Computer-Error-Replace-User

LinkedIn: User Error

I saw this great picture yesterday that I thought was the perfect portrait to describe LinkedIn. And now I can’t find it. Complete disconnect. Grrr. I should have saved it, right then & there.

I even have Evernote (and love it) and Instapaper (and love it), still managed to not clip it. Docstoc, Tumblr, Facebook, I searched my Google History, Twitter. None of them helped. And now the magical moment to share with you is gone. Don’t you hate that? All this great technology at our finger tips and user error is what still undoes me. Lame.

I’ll tell you when I looked at Linkedin.com for the picture, I realized I don’t really use at all. I mean, I’m connecting with people —  something like 15 people connected with me today (that I sent invites to like 4 years ago). And I’ll admit it — I’m racing to get the 500+ cool guy club (without connecting to people I don’t “Know”). But outside of that, I dunno. My friends ask me to connect them with others sometimes– so I get that is valuable, but is that worth $10 billion dollars? I guess I just don’t get it. User error, I suppose.

I’ll tell you about the picture though. It was a Linkedin Promo shot actually. Probably from a their old homepage. You might know which I’m talking about… She was a CFP  and the picture had her profile highlights showing “landed my dream job” “got 3 recommendations”. Now, to the untrained eye– it implies transparency, success through connection, blah blah blah. I get it. Nothing too out of whack about that. But to me…Well, I know financial professionals can’t have recommendations on their profile… that would constitute a testimonial, which current rules strictly prohibit. On the surface it’s nothing big, I know. But underneath, it’s a world of wrong.

Via ReformedBroker

The same could be said of the IPO. It’s not that I’m not happy for the bankers & silicon valley, I am. I’ll always celebrate innovative success. I think social media is exciting & revolutionary. But let’s look at “the why” of this nascient stock’s success critically, shall we?

First, let’s review the tape. Goldman sold all their shares. I’m going to repeat that, the smartest, most connected vampire squid in the world sold ALL of their shares at $45 a share– before everyone got all click crazy to buy.

And so, who is really buying this stock all the way to the moon? Actually, You. See, most the VCs & banks are cashing out, and passing the stratospheric valuation to you, through your mutual funds & managers. And the funds are buying it, because if this thing didn’t doesn’t do well, there won’t be the avalanche of more social media IPOs to come, which is almost surely inevitable now.

It’s not a bubble. I know. It’s a freight train. Of more $10 billion dollar valuations companies that haven’t turned a meaningful profit or offered a clear monetization plan. And of companies that still didn’t help me find the picture I wanted to share from yesterday.

But I guess nothing can help us from user error.

Great Stuff:

Game On – The Reformed Broker

The Ultimate LinkedIn Linkfest – Abnormal Returns