Apparently, Running a High Profile Business Makes You Stupid

This article will take approx 1 minute to read.

It’s simply fascinating that we look up to certain people who begin successful companies. Not to knock them, or anything. They obviously have something working for them. However, you’d never know it from their blogs. In fact, their blogs tell us that they are complete idiots.

Examples.

Biz Stone, founder of Twitter keeps a blog over at http://bizstone.com. Surfing over to his website, you are greeted with:

Hi, I’m Co-founder and Creative Director of Twitter and also helped make Xanga, Blogger, Odeo, and Obvious. I’ve published two books about social media and have a more professional profile on LinkedIn.

Tantalizing.

In fact, the title on his RSS feed is “Biz Stone, Genius”. Brash. Okay. Let’s read some of his headlines to see what this guy is about. In his only posts in April he posts a list of Twitter updates plus, as a bonus, a post on insects and telephones.

Genius.

Let’s go to March, shall we?

All photos. And a Blue Team rah rah!

Come on, Biz. Blog or get off the internet. We read you because you’re a “Genius”, right? We read you because you’ve got something to say about Twitter, Xanga, Blogger or Odeo, right?

Biz is only one of lots of CEOs and executives who are blogging absolute crap. Listen guys, I know blogging is about transparency and being “normal” but isn’t there enough noise out there already? Shouldn’t you guys know this? Don’t you have any signal you can give us?

Give us insights about what you learned at your companies. Tell us how you made a bad decision and learned from it. Tell us about the leadership you garnered from managing a small group of developers in an unfunded startup. Tell us things that make our lives better. Give us something to chew on and make us want to come back.

Don’t just fill space. Don’t waste the bandwidth. Don’t waste the energy. Don’t bait us and tease us into thinking there might be something there when we see you have an update in our RSS reader. You are valuable gold mines and if there’s anything young entrepreneurs need in this world, it’s mentors and people who can inspire and provoke.

Be that person.

Update: Ann Bernard makes the point that CEOs can have a personal blog, but should expect to be associated with their company, even if their blog is personal.

Comments

  1. says

    Don’t tell me you’ve never come off a long bad week at work and posted something just to post on your blog. No deep insight, just something mindless that relieves the stress or makes you feel just a little better.

    I think if I was at the helm of something like twitter I’d feel that way a lot.

  2. says

    On the other hand, Seth Godin’s blog is pretty good. He writes some very thought provoking posts and shares some insight into marketing for newbies.

    Ironic that Seth Godin (creator of a web related site named Squidoo) keeps a good blog, but doesn’t have a Twitter account. According to Darren Rowse, Seth Godin’s Tweets are being sent by an imposter.

    Perhaps keeping a successful Twitter account and a blog are too much for these entrepreneurs. They are also running sites that must be time consuming, even with staff. Just a thought…

    Enjoyed your post. Got a thumbs up from me.

    :)

  3. says

    “Vinnie, I think I was pretty clear that we were talking about a body of work, not simply a post.”

    If you want to go that way, then Twitter/Odeo/Blogger etc. would be his body of work. From reading random posts in bizstone.com’s archives it looks like the funny/low-content posts are the norm and his blog looks like a way for him to blow off some steam. I guess I never got the impression that his blog was anything else, and I don’t see why he HAS to use his blog as yet another business vehicle. A lot of people don’t like to talk shop on their own/personal time, even if personal and work time are both spent online.

  4. says

    Why should running a company force you into a scenario where you have to be someone that you aren’t. Big corporations are losing site of who the people (customers) are that keep them on top and then proceed to forget what it’s like to be a peasant. Aside from that how in the world does his blogging or lack of blogging hurt you or anyone else?

  5. says

    Why is everyone missing the point here? :)

    This is not about Biz. I use him as an example. It’s about executives and management not giving anyone anything to think about. It’s about the fact that other entrepreneurs would love to learn from these guys and they aren’t because there’s currently no way to do so.

  6. says

    Aaron I’m not missing the point. I’m trying to bring up another one that is pertinent to yours. So here I’ll blurt it out

    “It’s about executives and management not giving anyone anything to think about. It’s about the fact that other entrepreneurs would love to learn from these guys and they aren’t because there’s currently no way to do so.”

    Why is the executive/manager obligated to teach?

  7. says

    They aren’t. But survival of the fittest states that they will become irrelevant if they don’t. Maybe they don’t care. That’s fine.

  8. says

    The more people focus on what other people have done the less opportunity someone has to innovate themselves. Corporations should focus on what they are doing and work towards their vision and they shouldn’t have to look at what the other person is saying or doing. Work together, mutually, when it works for everyone.

    I see your point but I don’t agree. You want to learn off of Biz which is a good plan but why should he be forced to share with anyone else? It would be great if he did but whining about him not sharing just feels like a way to lose sorely.

  9. says

    And to add what I explained to @CaseySoftware. Big corporations that have gone far have bene started by a vision and a real person. Sam Walton with Wal-Mart and Walt Disney with The Disney Company. Both of these men lived their lives as people who were just like everyone else. It wasn’t until corporate-type people took over after their death that any real problems faced the company. It shouldn’t be about being what everyone else thinks you should be but about being who you are and doing what you feel led to do.

  10. says

    I am not making this about Biz at all. My point is that no one is obligated to teach everyone else. It doesn’t matter who the name is.

  11. says

    “They aren’t. But survival of the fittest states that they will become irrelevant if they don’t. Maybe they don’t care. That’s fine.”

    Counterpoint: Steve Jobs?

  12. says

    :-)

    This is one of those rare occasions when everyone is right–this topic is really a glimpse of humanity.

    ~ Whenever any person is in the public eye for any reason–as the head of a corporation, the head of a family, etc–they are setting an example. Whether they want to or not. It’s just a fact of human nature. The only way to turn that off is to shut oneself alone in a room.

    ~ Everyone–whether it’s a ‘mouse’ or a head of a major corporation–is a human being, with strengths and weaknesses. It’s what unifies us.

    ~ Learning from others’ experiences is one of the best & most worthwhile ways to improve oneself.

    ~ Learning from one’s *own* experiences is the *other* best & most worthwhile way to improve oneself. :-)

    What I take away from this post, personally, is the inspiration in the last three paragraphs. It reminds me to be the best person I can be, because I never know who will be listening to me.

  13. says

    Great DoC show today on this topic Aaron and glad we got to talk more about it after the show went off the air.

    I agree with you that if a well known and successful entrepreneur starts a blog he or she better expect that people will come to their blog to gain some insight, inspiration and knowledge from what they have to say.

    People look up to entrepreneurs who take leaps and make things happen and if someone isn’t okay with being in that position – than don’t start a blog.

    Just like on the other end of the spectrum a CEO who loves to blog has to hold back on what he or she can blog about because being too transparent could be damaging.

    Blogging is an art and before you get into it, you better know what you are getting yourself into – realize some of the expectations and restrictions might be and proceed wisely.