Jul 3, 2012
I don’t get out much. Most of my time is spent locked away buried in my work. But before you start a little pity party in your head, there is one great side effect to being a recluse: I appreciate meaningful human interaction. I don’t partake in idle chit chat, and I rarely find myself discussing the record heat and unusual humidity patterns of this East Coast summer. When I do talk to people, I am refilling my canteen, trying to get in every last drop of water while keeping out sand and everything else.
I like good conversation, but its often hard to come by. For example, let me describe how I feel when someone decides to pull up their techie pants and drop the ‘F” word into what had been an interesting conversation. No, not that F-word, but rather the other one, ‘Facebook’. There is a scene in Lost in Translation where Charlotte is having drinks with her husband, and his Hollywood actress ‘friend’. At one point, the starletstops the conversation, looks at everyone in the eye and exclaims “oh my god, you have to try this new power cleanse I just did! Promise me you’ll try it?! Promise?!”. There is a great bit of acting on Scarlett Johansson’s part, she exhales and her eyes flash a ‘somebody shoot me!’ look. That’s me!
I am not sure why people get so worked up about Facebook, but they do. First it was the News Feed, then came Timeline, soon after was the Never-ending IPO, and now we have our current Facebook crisis du-jour: Emailgate. As a tech entrepreneur, as someone who builds atop of the Facebook platform, I can say that Facebook ranks at or near LIBOR as topics of discussion
that interest me. And why should it? Facebook is like electricity, and I do not fancy myself to be Nikola Tesla. Sure the armchair entrepreneurs love to debate the impact on future computing Facebook will have, but that cuts into the time we could spend discussing Tom Cruise’s upcoming custody battle. I half jokingly think that people believe being a tech entrepreneur means sitting around, and asking questions of the stars on how to be the next Facebook.
Being an entrepreneur is hard, its a daily fight for survival. I don’t talk about Facebook just like I don’t muse about Special Relativity, because its pedantic chatter and invariably ends up with people slinging TechCrunch wisdom and half-baked Twitterverse. I’d much rather discuss real topics that spur ideas and challenge thinking, not the boring and vapid. Heck, lets even talk about your dog or the apple pie you made the other day, because I bet there is something there worth talking about. Its downright sad to hear people’s outrage at the audacity of Facebook to change their email addresses punctuated by a long silence when asked their thoughts on the atrocities in Syria. Sometimes, not saying anything is the best choice.