By PAUL CARR
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Extra resources for Bringing Nothing To The Party
What was clear, even in those early days, was that Michael was my kind of entrepreneur: someone who took every opportunity he could find to blow his own trumpet. A few weeks after my article was published, Michael took me aside at a networking event and proudly showed me his new business card. Another thing to know about dot com entrepreneurs is that they put in a huge amount of effort to get their business cards just so. In fact, if you’re looking for the modern equivalent of Patrick Bateman – the lead character in Bret Easton Ellis’ novel American Psycho – you’d do well to spend some time hanging around in dot com companies.
God, I envied them. But now they’d lost everything and instead of shrugging and saying ‘ah well, it was good while it lasted, and fuck it, I’m still only twenty-two’, they blamed the market, the press, the fact that they were ahead of their time. Anything to avoid admitting their complicity in the bullshit instant-fame machine that they thought would make them rich. My favourite example of this phenomenon was Benjamin Cohen. 6 Benjamin – Ben – Cohen is one of that rare breed of people: someone I took a passionate dislike to from the very first time I heard his name, without even having met him.
7 It wasn’t just Sam and I who were having fun at Ben Cohen’s expense. The release was not exactly well received by the new media press, with many – including iconic geek news site The Register – simply printing the release verbatim and inviting readers to make their own comments. You see, journalists will tolerate falling victim to hype; they’ll tolerate overblown valuations and they’ll even embrace precocious sixteen-year-old kids who claim to be worth millions of pounds, while the journalists themselves struggle to pay their rent.