For all the discussion about the relationship between Trump and Silicon Valley over the last several weeks, there is a deep narrative similarity that I think has gone under-acknowledged. It is this similarity between Trump and the Valley that is going to make it particularly difficult for them to work together in the coming months and years—far more so than if they were more dissimilar movements.
First, it is worth recognizing that the story of Trump’s ascendance is an almost textbook political adaptation of Silicon Valley’s favorite fable. An outsider enters and disrupts an important space dominated by legacy players in spectacular form. Everyone doubts him. He spends less money more efficiently, leverages changing technology, communication tools, and even, so the rumors go, machine learning. He refuses to play by established rules. And he wins “against all odds” and the establishment.