People ask me all the time, “What blogs do you read?” The answer is that I read different ones at different times. It’s a mood thing, I think. I could give you my favorite blogs for finding cool research, or my favorite blogs from my friends, or my favorite fashion blogs for when I don’t know how to wear a pair of shoes I love. But the list I’m going to do today is the list of blogs I read when I get frustrated that running a company is so hard.
Oh, I love Owen Thomas. He has a knack for making anything in Silicon Valley look totally stupid. And he is so sharp, that when I am feeling totally stupid, he can actually make me believe that I’m not alone. Art Spiegelman elevated the comic book format by using it to talk about the Holocaust. Owen Thomas elevates the gossip rag format by using it to tell people how to run a business.
You know what? I hate reading this blog because it’s like a frat party but they forgot the beer and the girls. Still, I know that part of feeling like a competent entrepreneur is knowing what’s going on in the community. Plus, who can begrudge Michael Arrington kudos for making the most boring topic in the world — big egos taking down big egos — funny and interesting?
My own blog
Anyone with decent traffic who denies going to their blog for comfort is a liar. The first thing I do is go to the posts with more than 200 comments. I tell myself everyone loves me and I’m part of a vibrant community. So what if, on a typical post, 50% of the commenters say that I’m an idiot? Then I look at my stats page, and click obsessively to the posts people are reading right now. Then I look at the post about how high-earning women get more oral sex and I try to figure out how much money I’ll earn this year.
The problem with being a CEO is that when it’s going well, you think everyone is good and kind and the world is a great place. And when things are not going well, suddenly everyone is an asshole. So when things are not going well for me, I go to this blog because my asshole factor is nothing compared to this real-life New York City waiter. Bonus: The writing is beautiful.
Debauchette (not safe for work)
Look, if you don’t know what to do next with your company, you’re probably going to stop working for the day, and you will either eat or masturbate. What else is there? If you don’t want to put on twenty pounds while you’re trying to get funding, then go to debauchette. I’s such good writing about sex: so honest and intelligent. You must see the interview the blogger does with Diane Sawyer. And you must check out the American Apparrel ads on the sidebar: Bare breasts. So unexpected.
In my fantasy world, Brazen Careerist and GigaOM are very similar. In fact, Om and I were both columnists at Business 2.0. So he’s doing great over there — with something like $50 million gazillion in funding or whatever — so I think that somewhere there are people who think my model is similar and money is going to fall from the sky really soon. Then I see that GigaOm made itself a little darker blue and I think about doing the same thing on Brazen Careerist.
How to Change the World
There’s a lot to love about Guy. First, I think Alltop is genius. The fact that Silicon Valley makes fun of it is evidence to me that the rest of the country will find it very useful. And he is so smart about finding fast ways to construct good blog posts. And he’s great at marketing himself as a speaker. When Brazen Careerist runs out of money, I think about Guy: I should be better at marketing myself as a speaker. I got paid $15,000 a speech last year. I should fund the company with speeches. Duh.
The problem with me running my company is that it’s much more fun to be a blogger than a CEO. In this recession, funding my company is harder than writing posts about the intersection of the workplace and sex. So if I feel stuck in funding, I go to Copyblogger, get a few pointers, put them into my post, and then congratulate myself that I am such a good blogger. If only there were hockey stick financials for a blog like mine. I’d be set.