When Donald Trump was elected President, masses of traumatized whiners hurled expletives, stomped their feet, made violent threats, burned flags, defaced buildings, blocked highways, set fires and burned Trump in effigy while ranting and raving “not my president.”

Not to be outdone, the Silicon Valley elite thumped their chests and threw temper tantrums all up and down the Twitterverse. Among the countless displays of wanton incivility and self-indulgent immaturity, one man stood apart, as I explained at the time:

The award for childish, unprofessional behavior goes to 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, who had a complete meltdown on stage at a tech conference in Lisbon (see video below). After dropping F-bombs for a full minute and making everyone on stage feel pretty darn uncomfortable, he called Trump an a–hole and shouted, “This s–t will not stand!” 

This week, McClure was forced out of the startup incubator he founded over sexual harassment and sexual assault claims by several women who had been seeking jobs and funding. In other words, he took advantage of the power he had over them and made explicit, inappropriate and unwanted sexual advances. Why am I not surprised?

I’d come across his name before but never met the guy. And yet, you could tell from his onstage meltdown that professionalism was not his strong suit. In an apology post, McClure (pictured above, not hitting on Leila Gregory, we can only hope) admits to the bad behavior and calls himself “a creep” and his numerous advances “inappropriate.” That doesn’t begin to describe his childish, entitled, depraved and possibly illegal behavior.

The dark side of human behavior is a slippery slope. One false step, and you’re well on your way to the deep dark depths below. Take it from me; I’ve seen it happen far too many times. The way to stay on the side of all that’s good and fair is simple: Don’t take that first step. Do not cross that line. Ever. I mean it. Just don’t.

And if you’re not clear on what constitutes unprofessional, immoral, corrupt or illegal activity, then you’ve got work to do. Do it.

P.S. This doesn’t just go for guys; there are women in this category, too. More on that to come.

Image credit Tech Hub via Flickr

  • LeviMeow

    I guess uncontrolled ego pushes someone over that line once a certain degree of commercial or political power and authority is at hand… I think someone has to be aware that their ego exists and what their ego is trying to do. It doesn’t matter what gender (or non-gender or any combination) you are. Ego doesn’t seem to have any gender… Hope this doesn’t sound whack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Steve Tobak

      True, but it’s always an act of free will. On some level, we are aware of what we’re doing. We simply choose to indulge our childish impulses instead of being mature adult professionals and doing the right thing. Far too many of us, anyway.

      • LeviMeow

        yes at the end of the day its about choice… a person if he is of right mind can chose to do the right thing or wrong thing… thanks for the reply

  • John Murphy

    “Don’t take that first step. Do not cross that line. Ever. I mean it. Just don’t.” —don’t get all biblical now Steve. 🙂

    • Steve Tobak


  • Anurodh Sharma

    Thanks Steve for bringing out such so called high priests ( …ugh…. I meant creeps) out of the closet they hide in!!!!

  • TLC
    • Steve Tobak


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