Sunday, April 3, 2011

I've looked at Clouds from both sides now, Take II

In some respects, this commercial would have made a lot more sense back in the late-1990s. I mean, wasn't it back then that every smarmy, semi-educated twentysomething thought that he was just a few clicks away from taking his "Start Up" to the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and himself out of his mom's basement into a plush Manhattan penthouse apartment?

Of course, back then, the "CEOs" of these mostly Fly-By-Night .com entities couldn't keep in constant contact with the rest of the dreamers on the "payroll," such as it was, because cell phones were still very limited in their utility, and the internet was something you accessed through phone lines. All this made it a lot harder to pretend to be doing the job you were hired to do and basically steal time from your boss while organizing your dream enterprise. Nowadays, everyone over the age of six has a high-end I Phone or Blackberry, and now, thanks to "The Cloud," we are all in touch and ready to crunch numbers and organize graphs and all those other really important things that people who want to get rich do to...well, get rich. I guess.

So the self-important Cloud Person in this ad spends a great deal of time coordinating, planning, and sharing, and when it's all done, he can whip off the apron and dump the job at Starbucks that was only keeping him in pizza and expensive gadgets. As far as I can see, the "CEO" doesn't even inform the poor manager of the coffee joint that "hey, thanks for giving me a job at a place which is also a Hot Spot, and not paying enough attention to notice that while I was supposed to be emptying the garbage cans between whipping up lattes and keeping the skim milk dispensers, I was actually using you to do my own work. See ya later, sucker."

As if this isn't all appallingly obnoxious enough, he lets his ex-coworker know that no, there is no room on his Cloud Team for him. That poor dope is just out of luck, because he was too focused on doing his job, and not enough on cheating his employer.

So it's come to this. 20th century morality blended seamlessly with 21st century technology. All we can hope is that this "CEO's" Start-Up ends like pretty much all the Start Ups of the 1990s did- in the dustbin, surrounded by a big pile of worthless stock. And that this guy ends up back in his mom's basement, wishing he could work up the courage to walk back into that coffee shop and ask for his old job back.

1 comment:

  1. They need a more accurate tag line: "Microsoft: wasting heroic means on mean ends since 1975."