In the self-involved world of Silicon Valley, finding a suitable mate outside the industry is inconceivable. Dating at work is par for the course. So congratulations are due to Philip Kaplan and his new fiancée for defying local convention.
Kaplan, best known for founding FuckedCompany, the scathing tabloid tipsheet of the first dotcom bubble's bursting, proposed to his longtime girlfriend Ilona Turner. I'm guessing, from his Twitters, that he did the deed in Paris — how romantic! (She said yes.) He was in Paris to attend a money-wasting tech conference, though, which rather kills the romance of it.
Turner is not a techie; instead, she's a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. (Full disclosure: I met Turner at a fundraiser she, Kaplan, and I hosted to fight the passage of Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.)
Of course, for those who know Kaplan from his New York days, it's not surprising that he's not adhering to the Valley's strict social mores. Back when he ran FuckedCompany, he prided himself on his outsider status. He's more of an insider these days, as the founder of AdBrite, a turmoil-racked online-advertising startup. But in a world where people only date within a small circle — preferably people who can do them a favor — it's refreshing, shocking almost, to see that love can prosper even when it's not on the same payroll.