company went down in flames and the dot.com bubble tanked. I was one of hundreds of
thousands of people when the dot.com tide went out real fast and we were all stranded.”
The creative industries were all affected and it was quite a fall given the abundance of
freelance website development work in the late 90s. I remember billing $80 100 dollars
an hour (that was over ten years ago).
Steven notes, “The creative industries were all in such demand and were so hot at the time.
It was our Woodstock. I was recruiting for American Greetings and going to art schools.
The schools were complaining that so many students particularly the graphic designers
the tech kids, the animators they couldn’t hang onto them. These second year students
were sophomores and were off to L.A., Orlando and New York making 50, 60, 70, and 80
thousands a year –starting.”
Managing A Cacophonous, Chaotic, Entropic, Multi-headed Cluster Fuck
Of An Organization
Steven became a freelancer, “When MarchFIRST went under.” He adds, “I was meeting all
kinds of people who were getting these salaries and jobs titles whereas at MarchFIRST
they didn’t know shit none of us did. They were tasked with creating the new paradigm
the brave new world but they didn’t know anything about the world. I remember at
MarchFIRST having colleagues, creative directors that were so immature that were so
poorly suited to managing a cacophonous, chaotic, entropic, multi-headed, cluster fuck of
an organization.”
He adds, “I had a little more maturity and original discipline having been at American
Greetings. I didn’t know it at the time. I thought American Greetings was stodgy, boring,
unimaginative, uncreative and risk adverse. I didn’t appreciate the fact that it had a lot of
humanity and frankly was a rather mature organization. It was much more so a nurturing
and professional environment that developed people in a healthy way for responsibility,
change, ownership and leadership. Whereas the dot.com world, man you just call
yourself what you want print your cards go see a V.C. at breakfast get the check at
lunch and start buying a ton of fancy office furniture running around the country on
impulse and whim meeting people in airports all the time they’re the chief fill-in-the-
blank officer of some company that sounds like an African word and I didn’t know what
the company did or what it was for and I thought I must really be dumb. I must be so old
and out of it. I meet this guy and I say I don’t know what it’s about but it sounds cool. I
couldn’t possibly describe what he did and neither could he.”
According to the writer Henry Miller, “Confusion is a word we have invented for an order
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