and the controversy thereof

Last Monday I was let go from my position as Vice President of Sales and Business Development at a publicly traded company. Tuesday I woke up and decided that I would put the wheels into motion to follow my heart instead of my wallet while looking for my next position.

I wanted to be a part of the web 2.0 social marketing community and began to seek sales roles at companies that fit the description. Where better to start my journey than the kings of social – I love Facebook and saw that they were hiring. I applied for a Sales Director role.

Enthralled by Social Marketing I began to test my knowledge and see if I could leverage the medium to help my search. I dove headfirst into Twitter and began scanning for like minded individuals. I quickly discoverd @jamievaron and her site


I was amazed by her ingenuity. I immediately decided that I would start a “copy cat” site called I purchased the URL and implemented via I was thrilled. I shared the link with my friends and family via (where else).

A day later respectfully declined my application.


Well, not so fast. Personally, I think the whole experience was phenomenal, I also think Jamie is fantastic.  That’s mainly why I’m writing this post = I’m a bit disheartened to have read the following article today titled:

Why is a bad idea

By Heather Huhman

The author notes 6 reasons why. I’d like to defend my position as well as Jamie’s and respond to each point.

1. She’s pigeonholded herself.

Regarding @jamievaron I disagree.  The only companies she may have alienated are most likely companies that she wouldn’t like to work for.  I’m sure the guys at Digg think she’s creative and interesting.

Regarding@cdessi I really disagree. I have a masters degree in Marketing, and I’ve been in online sales for 11 years.  I’m not supposed to be able to produce a site like As I attempt to make the jump into the social marketing space this can only help.

2. She’s coming off desperate.

@jameivaron – I think she comes off as articulate, creative and passionate.  She’s asking for the job of her dreams. I don’t think that’s desperate at all. I admire her for it.  She’s young. It takes some people a lifetime to articulate what it is that they’d love to do.

@cdessi I was 🙂 (sort of)  The economy is horrible, and I need a J O B.  Why not work someplace I love and get there in a creative way? After 7 days being unemployed, luckily I’ve already been given an offer. I’ve been boring my entire career – what the heck. I have a home, a wife, and a baby girl to provide for, I’m sure nobody will fault me for trying.  My personal brand has already been damaged by two lay-offs due to economic conditions in one year.  I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by the exposure.

3. She’s stereotypical Generation Y

@jamievaron – No way. No way at all.  The stereotype does exist, and I’ve experienced in some of the team members I’ve managed.  This young lady has initiative, creativity and a passion.  The stereotype smacks of entitlement.  An entitled stereotypical Generation Y would have been offered a job at Twitter and then would complain to anyone that would listen when Twitter announces they can no longer offer free breakfast because of the economy.  Her site is an omage to Twitter. Not to her.  She’s pledging her undying love and affection for a company that has become a part of her life.  I’d hire a young woman like her in a second.

@cdessi – Hmmm..I’m generation X – I wonder what this says about me?  Maybe that the game has changed, and the normal procedure doesn’t apply?

4. She’s unprofessional

@jamievaron – I’m 34 and I’ve reported to 28 year old millionaires that show up at work in jeans and an Ed Hardy T-shirt. They negotiate million dollar deals via IM.  Professional has been redefined in the Web2.0 world.  If she walked in with a suit on and a brief case she wouldn’t fit into the culture at Twitter. The site is designed for  Micro Bloggin. It isn’t GE.  She’s being appropriately and refreshingly herself.

@cdessi – see above.

5. She’s controversial, and therefore a risk.

@jamevaron She’s part of a generation that has been posting personal photos of themselves on Myspace, facebook, friendster and the like since they were in their teens.  Their whole lives have unfolded online and shared with their entire world.  Considering the people she’s appealing to are her contemporaries I hardly think they’ll find this site controversial.

@cdessi For me – a 34 year  – perhaps this could be a dangerous move.  Again I’ll reference my two lay-offs in less than a year as a liability as well, but sometimes the contrarian is the guy that’s most innovative in the board room.  I’ll take that risk.

6. It’s been done.

@jamievaron – This is way off.  Facebook wasn’t the first social site.  Twitter may be the first micro blogging site, but I’m certain it’s not the last.  To say that @jamievaron’s “angle” is never going to be reproduced is silly.  I’m sure you’ll see even better iterations on her idea. Done with more flare, perhaps to an even more controversial effect.

@cdessi – I’m sure this idea will be replicated (hopefully with better results than mine) 🙂  I’ve seen stories on executives standing on street scorners.  This will be replicated and built upon as the economy continues to worsen and people need to find more creative ways to distinguish themselves.

2 Responses to and the controversy thereof

  1. Christopher, love your enthusiasm about Gen Y here, such a good vibe i’m getting from you about this stuff. No way she pigeonhold herself, she was bold and make her personal brand known faster than anyone i know!

  2. Jared O'Toole says:

    Love the boldness. Be creative thats how you make things happen. So what if twitter doesn’t hire her or facebook doesn’t hire you. Those types of acts can gin traction in this world so fast. Before you know it the next upcoming company catches wind of it and hires what they think is a perfect fit for their bold innovative environment.

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