“These days – in the age of the super PAC and Citizens United – a campaign donor with a million dollars to spend isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A donor with a billion dollars. By any standard, Sean Parker is a very cool donor indeed. And this year, the 34-year-old co-founder of Napster is poised to bring his considerable fortune into the political world with fresh intensity, retaining advisers to bring new focus and sophistication to his political enterprises and preparing to make a significant investment in the 2014 election cycle.”
That’s a play on the infamous scene in The Social Network where Parker tells Mark Zuckerberg that what’s cool is not a million dollars, but a billion dollars.
In my non-expert opinion, no two sentences did more to
burst stall the social media bubble than that scene because it created an unachievable set of false expectations for an entire industry.
As I’ve explained while lecturing on the plateauing of social media, no great chef gets into the restaurant business to create a chain of Outback steakhouses; they do it to create one great restaurant at a time. They do it to become (maybe) millionaires, not billionaires.
Too many people in the social media/tech industry only want to be billionaires/Outback steakhouse owners. There’s no room in this world for great chefs slaving away at a three- or four-star restaurants, enjoying good lives.
There are no craftsman in Parker’s world, only ambitions to go viral.
Not that contemporary politics could get any worse, but let’s hope Parker’s way of thinking doesn’t infect politics the same way it has infected the technology industry.