Aside

Here’s a tip on Silicon Valley insults

I didn’t know I could go to a technology conference and see an insult on stage. But only if you knew the background would you feel a gasp welling inside you.
Here’s a tip you won’t find inside the bathroom stalls anywhere other than Silicon Valley. If someone says that you sound or act like Scott McNealy, consider yourself really, really insulted and find a way to change direction.
Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe, took the stage at Web 2.0 summit and talked about being thankful that Google exists as a “Heat Shield” for holding off Microsoft. At the same time, he talked that Windows and Microsoft “is effectively dead”.
When John Battelle says “you sound like Scott McNealy”, I would recommend you adjust. Say something like, “Do I? Wow, I hadn’t realized how strident and defensive that came out…let me clarify,” and then find a way to communicate that MSFT is a valid competitor as they do a great job of bringing a bunch of features together to serve the broadest markets, often lowering the price so the every day consumer can get easy access to the best the web has to offer. More importantly, you want to share what a compelling vision YOU have for the customer that could allow you to win the market.
But if you don’t have such a compelling customer vision, then you can say MSFT is dead. But whatever you do, know when you just got insulted in S.V. high-tech speak.
P.S. 2nd worst insult in SV speak can be a reference to Larry Ellison; typically about hubris and ego.

0 Responses:

  1. Will Pritchard. November 13, 2006 at 7:49 pm  |  

    “2nd worst insult in SV speak can be a reference to Larry Ellison; typically about hubris and ego.”
    I don’t know that might be first on my list.

    Reply

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