In Silicon Valley you are either a missionary or pretending to be one. There is almost no room for openly mercenary types. Even consultants, almost by definition mercenary types (and rare in tech relative to the mainstream economy), have to at least affect true belief in ideals. Until recently, I used to enjoy the thought that I was one of the rare openly mercenary consultant types managing to stay afloat in the tech world, capable of working with almost anyone, no matter what their beliefs. But last week, I discovered that perhaps I am not as mercenary as I think. The news of legendary Valley thought leader Peter Thiel signing up to support Donald Trump made me realize that, push come to shove, I do stand for and against certain things. The thought made me reflect on the dynamics of how people take their cues from each other in tech in general (a topic that I am researching right now), and what to think of Peter Thiel's move in particular.