Certain faddishness

People are all in a huff about Ballmer being, as far as I can tell, Ballmer.

“I think these things [social networks] are going to have some legs, and yet there’s a faddishness, a faddish nature about anything that basically appeals to younger people.”
—Steve Ballmer, Times Online

Now, I think Ballmer is an idiot as much as any man (or, at least, Mac fanboi)…

But am I wrong in thinking the whole idea of him saying this is so that they can purchase Facebook at a price that’s not astronomical, especially now that Yahoo! has dropped out of the running? Whether social networking is a fad or not, it’s seems good business to claim it is when you hold the money but not a product. Shit, isn’t that the first thing a VC does when they talk to a startup—try to make you and your business feel like shit? Sounds to me the same thing on a much bigger playing field.

Also is it really that bad of a quote?

“The Internet? We are not interested in it”
—Bill Gates, 1993

(For reference, this was said a year after I called home and said, “Dad, I want to quit Caltech. You know this thing Mom and I use called the Internet? It’s going to be big!” So, basically, any of the “younger people” who wasn’t a complete moron at the time had figured out that the Internet is definitely something a company like Microsoft should be interested in.)

Marc Andreessen points out, the true beauty of the Ballmer quote is it applies to nearly everything. In fact, I think I’ll be saying that as an reverse “not into pokémon”. Any time someone dismisses something I’m really into, I’ll say:

really into digital photography


I don’t think I could be screaming monkey Ballmer very well, but this, this I can do.

(By the way, if any of you are wondering why I’m behind on my photography, read Jim Goldstein’s post on digital photography: “Digital Photography: So Good, It’s Bad.” So true! Applies also to blogging about photography.)

[Thanks and thoughts.]

Thanks Chris Shiflett and Patrick Reilly for the pokémon quote.

Trying to bring this full circle: Speaking of infamous quotes and business strategy can someone remind me what Microsoft’s reaction to one of the “young people” who said he was going to reduce Microsoft Windows to “a set of poorly debugged device drivers?”

(Hey, Marc, you really need to show to a Lunch 2.0 sometime. You wouldn’t want me to whip out the can of whupass on you? 😉 )

[tags]Steve Ballmer, social networking, fad, faddishness, younger people, internet, digital photography, quotes, Bill Gates, not interested, dancing Steve Ballmer, iPod, Zune, Marc Andreessen, Netscape, Windows, reaction[/tags]

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