It is official. With today’s headlining “What’s The Best Measurement For Success? Happiness” article from The World’s Chief of Drivel, Richard Branson, LinkedIn has succumbed to the “99%.”
No, not the 99% of OccupyVille. We refer here to the 99% who like their business content plain and simple. No looks under the dirty hood. No boring case studies please. No provocative takes against popular trends.
Just keep those “top five” lists and the same ol’ same ol’ stories about passion and fun coming.
Sir Richard, as we’ve illustrated before, can spew this stuff better than anyone. Rich, and rich as hell, he can – without a whiff of irony – toss this off:
“By focussing [sic] on people’s well-being rather than economic productivity, there is likely to be a knock-on effect for business too…Money is a by-product..”
Reminds us of the old joke, “How do you end up with $1 million from investing in the stock market? Start with $2 million.” In Branson’s happy world it would go like this – “How do you become a happy businessman? Make your first $1 million.”
Being part of the 1% who like useful content, we’d actually prefer to see Branson pen something like “why Virgin can’t run a profitable U.S. airline business.”
The LinkedIn link in this, if you will (see Mitt Romney), is that as of this writing, over 800 alleged business people/LinkedIn members have posted a comment on Branson’s happy talk. Amazing, as that is now four times as many words as his “thought piece” contained.
LinkedIn has figured out one of the dirty little secrets of social networking: garden-variety business people don’t want to be linked with the 99% who are just like them. They prefer to link with “thought leaders” like Richard Branson, whose next post will surely be about passion. In business. Or fun. In business.
But there’s another dirty little secret. For a public company like LinkedIn, this thoughtless content won’t have enough legs to outrun Wall Street. Since “blowing away” expectations on its November 1st quarterly earnings call, LinkedIn is inexplicably down more than 10%, almost three times that of the S&P 500.