n. 后见之明 /'haɪndsaɪt/
n. 时代精神, 时代思潮 /'zaɪtɡaɪst/
v. 蔑视 /dɪs'deɪn/
v. 弥漫, 渗透 /'pɜːmieɪt/
n. 教义, 信条 /'tenɪt/
n. 星座, 星群 /ˌkɒnstə'leɪʃən/
Silicon Valley’s founder factory
（683 words） By Leslie Hook ----------------------------------------------------- When I moved to San Francisco four years ago, I noticed something odd about the start-up founders I met: many of them resembled each other. Not just physically, though most were men under 35. But also in the way they spoke about their companies. They had PowerPoints at the ready, and big numbers on the tips of their tongues. Everyone seemed to know exactly what the total addressable market of their start-up was, even if they hadn’t yet made a single dollar of sales. It took a while to identify exactly what was missing. I had moved to the US from China, where Silicon Valley is revered as an innovation paradise, and tech icons such as Steve Jobs have mythical status. But when I compared my new home with my old one, I realised that the Valley was lacking in one core area — a sense of entrepreneurial hustle. In China, many of my friends were entrepreneurs, but I only realised this with hindsight, because none of them described themselves as such. They were architects, teachers or art historians, launching import businesses or travel companies. It just seemed normal for people to be trying out new businesses. By contrast, while there are a lot of founders in Silicon Valley, I have found relatively few entrepreneurs. The founders are smart and hard-working. But many are simply products of a system, which is why they all seem vaguely the same. People who have been here a while say it wasn’t always this way. Recently, I was on stage interviewing Kevin Hartz, co-founder of Eventbrite, who started his first company here two decades ago. It was a much rarer path back then, he told me, when careers in investment banking or consulting were the norm. “Today the track — actually, the mainstream — is becoming a company founder,” he said. There is an upside to this, which is that start-ups are no longer seen as an odd niche, but there is also a downside, he points out. “The cynical view is that you have people [becoming founders] who feel they can go pad their résumé, to get into business school.” The talented overachievers once drawn to Wall Street or McKinsey are instead showing up here with pitches about their start-up ideas. This shift occurred slowly over the past decade, propelled by tech success stories such as Mark Zuckerberg’s, and by a cultural zeitgeist that disdained working for big corporations. There was one company in particular that catalysed the trend — Y Combinator, an incubator founded in 2005. Though its origins were humble, today Y Combinator is like the Harvard of start-ups, with an influence to match. Each year it accepts some 250 founders and puts them through a three-month boot camp, grooming them to deliver a pitch speech to investors at the end (in a style that has become widely emulated). Alumni include Airbnb, Stripe and Dropbox. One of the central beliefs at Y Combinator is that start-ups make the world a better place, so its mission is to create more of them. This strange mix of moral superiority and business permeates the Valley — but is foreign to actual entrepreneurs in the real world. Another tenet of Y Combinator is that it doesn’t really matter whether a start-up has a good idea or not: if the founders are smart enough, they will eventually stumble across one that works. This leads to the funding of smart and charismatic people whose business plans may never pan out. The incubator’s success has sparked many imitations, as well as for-profit schools in San Francisco that offer courses in start-up-related topics such as user design or app development. There is a formula now for being a founder, and a constellation of companies whose business it is to keep selling the founder fairy tale. As the process of creating a start-up has become commoditised, something has been lost. If I were to ask my friends in China, I suspect they would tell me that being an entrepreneur is about having a good, saleable business idea and the will to implement it. That’s not something that can be packaged or taught, even in Silicon Valley.
According to the author, typical start-up founders in Silicon Valley ____.
like to talk about big numbers.
are mostly white males under 35.
see Silicon Valley as an innovation paradise.
don't like to call themselves a entrepreneur.
What does entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley lack compared with their Chinese counterparts?
a sense of expertise and innovation.
creativity and experience.
wisdom and hard work.
a sense of entrepreneurial hustle.
Which of the following statements about Y Combinator is true ?
Y Combinator is a business school for entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.
Y Combinator believes creating more start-ups can can benefit the world.
Y Combinator's idea of start-up business has permeated the Silicon Valley.
Y Combinator accepts 250 students each year and trains them to start a company.
According to the article, the author believes ?
a saleable business idea is more important than a competent founder.
a start-up can eventually succeed if the founders are smart enough.
a good business idea is not something that can be taught in school.
entrepreneurs in China have better ideas than founders in the US.
© The Financial Times Ltd 2018
and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
2. 不要把一个个单词分开看，要学会整体把握一个语义群。比如“an emergency $180bn injection of dollar”是一个语义群，应该整体地去理解它
3. 在看英文影视剧的时候，切换到英文字幕。4. 保持这份认真的态度，坚持英语学习，你将会获得很大的提高。
2. 加强对英文的数字写法，尤其是大数量的数字(million, billion)的识别与中英文转换的练习。