ZONING OUT….Ezra tells us about a recent party conversation with a friend who works for Google:
Upon finding out that I was a blogger, the colleague launched into an intense, interminable sales pitch for Google’s new campaign services, which are apparently…something. I don’t know. It seemed pretty indistinguishable from all consulting services, and it was being sold with the same mix of buzzwords and bullshit. I zoned out for a few minutes, reflecting on what un-Google-like behavior this all was, zoned back in to find she was still explaining why I should write about the new model, and then I abruptly walked away. This is why it’s hard for me to make new friends.
Boy does that take me back. Not the abruptly walking away part — I never did that — but zoning out when a colleague tried to explain why some new product of theirs was not merely a new product, but a transcendental transformation of everything we had ever known about the entire product category. It was usually a sure sign that there was, in fact, nothing concretely good about whatever it was they were pitching.
This, by the way, is my biggest problem with Tom Friedman. When he hears these kinds of pitches from the execs he hangs around with, he swallows them whole. It never seems to occur to him that these guys are salesmen doing what salesmen do. They say they’re changing the world, and that’s that. After all, why would they lie to him?