But he ate the banana with such authenticity

From the NYTimesMag’s interview with Marc Andreessen, one of the founders of Netscape:

After hearing a story about Foursquare’s co-founder, Dennis Crowley, walking into a press event in athletic wear and eating a banana, I developed a theory that bubbles might be predicted by fashion: when tech founders can’t be bothered to appear businesslike, the power has shifted too much in their favor.

Believe it or not, this goes deep into the interior mentality of the engineer, which is very truth-oriented. When you’re dealing with machines or anything that you build, it either works or it doesn’t, no matter how good of a salesman you are. So engineers not only don’t care about the surface appearance, but they view attempts to kind of be fake on the surface as fundamentally dishonest.

I got a B+ in “Intro to Sociology,” and even I know that to appear in a business setting wearing sweats and polishing off lunch is as much of a performance, and as deeply concerned with “surface appearance,” as is showing up in a $5000 suit.  Actually, sorry, a little bit more concerned with surface appearance.

Bonus points for the suggestion that success in the Internet industry has nothing to do with salesmanship.


Tagged , , , ,

3 thoughts on “But he ate the banana with such authenticity

  1. Frank says:

    I’ve read that “suit” is derogatory slang in Silicon Valley for the kind of person who wears a suit.

  2. nichole says:

    Interesting. The last such power-theater I saw was Rep. Barca sipping from a Cousin’s cup while addressing the Wisconsin Restaurant Association lobby day last spring. This was met with audible scoffing.

  3. JSE says:

    This derisive metonym predates Silicon Valley by a fair bit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: