This Onion talk shows how much the state of what is cool (as in what investors will pay the most for) in technology has changed since the dot-com era. One of the hallmarks of a dot com was you had lots of young people working really hard and not sleeping and going to meetings spouting impenetrable jargon. I recall I gasped out loud when I read Jeff Bezos saying he slept 8 hours a night. Bad enough that he did that…but admitting to doing that? Amazon had gone public by then, so he could afford a luxury like shut-eye.
I’ve spent more of my life doing meetings through translation than I care to admit, plus I’ve worked with firms that had bleeding edge, large scale IT implementations, so I’ve also had more exposure to geeks than most finance types. After a few dot-com meetings, I realized they bore absolutely no resemblance to other cutting edge tech presentations I’d been party to. In those, content was clearly being conveyed, even though I might not understand it all. It clearly could be translated, and the more technical stuff unpacked. With the dot coms, I realized almost no content was being conveyed in these discussions. It was all atmospherics and noise, or what is more generally described as smoke and mirrors, except the kids hadn’t seen anything else, and really thought this was what it took to build businesses.
This talk shows how this mode of operation has been taken to its logical conclusion. Hat tip Lambert: