Zuckerberg’s hoodie and the arguments its spawned have amused me to no end. Now, I’m obviously not a Wall Street type of guy; one look at my bank account, not to mention my wardrobe (or lack thereof), suggests that I am a) a full-blown slacker with zero ambition, b) a pot-smoking layabout who would rather get stoned and play Skyrim all day, or c) someone who will never, ever rub elbows with those who make six figures. I came to terms with my lack of financial ambition eons ago, so you probably shouldn’t feel too sorry for me.
That having been said, I do feel that the boys and girls on Wall Street are starting to show their collective age. Why else would they complain about something a pointless as a hoodie? The only other explanation is that they have nothing better to do with their free time than to whine about what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wears to meetings. Since when did a person’s attire determine whether or not they were suitable to run a multi-billion dollar company? Truthfully, the whole debate is kind of embarrassing, and suggests there’s a generational chasm growing between modern, twenty-something businessmen and those who have been doing this sort of thing for a very, very long time.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter recently told Bloomberg that Zuckerbeg’s decision to wear a hoodie to a meeting with potential investors shows a lack of “maturity”. He went on to add that Zuckerberg would make a better product manager than a CEO. Pachter might be well respected in his field, but judging a book by its cover is never a good idea, especially when the book in question currently makes more than you do.
In a manner of speaking, Zuckerberg’s hoodie is Facebook’s unofficial trademark. While the CEO was building his empire, he was dressing exactly how he wanted to dress. As soon as the 27 year-old puts on Wall Street-approved attire, he’s going to be labeled a sell-out by his peers, thus ruining the image of Zuckerberg as some sort of Internet maverick, a man who made his fame and fortune on his own terms.
Now, I’m no analytical guru, and I don’t pretend to be. However, I do understand that, in this day and age, a guy can make a buck wearing nipple clamps while seated in his one-bedroom apartment. Zuckerberg is cashing his own checks, making his own decisions — at the moment, he answers to no one. The hoodie shows that he doesn’t have to play by anyone’s rules but his own, including those found in Pachter’s very narrow-minded playbook.
Am I way out of my league here? Does it matter what Zuckerberg wears when he meets with investors? At this stage in the game, shouldn’t they know what he’s all about? Leave your comments below.