When "da Man!" is "The Man"

Word on the street is... TheFaceBook.com CEO Mark Zuckerberg's business cards read: "I'm CEO...Bitch" (Rolling Stone/via alarm:clock) ....um, yeah. That--shall I call it flair?--is exceptional and oddly noteworthy now but probably a step closer to the temper of the future of business relations than the engraved monogram generation. Just imagine, the beat generation brought jeans into the office, tomorrow hipsters will probably glide through the boardroom in distressed cords-cum-slacks. And it's not just the wardrobe.

It sounds cheeky, I know, but after shoving-off straight from grade school into the internet, gripping cutting-edge technology like an assumption, and giving how-to lessons with a grudge to parents, the upstarts just aren't ready to settle. It seems, to play de Tocqueville unwarrentedly, an emboldened generation, encroaching. Then again, I'm part of it and totally biased. My graduating class was the first to jump aboard thefacebook before we stepped into "the real world." But it seems more college-kid upstarts have shimmied from class schedules to corporate megastardom in the past few years than per the standard prodigy requisite, most with technology to blame upon their fame.

What mark will this bungle of newly adult Americans make upon the market and business culture? (Pure speculation is always a rewarding investment, if not returning wisdom then at least entertainment.) In fact, the Rolling Stone article (cited above) already notes that Zuckenberg himself is gravely phasing-out the goofy business cards to fit standards. But growing-up is different than growing out of a certain generational reference frame, which I would liken to that of the 20s--affluent, more-modern, somewhat shallow but also impressively equipped with a ripe combination of talent, resources, and (well..) social peace/equilibrium. [Update: This is a taste of what I'm talking about: Biznik, an attempt to network without the oddities of formalism and unnatural polish that currently rule. via WorkHappy]

NB: Where did this post come from? I originally intended only to note the funny tagline on the card. Perhaps musings like these belong on a facebook board, myspace profile, friendster page, livejournal? We aren't a "me-generation" but rather the "i-generation". Information, please.


Daniel C. Silverstein said...

Tongue-in-cheek titles and snarky business card remarks like this have a long history. My official title at my first startup was Chief Technical Officer/Evil Genius. I still have a copy of my employment contract with this title in my files, and a couple business cards in my scrap book.

A friend of mine who works for a large, well known computer company has business cards that list his title as Engineer/L33T 4G3N7.

Dan McComb said...

I started a company I called Visual Contact in 2000, which was just me doing web development. The title I used for myself was "Prime Minister of Visual Affairs." I haven't thought of anything as cool as that, now that we're doing Biznik, but your post is a reminder that "co-founder" really doesn't cut it ;-) Thanks for the inspiration,