Disbelief, hope and a plan for California's secession: How the tech industry is reacting to Trump’s win

Disbelief, hope and a plan for California's secession: How the tech industry is reacting to Trump’s win

Jeff Kowalsky / AFP/Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump exits his final rally of the campaign on Monday.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump exits his final rally of the campaign on Monday. (Jeff Kowalsky / AFP/Getty Images)
By Paresh Dave and Tracey LienContact Reporter

It was an industry that united against Donald Trump, with dozens of executives penning open letters against the Republican candidate, dozens more publicly disavowing a longtime colleague and Trump supporter, and business leaders digging deep into their coffers in support of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

To the optimistic eye of Silicon Valley, Trump’s platform of fear-mongering, xenophobia and sexism went against everything the tech sector believes it stands for.

Where Trump took a hard-line stance on immigration, the tech industry had long lobbied for immigration reform that would make it easier for foreign workers — who play vital roles at many firms — to obtain work permits in the U.S.

Where Trump disparaged women and people from under-represented groups, Silicon Valley leaders saw a candidate out of line with the industry’s newfound commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.

When influential venture capital and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel endorsed Trump, some in the industry sought to distance themselves from him.

The tech world’s anti-Trump stance resonated among Los Angeles companies too, where not a single dollar went to Trump’s campaign from workers at 13 notable start-ups.

So when Trump took the lead on Tuesday night, Silicon Valley’s executives, venture capitalists and workers, understandably, didn’t take it well.

There was disbelief:


Anger, frustration and mourning:


Explanations for how it happened:


But also hope:


There were emoji tears:


And a plan for secession:


The tech industry was at its most politically vocal before this election. Between monetary donations and the launch of election-focused start-ups, it felt its collective power could help shape the race. But Trump’s lead on Tuesday night deflated much of the Valley’s optimism and threw into question how powerful the tech industry really is, at least, when it comes to the ballot box.

For now, though, techies have bigger things to worry about, such as what a Trump presidency will mean for their industry.

His statements on tech have done little to ease nerves in Silicon Valley. In his campaign, Trump called for a boycott on Apple unless the company provided the FBI a method to hack an iPhone. During a presidential debate, he highlighted his lack of familiarity with the industry by referring to the Internet, or depending on your interpretation cyber warfare, as “the cyber."

Equity analyst Ross MacMillan predicted a Trump victory could bring software stocks "down more than the market."

"A Trump win could signal more of an exclusionist policy, which could be positive for US-centric companies ... [but] could be negative for geographically diversified companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP,” he said.


Twitter: @traceylien

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

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