Last October, I blogged after seeing “The Social Network” and referenced an article from “Webweek” that had a profound effect on me when I was in my early 20s (24 to be exact).
While it is nowhere to be found online, I recently found (in storage) the printout of the article I managed to keep all these years but hadn’t re-read in well over a decade. And when I did, it floored me to see how after 14 years we’re, in many ways, back to the days of 1997.
Here are a few excerpts:
A Style Uniquely Suited to the Net
By Andrew Marlatt
October 27, 1997
Wanted: Casual, unauthoritative type, unmotivated by profit, predisposed to risk and willing to bend. Inexperience no problem.
This may seem an erroneous prescription for a CEO—unless, that is, you’re on the Internet, where today’s twentysomething leaders and their untraditional management style are credited with fueling much of the Internet’s phenomenal growth.
It’s not just that because they’re younger, Generation-X CEOs are more risk-tolerant or comfortable with technology. They are also more driven, more creative, and considerably less autocratic than the young CEOs of 10 years ago, said Jim Breyer, managing partner at San Francisco venture firm Accel Parters.
“I’ve noticed a fundamental emphasis on team-building in the Internet space,” he declared. “it’s occurring at a far more significant level than in other industries or at any time that I remember.”…
…Letting everybody in refers not just to hiring practices. Today’s young CEOs share equity better, issuing it earlier and to a broader base of employees than their older peers, said Nora Zeitz, partner with Menlo Park, Calif., venture firm New Enterprise Associates.
She credited this to the demographic group’s idealism, but others argued for pragmatism: By sharing the wealth, employees are motivated to put in the hours and the commitment needed to keep up with the Internet.”…
…[Jeffrey] Barth, however, believes the average age of the Internet CEO will begin to creep up as members of the older crowd increasingly see the value of the Internet and strike out on their own. For now, though, the average age seems to be falling…
So what do you think? A bit of déjà vu? Isn't what was being said about the “Internet” in 1997 being said about social media & mobile today?