I’ve gotten some compliments lately about the way I work with Millennials — that vague demographic term that (from my perspective) includes adults born since the advent of personal computing.
I like teaming up with these people, and they seem to like me. The ones I meet in professional contexts are smart, enthusiastic and fluent in a language of technology I had to acquire as a young adult. (Granted, I was playing with art and music in high school, not computer kits.)
In the world of startups, Millennials are frequently the founders and big thinkers of the companies I help. I like to see my experience inspire smart people with new ideas, and their insights form a virtuous circle — I often walk away with my synapses snapping.
But there are moments when I think, “I’m a grown-ass man! Why do I feel like I’m applying to Burger King?”
I horrified a lot of Facebook friends yesterday when I admitted I’d never seen an episode of “The Sopranos.” Until I got Verizon FiOS recently, my access to premium channels was limited; my kids have had dibs on the TV for a couple of decades; and I’m not great at sitting still or scheduling viewing times.
Nevertheless, I know how important the show and its late star, James Gandolfini, were to a vast audience. So now that the news of his death in Italy has broken, I’m waiting for the second wave: the swell of tangential stories that tie the even to everything from technology to automobiles to dining. It’s a mighty act of triangulation, and it’s something every one of us in the content industry has done at one time or another. There’ll be stories about tourism in Rome, sights to see in New Jersey, the 13 best cars in “The Sopranos,” and on and on.
The piece does a beautiful, obscenity-riddled job of taking down the overinflated imagery that’s spilled everywhere since social media convinced every technologist that they’re thought leaders and must look the part.
Here’s one of the few passages that I can quote without spewing Anglo-Saxon variations all over the page: “What in holy hell motivates someone to upload this type of picture as a representative photo? LinkedIn I conceivably get as an unsubtle attempt at resume-bolstering — “I am competent enough to speak to a crowd of idiots; love/hire me.” — but popping this on Facebook, where your “friends” are, exudes such look-at-me desperation I almost feel as sorry for these jackholes as I do anyone who has to come into direct human contact with them.”
I’d say you don’t want to look that desperate on LinkedIn, either. If you haven’t read this piece, do it — then don’t post a picture like these.
OK — the platform situation is starting to improve around here. The look may be Spartan right now, but at least I’ve migrated the contents of my personal blog from Blogger to the familiar and flexible environment of WordPress. Like Iron Man, I can feel the power rushing back into my core!
Thanks go out to Jason Brownell for making the switch from the old location; next up, we’ll redirect this spankin’ new version to the matthewrothenberg.com domain and forget that whole Blogger era ever happened.