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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday October 04 2014, @06:05PM   Printer-friendly
from the Need-help?-In-the-U.S.,-call-1-800-273-8255 dept.

Nellie Bowles writes in Recode that three of the most prominent high tech entrepreneurs involved with Tony Hsieh’s project to build a startup city in Downtown Las Vegas have recently committed suicide, sending the tight-knit community into a tailspin. In January 2013, Jody Sherman, the 48-year-old founder of Ecomom, one of the most prominent Vegas tech-funded startups, shot himself while in his car. His company had been going south. In January 2014, 24-year-old Ovik Banerjee, who was part of the first Venture for America group in Vegas and an integral member of the Downtown Project team, leapt from his Town Terrace apartment in downtown. In May 2014, Matt Berman, the 50-year-old founder of Bolt Barber, the flagship shop at the center of the Container Park, was found in his home in an apparent suicide by hanging. Whether or not the suicides are statistically significant, the deaths have clearly shaken the entrepreneurs.

According to Alyson Shontell, in a social media age where word of success and failure travels fast, entrepreneurs say it's harder than ever to run a company — and it's harder than ever to fail. "It was a hell of a lot of work for not a hell of a lot of return," says Dave McClure, an investor in Ecomom and the entrepreneur behind investment firm 500Startups. "And then there are days when you sit in a corner and cry. You can't really do anything else. You don't have a social life. You don't really want to interact with family and friends because there's just not much context for them. Your world revolves around your startup and it's all about trying to survive and not look like an idiot in front of employees." "In the past, failure was very contained," another entrepreneur says. "When you failed, you felt bad around your family, the people you raised money from, but it wasn't as public. Failure in an era of social media and social video and global events is a very public thing. Jody [Sherman] put himself out there this time and became very respected for what he was doing. That possibility of very public shame is something that didn't exist before." Brad Feld writes that if you are ever considering committing suicide, reach out to someone and ask for help. "It’s ok to fail. It’s ok to lose. It’s ok to be depressed. If you are contemplating suicide, get help. If you have an entrepreneurial friend contemplating suicide, do your best to get them help."

 
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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @07:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @07:34PM (#101742)

    There's no need for you to apologize. Your statements are perfectly valid.

    I'd like to think that the community here at SN is a lot more mature than, say, reddit or Hacker News when it comes to discussing tough matters like suicide and failure.

    Over at those sites, they're like a bunch of children, even if their ages suggest they should be adults. If you don't put on a show of bullshit "sympathy" or preach your love for Aaron Swartz-types over there, then the reddit and Hacker News warriors of social justice will hunt you down and at the very least downvote (a.k.a. censor) every comment of yours, if not worse.

    That is not what should happen here, and I sure hope that it never does.

    If we can't be blunt when discussing matters like this, even if it may bruise the feelings of wimps and sissies, then we are nothing.

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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Ethanol-fueled on Saturday October 04 2014, @08:02PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Saturday October 04 2014, @08:02PM (#101758) Homepage

    Excellent first post and your post is also great.

    To put both of your points more bluntly, I feel no sympathy for anybody who commits suicide over their goddamn job. Painful and terminal cancer, sure. Spouse of 30 years leaving overnight and then all your kids dying in a car accident, okay. Trying to be the next Steve Jobs and not succeeding, um, no.

    I'll be sure to kick those boys' asses and take their flaming lunch money when I see them in Hell.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @08:16PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @08:16PM (#101762)

      I never understood why the Reddit and HN crowds think of people who have suicided themselves as being "victims" or even "heroes", especially during the whole Swartz brouhaha.

      Suicide is selfish. It's the sign of ultimate weakness. It's rather pathetic, really.

      Life isn't easy. It never has been, and probably never will be. When faced with adversity, suck it up and deal with it, instead of taking the quick way out.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @08:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @08:45PM (#101774)

    (a.k.a. censor)

    Repeating the same lie over and over again does not make it the truth.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @08:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @08:52PM (#101778)

      Care to explain to us how making a comment harder to read isn't censorship?

      Censorship doesn't mean that the comment has to be completely gone. In fact, the worse kind of censorship is the kind that leaves the material available, but just obscures it and makes it harder to access.

      That's exactly what downmodding here, or at Slashdot, or reddit, or HN is doing. A comment that isn't visible by default, or is otherwise harder to read, has in fact been censored.

      The only comments that aren't censored are those that are visible. If a comment isn't visible, for whatever reason, then it has been censored.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @09:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @09:21PM (#101790)

        A comment that isn't visible by default, or is otherwise harder to read, has in fact been censored.

        By that logic, doors and houses are censorship, and so are crowds or any gathering of more than a tiny group of people.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @09:28PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @09:28PM (#101792)

          If you're really having trouble comprehending this simple concept, Tork, just ask yourself one basic question: "Has information of some sort been obscured?"

          If the answer is "yes", for any reason whatsoever (that includes downvotes, moderation, doors, or crowds), then censorship of some form has taken place.

          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @09:38PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @09:38PM (#101795)

            Sorry, but I'm not Tork. Censorship has a pretty specific meaning; it does not mean "anything that makes me have to spend an extra couple seconds". If you're being modded down, its less likely that you're being censored and more likely that you're both incorrect and a dick.

          • (Score: 2) by Tork on Saturday October 04 2014, @11:10PM

            by Tork (3914) on Saturday October 04 2014, @11:10PM (#101825)
            Lol! He swngs... He misses! Sorry I'm not on as often as you'd like.
            --
            Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Tork on Saturday October 04 2014, @11:08PM

        by Tork (3914) on Saturday October 04 2014, @11:08PM (#101823)

        Care to explain to us how making a comment harder to read isn't censorship?

        When you +1 a single comment, you've 'censored' the rest. Stupid fascist jerks!

        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @10:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04 2014, @10:54PM (#101817)

    I think your idea of what constitutes maturity is quite juvenile. In particular your portrayal of sympathy for someone like Schwartz as bullshit and your feelings of persecution for being downvoted for expressing that juvenile attitude. It is also ironic that you are defending the bruising of people's feelings when you so obviously have had your feelings bruised to the point where you feel you have to complain about it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @03:21AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @03:21AM (#101879)

      His last name was Swartz. Since you can't get that basic fact right, whatever else you said (I didn't bother to read it) is probably wrong, too.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @03:57AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @03:57AM (#101889)

        Woo-hoo!
        Spelling flame for the win!
        I'm soooo not surprised.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @12:48PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @12:48PM (#101996)

          We can't have a discussion here if you can't get the basic facts correct, Tork.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @04:05PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 05 2014, @04:05PM (#102066)

            > We can't have a discussion here if you can't get the basic facts correct, Tork.

            Spelling flame double-down!
            Ironic though that in accusing me of being Tork you've made a much more significant error in basic "facts."