Silicon Valley is Broadway Bound

There are a number of regional musicals that are all about two of the most famous Internet pioneers, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Eliot and I were asked to invest in a few of them. None of the scripts we read thrilled us. It was difficult to get excited about musicals that depict the lives of nerds who became billionaires.

We think this is a fascinating subject that just doesn’t translate to song and dance. Maybe we are wrong. You can judge for yourself. The one show that has a shot at making it to Broadway is “Nerds,” a musical comedy that is currently playing at the A.J Theater in Raleigh, NC. It runs to February 3rd. It stars Darren Ritchie, Stanley Bahorek, Leslie Kritzer, and Diana DeGarmo.

We hope one of the musicals is as good as “The Social Network,” the story of Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. While many people feel the movie was pure fiction, at least it gave you a flavor of what took place to build a social media platform that has become a national sensation. The story of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates certainly deserves the same chance.

Internet Isolation Is Not Necessarily A Bad Thing

Yesterday I hinted that many of my friends are very worried that the world of the Internet is making their children and grandchildren totally anti-social. They believe that the adults of tomorrow will be incapable of relationships, both personal and business, because they haven’t spent enough time learning interpersonal skills.

I have one girl friend who absolutely can’t stand sitting next to a family in a restaurant, where young children are watching a movie on an iPad or playing a video game on a smart phone. As a former elementary teacher, she honestly feels that parents should be engaging their children in dialogue during meals rather than using technology as a babysitter.

I have been very curious about this subject for a while because I am the mother of an adult child who spent the better portion of her life in front a computer screen. In recent years I have often heard my daughter say she doesn’t want to be anywhere near a computer when her work is done for the day. Too bad her work is never done.

In order to get a proper perspective on this, I decided to ask people under 40 how they feel about the their isolation. Here are some of the things they told me:

1-Most people piss me off. Their conversations are a waste of time. I prefer to talk online where I can instantaneously cut someone off.

2-The Internet has made me more social than ever before. I have friends all over      the world. We talk about “things,” not “people.” We see each other a few times a year, and when we do we pick up where we left off online. We are all interested in the same things. I don’t have to hear about their kids, their money woes, or their sex lives. I spend way too much time with egomaniacs who only want to talk about themselves. None of them are really interested in what I do and how I do it.

3-I am a homebody. I have many hobbies. I go out with family and friends a few times a month. I love them but they are so boring.

4-I have never been happier since the advent of the Internet. I am busy all the time doing things that I like to do. My mind is being stimulated every waking hour. I used to sit around reading comic books and watching TV.

5-Before the Internet, I spent most of my time partying and getting drunk. Now I have to stay sober because I am an app developer. I have never felt better in my life. I even got married to a girl who I met online.

6-The only one who is worried about my interpersonal skills is my mother. She nags me all the time. She needs to learn interpersonal skills. Nag, nag, nag

7-My parents’ universe is so small. My universe is so big. I love them but they are clueless about the business world and personal relationships. Most people are like me, not them.

8-My father watches sports on TV all day. My mother yaks on the telephone. They are not exactly role models.

I have to admit that there are many times that I love sitting at home alone in front of my computer. Have I found the Fountain of Youth?

TECH HICCUPS

 

Can you imagine how mortified we were when our client didn’t bring her invention to the press conference we organized at the Consumer Electronics Show to announce its existence? This is just one of the many insane stories we’ve experienced over the years repping entrepreneurs, inventors, investors and all kinds of startups in tech. Some of the major brands we’ve worked for were wacko too, but more about those at a later date.

The tech business attracts the most fearless because there is so much money to be made. We’ve had our fair share because our agency was well known and we provided credibility to those who so desperately needed  it. Like most psychotics, you couldn’t tell those clients were crazy at first but when their neuroses popped out you couldn’t tuck them back in.

The client who didn’t bring her so called 3D TV alternative to the CES press conference felt very justified because it wasn’t ready. She didn’t feel she owed anyone an explanation because this invention was a game changer and it was worth waiting for.  The press went crazy at the conference calling her all kinds of names and to this day, those few who are still in the business rib me about it every chance they get. The client continued to pull off shenanigans like that for a few years until her Silicon Valley investors pulled the plug. The reason why she was able to survive for so long, was because she capitalized on her Cal Tech degree and her ability to BS the investment community. There is nothing more vulnerable than a bunch of deep pocket money men who are desperate for a big hit.

Then there was our other more recent client who suddenly disappeared for a week after the servers for his iPhone app collapsed because of the big story we secured about his invention in the NY Times. The servers were not capable of handling the 72,000 downloads that were activated within a short period of the story hitting. Instead of handling all of the hundreds of complaints we received, he took a powder and we had to field the never ending inquiries. He resurfaced when everything was up and running again. We took the heat, but his checks were well worth it.

The stories go on and on.  The last one I wanted to mention for this post, is one of our most recent clients who just couldn’t articulate what his website was all about.  He was the founder, creator,  and technology genius behind the entire creation.  He was also very handsome, smart and personable. But the “nerd” in him took over every time he had to verbally explain what his company actually did. No matter how many times we asked him to write it down and keep it as his boiler plate, the more complicated his explanations became.  We would cringe when he was interviewed on TV because he would take up the entire segment spitting out the details of his company.

I am not sure if these stories are just specific to the tech industry, but I can surely tell you they are prevalent here. Geniuses just think differently.