First, there's Facebook — a widely used app that basically put "hacker culture" on the map in Silicon Valley.
Facebook is known for moving fast and breaking things. In a sense, they are the original "powerhouse" hacker haven. Everyone knows about, and uses, Facebook. As a bonus, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg is known for wearing a hoodie basically 24/7 and hanging out in San Francisco's Mission District.
...which sounds a lot like Arcade Fire, the powerhouse indie band that pretty much everyone knows about.
Around the same time Facebook was taking off and getting ready to go public, a band called Arcade Fire released their third album, The Suburbs. They went on to headline music festivals and brought indie to the mainstream.
So, what other tech companies are basically like indie rock bands?
There's Amazon: It's extremely reliable, very widely used, and has a pretty good product. People like it, but they aren't rabid fanboys like those who use Apple products.
Sounds like Phoenix, who most recently headlined Coachella. They're not quite Daft Punk, but they'll get the job done.
Remember when Zynga games showed up in your newsfeed and it was totally kosher to ask for help building your shed? Not any more.
Seriously: When was the last time you told someone you listened to Kings of Leon — and not because they happened to be at a music festival you attended?
Pinterest is about as artsy (read: hippie) as a tech company can get.
It's basically like She & Him. Zooey Deschanel (and her music) is about as close to Pinterest in human form as it gets.
Instagram was just a tiny hipster photo-sharing app that exploded in popularity... and then subsequently (and very quickly) sold out for what was $1 billion at the time to Facebook.
Not many bands have seen that much success, though The Black Keys are one of them. They didn't sell to Facebook, but, well...
Then there's Dropbox, one of the hottest tech startups in Silicon Valley that basically everyone uses. But they've pretty much always done the same thing since they launched: online storage.
Then again, how often do you still hear The Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots?
Snapchat is an app that has gone completely nuclear, and yet, still very little is known about what the company does — or how they plan to make money.
Sounds a bit like The Weeknd — no one knew who the actual artist was behind the music for a while.
Yelp sought to unlock local commerce and make it easier to find new businesses. Then basically everything ended up rated four out of five stars.
I suppose we'll always have The Strokes' Is This It. Rating: four out of five stars.
Google is extremely useful, and just about everyone (at least the engineers) love working there. It has its share of fanboys when it comes to Android too. Google has its hands in just about all of the internet.
Here we have Broken Social Scene: a collective ranging from six to more than a dozen people, all of whom are in basically every indie band in the music universe.
So, one more thing...
Where does that leave Apple?
Apple is — in its size and importance — much like Google, except for one thing: Its fans are much more vocal (and that's putting it nicely).
Radiohead has always been extremely popular and is about as influential as it gets when it comes to the indie scene. And its fans will NEVER let you forget that.
Matthew Lynley is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News in San Francisco. Lynley reports on Silicon Valley and the tech industry.
Contact Matthew Lynley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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