Tuesday, July 29, 2008

On the Markets, Twitter, and Leading a Public Life

The markets are up today…and a few companies that I was concerned about beat earnings. This ordinarily should be good news, and in a lot of ways it is. I am very glad that oil is starting to show some signs of cracking. Whether this is sustainable will surely take some time to decipher, and the bad housing news unfortunately does not bode well for the economy.

However, today’s moves in the markets happened to coincide with an exchange that I had with a senior, and brilliant, investor that ended with us coming out on the opposite sides of an issue. The thing is, I feel strongly about my view, and even after considering his perspective I stand beside my own. The challenge for me is that when I am faced with information suggesting some of my views are mistaken, it becomes difficult to remain confident in other parts of my thesis…

How does any of this “markets” talk relate to Twitter?

Twitter for me represents a new form of social interaction. Yesterday at the #smcla event, I experienced a now somewhat usual event: I met someone I have “known” on Twitter for months for the first time “in person.” She was as charming face-to-face as expected, and although I have had a few of these online-offline merges over the last few months, it is still somewhat jarring for the first few seconds of the conversation as the impressions from the textual communications are fused with those of the voice, image, and in person mannerisms.

Twitter has allowed me to interact with a whole new group of people that I likely would have never met if not for its existence. These interactions have also created a new “public” image of myself, where I talk about my daily-goings-on, share small observations on life, and recently, I have even linked my Twitter to this venue of more extensive expressions.

In doing so, I have *opened* myself to the world, and as a result I am now living a more public life than ever before. Even when involved in student government and other apparently public activities, I never really put my opinions out for examination in a public forum – speeches and meetings were scripted, thought out, and muted.

But on this blog, on Twitter, and now in my career, I am stating my opinion publicly – putting a stake in the ground, on the record so to speak. And in doing so, I am subject to observation, disagreement, and often I am wrong for the entire world to see.

This feeling of public mistake and the observation of it has been difficult to digest…

But the benefits that come from Twitter, and from having a conversation with those of you who read this blog are worth the angst.

Plus, we just had an earthquake here in Los Angeles – sometimes life helps to put things in perspective.

So I will continue to participate in these conversations, meet new friends on Twitter and elsewhere, and I will even take chances in my career. As the brilliant Marshall Mathers once observed, “You only get one shot...”

2 comments:

Jordyne said...

Your more public life allows stalkers (er, I mean, fans) like me to follow you better :-p

Anonymous said...

Don't know who the person was that you had the conversation/debate with, but know that you have been "right-on" regarding coming days in the markets and economy from as far back as two years ago (probably longer) ...when some thought you were way off base. You are insightful and brilliant where these things are concerned. Glad there are many who recognize your talent and expertise. MAM/MOM