Startup folk have brought us many wonderful things: Airbnb, maps on our phones and — best of them all — the Meme Generator app.
They have also, unfortunately, brought us "broetry": a peculiar kind of literature consisting of single-sentence paragraphs stuffed with motivational self-help mantras and a self-congratulatory conclusion that plagues once-sagacious social media platforms.
You can't go a minute on LinkedIn, aka Dead Broets Society, without stumbling headlong into yet another unflinching exploration — usually from a founder — of the hard-won lessons of a 15-minute business meeting.
A quick scroll on my feed unearthed the following nuggets of broetry:
- “Building a business is about the serendipity of connection.”
- “Winning mindshare leads to marketshare.”
- “I paid for Twitter Blue because if George Washington were alive today, he’d be paying too.”
- “One of the most underrated traits of the most successful founders: vengeance.”
- “Watching the Super Mario Bros Movie made me a better CFO." (Okay, I made this one up)
I’m being remorselessly delivered industrial quantities of fortune-cookie-level business wisdom. Here’s how to bring your delegating grade up from a D- to an A+. Here’s why your latest work screw-up was someone else’s fault. Here’s why you need to move all your team meetings to a birthing pool immediately. It needs to stop!
Perhaps I’m the wrong messenger — I’ve fewer than 800 Twitter followers, so I must have written some underwhelming things in my time — but shouldn’t we call time on the prose (brose?) of the LinkedIn haiku artists?
Unfortunately, it’s spreading: Twitter, which has recently enabled long tweets, is teeming with this tosh too.
But who knows, maybe the lady doth protest too much. The irony here is that the same traits that make certain guru-y tech people unpalatable also makes them, well, irresistible. We need these people babbling about 10x-ing and how it’s all about the journey not the finish line, because who doesn’t love poking fun at the latest Eat, Pray, Love-y screed that [name redacted] has written online? Take a couple of steps back and this is all a lovely piece of online performance art.
Maybe. Still, on balance I’d prefer my broetry in motion — aka moving far away from me.