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tinfoil.

and 3D glasses

14 wall street, at the nasdaq conference room

Monday, April 10, 2017
So last week I was given the task of accompanying one of our devs to an important Q&A today with a team of Wall Street execs who founded their own little start-up.

Which was surprising. Especially since:
  • My knowledge of the New York Stock Exchange, finance, and global economics is rather limited.
  • And my editorial process has always been primarily focused on our nation's politics, with some minor dabbling in world news.
  • So I spent all of last week thinking: Why me?!
But anyway. I went to work today in my absolute Sunday best, having reviewed all of my notes and expecting this grandeur adventure of professionalism once it came time for the meeting. But when we got there I was sort of taken aback by the casualness of it all. The tower's located right across the New York Stock Exchange where it's so congested. But there were only two guards at the lobby.

They took one look at us, made a quick call upstairs, and let us through the turnstiles no questions asked. The tower also had this really inconvenient system where the elevators weren't universal; they were assigned to specific floors: some odd and some even. It's not unheard of but it can be an inconvenience when you're not paying attention. So we did get lost on our way up.

We were then led by a secretary into an empty briefing room where my colleague and I were left to our own devices until our scheduled appointment. And surprisingly these guys were on time. They were dressed rather casually, in jeans, and seemed no older than their respective late 30s and 40s.

Throughout our conversation I could already sense that their entire business model was a vanity project. It felt very spur of the moment — as if these guys had one day decided that they'd coattail their fascination of developing a start-up company.

And there was one interesting exchange where I felt like I was being given an additional task. And that was to give some purpose to their main objective.

We didn't get to cover most of what my Editor in Chief had prepared for this meeting, so instead our Q&A revolved around my generation's perspective and how these execs could best appeal to the 'young entrepreneur' interested in having a piece of the world's capital market.

I felt like I was the one being interviewed.

And I went home feeling like I keep having the same conversations with these people. Despite how self-involved they tend to be they always seem to look for some kind of validation from me and my demographic, as if my personal opinion offers some importance to their self-worth.

They seem to have this undertone of being unfulfilled with their lives, sort of like the really insecure Nice Guy™ in its final and successful format — in that they don't view other people as individuals but as a means to an end. They lack original thought. And they tend to gravitate towards the unique with an intent to take from them.

It's very telling.

And with my future goals in mind I came out of this experience thinking — that's not the kind of person I'd ever want to be.