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.