, his stance against alternative energy would hurt companies that depend on government incentives to invest in renewable energy.
The election results have set many in the Valley over the edge and even sparked calls for California to secede. Here’s how the Valley’s tech leaders are handling the news.
Angel investor Dave McClure had an angry outburst during Web Summit, a technology conference heldin Lisbon on Wednesday. In a one-and-a-half minute long video, the founder of 500 Startups gets up repeatedly and shouted, “If you-re not f—— pissed right now, what is wrong with you?” At one point he told the crowd to stand up in protest of the president-elect.
In an echo of the Antebellum period, venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar called on California to secede from the United States. He announced his intentions on Twitter as Trump was on the cusp of winning Florida, securing the much needed 29 electoral votes. The Iran-born entrepreneur, recommended Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom as president of the California Republic. In addition to drafting the referendum, Pishevar called on Americans to prepare for the midterm 2018 elections and retake the House and Senate.
Pishevar is not alone in his calls for the Golden State to secede. California led the way in Google Trends search interest a day after the election for the term “secession”.
The co-founder of the social-network Path said he would partner with Pishevar in his petition for a secession. Morin was a former manager at Facebook who helped create the Facebook Platform and Facebook Connect.
A day after the election, co-founder of Weblogs Inc Jason Calcanis called California, “increasingly more distinct from America” and used the hashtag calexit. In recognition of the fractured nature of the Democratic Party, he tweeted that entrepreneurs Mark Cuban, Sheryl Sandberg and Mike Bloomberg should lead the Democratic Party.
Some Silicon Valley stalwarts struck a more conciliatory tone. Shark Tank judge and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban argued that people should wait and see what Donald Trump would do as president. His tweet echoed points made in Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, in which she said, “We owe [Trump] an open mind and a chance to lead.”
If a gloomy cloud settled over the San Francisco Bay area after election results came in, PayPal co-founder and CEO Peter Thiel was an exception. He endorsed Trump at the Republican National Convention and donated $1.25 million to his campaign. Thiel congratulated Trump in a statement late Tuesday night.
“He has an awesomely difficult task, since it is long past time for us to face up to our country’s problems. We’re going to need all hands on deck.”