22 Feb 2017

How table tennis and tech can make you a million dollars. Maybe. Probably not.

by Wade Townsend

Millennials who see the world through geofiltered glasses and turned hashtags in to the Dewey Decimal System of the 21st century, have made table tennis (TT) in to the office sport without a rival.

Where the epidemic is most prevalent is in Silicon Valley. Tech startups without a TT table is like a Chinese forehand without a tacky top sheet. TT is a fan favourite amongst hoodie cloaked coders looking to purge the remaining caffeinated energy drink from their veins, and option traders dealing with funky finances hoping to burn off steam after the dollar collapses.

They’re so intrinsic to each other that northern California sporting retailers have found a correlation between the sale of TT tables and the performance of tech-firm stock. There also seems to be a link between TT sales and the amount of money being invested in to new startups.

Simply put, Silicon Valley stock slides as TT sales tank. Note: the writer is in no way liable to any venture capitalists taking this as some sort of inside information.

But why the TT and tech alliance?

Perhaps the ping pong table is a nostalgic nod to the tech titans of old.

Now, some of us in the table tennis world may be accustomed to the charmed life of 1,000 lux lighting and multilayered rubberised synthetic flooring. But for many, TT is found in the home, and the garage is the ultimate temple of the ping pong table.

Apple, Google, and Microsoft; all tech-firms with their beginnings in the garage. Is it possible a ping pong table was pushed aside when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak huddled together debating the benefits of an opened or closed system?

So is this TT fascination the result of nostalgic tech romantics?

It’s my theory. And one that may make me a quick buck if I hear about a bulk order from Twitter for 16 tables, three gross of balls and a hundred odd paddles.

*Texts stock broker: buy Twitter shares now*

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