The name's the same, but the means has changed

The name's the same, but the means has changed

Summary: Blue-blooded names are beginning to appear on the cap tables of tech startups. Coal and timber? Old news. Social mobile apps? Now you're talking.


Evelyn Rusli has a great little report in the New York Times' Dealbook section today highlighting the recent attraction that new tech is fostering in old money.

Not "old money" in the Silicon Valley, been-here-since-the-1970s sense, mind you -- oil, timber and railroads old.

Like Rockefeller. Tisch. Pritzker.

She writes:

While many of them don’t know how to program code, they have a powerful combination in the start-up scene: wealth, wits and a well-connected family.

Rusli chalks it up to "a generation weaned on the Internet and e-mail," but I'm not so sure. Yes, real estate and commodities will always be profitable, but it appears that these new scions are attracted by the newness of it all -- after all, oil made John D. Rockefeller only when paired with westward expansion and rail; John Jacob Astor thrived in fur and New York real estate when those markets were nascent.

The rapidly changing industry of computer technology has already given us Hewlett, Packard, Gates, Allen, Ellison, Case, Jobs and Zuckerberg. Is there room for another, more familiar name?

Or, to put it in office jargon: which esteemed family will pivot successfully?

Topics: Mobility, Apps, Hewlett-Packard, IT Employment

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • Old Money Indeed

    The Pritzkers have been involved in tech startups since at least the 1980's. Hopefully they've learned a few things since then.
    Robert Hahn