Failing Sideways

Jamie Dimon

It may have been a great week for mothers (unless you forgot the card and flowers, and skipped out on brunch), but not so much for CEOs. Between Jamie Dimon’s $2 billion trading loss right before JPMorgan’s annual shareholder meeting and Yahoo’s chief executive Scott Thompson’s not-so-voluntary resignation over allegations that he falsified part of his resume, it’s an uncomfortable time for the twice-bitten industries. We are especially confused by Mr. Thompson’s approach: a man lying about his computer science degree isn’t terribly uncommon, but it usually manifests itself in the form of telling a woman at a bar that he definitely doesn’t have one. 

But not all is grim: After all, it’s Internet Week in New York, an annual tradition where new developers swim upstream (or eastward) in order to mate with our city’s finest tech-groupies. This force of nature is bookended by giant parties, where celebrities like Tori Spelling, Dylan McDermott and Ashton Kutcher have all been known to make an appearance. Mix liberally with free alcohol and stir: Nine months later, a whole new crop of techie bubble bursters are born. (You’ll be able to tell from the surge of Instagramed infant pictures on Facebook.) And the circle of life continues.

We know of at least one founder who’s probably not feeling very frisky, with Facebook’s nail-biting IPO speculation at a $100 billion valuation for investors. If that mind-boggling sum makes you dizzy, just imagine how social network titan Mark Zuckerburg is feeling, knowing that he’ll actually have to develop a sustainable long-term business model once the company goes public. Mr. Zuckerberg never completed his computer science degree either, but he doesn’t need the resume-builder. We, on the other hand, are abandoning prop trading and our ambitions to run a giant Internet portal to learn PHP. Hey, it worked well for Mr. Zuckerberg. Just don’t ask us to wear a hoodie.

Failing Sideways