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Motivational Speech

Sometimes you may feel a little down. You might say, well, if everything has been done before, why would I bother?

I tend to answer, if you haven’t done it before, why would that matter? You will learn from everything you do. Keep trying. Keep doing.

More about bubbles

Sometimes, really good ideas can come from chat. I was discussing Molly’s article about a possible new dotBoom (or something like it) with the esteemed author a few days ago and it became too interesting to keep it to ourselves. More precisely, it’s a comparison I draw about momentum, crap and quality, especially as seen on the internet these days. It is not in line of the other comments, not even my own, as seen there, but a proper continuation of our chat.

The main attraction in our chat actually bordered the general ethics of the people creating this Internet thing, but then it struck me. A stagnation in innovation (as pointed out in several of the comments indeed) is a bad thing per se, but there is a platform that has been at this stage for quite some time now. Television. The popular stuff is very often not that brilliant, might be stolen or a concept bought from abroad. The good stuff? Oh, but you know where and when to find it, and you tell your friends. In general, however, the bigger commercial parties will continue focussing on the biggest possible audience, the lowest common denominator. I’ll quote here what I told Molly:

Television has been at the same peak, though, for years. Maybe the Internet can reach that and keep that going. That momentum that is propelled mainly by bullshit, low standards and quick money. […] The long tail will not be effective in that system, unless it’s an idea that can penetrate the grander market, and then you’re back to square one. Again, see Television.

In this bit, what is screaming to be read is the concept that the long tail effectively does not exist. Right now, it still does. A dozen blog posts will make a bigger dent than a New York Times front page item if it reaches the right people. On television, that is less the case, as far as I understand it. I’m putting this out there, onto the bigger Web, for all to read. I cannot tell you how far this comparison will stretch or if it actually does apply at all, but I hope it provides a thinking exercise. Think some more, write a little, rinse, repeat.

Dress to distress

The hallmark of being a proper, accepted businessman: the suit! Find a tie that matches your hair, or your glasses, or maybe that awful glaze that I see in your hair every time you’re dressed to impress some executive! The tie, hallmark of a generation? Of a working class beyond the dirty hands (the hands get dirty in any class, but this time I mean literal dirt)? Of distinction beyond sensibility? You are what you wear. The clothes make the man.

Stop being a friggin’ frigtard (frigtard)

A business that requires me to wear a certain kind of suit may just not be the place where I would like to work. I’m all for come-as-you-are attitudes, because, hey, you’re hiring people. Let’s put that in context. (Note that this does not apply to businesses where wearing a uniform makes plenty of sense, like when you’re safer by wearing it.)

The concept of uniforms, a set of clothing agreed upon by some one person, that is uniformly worn either and/or both on the business premises and/or when promoting the business. The concept that all Employees shall be treated Equal (”more caps please, this is supposed to make sense to your management!”), because they wear the same, so the focus can be on just the person instead of whether he really likes them Nikes or maybe favours a rather putrid shade of a reddish magenta.

It is by definition folly. The people that fill your desks, take your money and make your business are people. Unique people with unique traits. Now, unless you have a headless baboon going through the applications, interviewing them and appreciating their knowledge of the banana, you’ll actually work with people with traits you chose. You don’t empower uniqueness by trying to block all of the factors that are Irrelevant or Non-Enterprise or Social. You empower it by letting people be people. Feeling comfortable is a very good state to be in if you want to have productive people, doing what they do best. If they don’t like suits, don’t let them wear them, no matter how superficial their reasons may be. You hired a person, not a skill (as nice as the latter could be).

I really like suits. I also like jeans. And t-shirts. And ties. Man, do I love my ties. I even have a tie with Daffy Duck on it. It’s hideous. Let me wear it. I’m just me.

Tie fanaticism aside

Who are you kidding if you say that suits make people more Equal? I wouldn’t bet against that statement, but, okay, who are you kidding saying that that’s a result you really want? Diversity, when mixed well, can make the difference between failure and success. Steve Jobs calls it culture.

To the suit slaves among you, my readers!: wear a silly tie, a new one every day. Try a hideous bow-tie for once. No man is complete without a top hat. Dress to distress. It’s still a suit, right?