The weird social life of a tech CEO in Michigan

By on March 28, 2013 6:57:34 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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The number of tech companies in Michigan is…well not very high.  And I’ve noticed a trend over the past 20 years: As time goes on, an ever increasing percentage of my friends that I talk to socially boil down to one of 3 categories:

  1. Lawyers.  When I started the company, I didn’t know any lawyers. The first lawyer I hired I found through the yellow pages. At our 10 year anniversary, I think about a quarter of my active friends were lawyers. Today, it’s probably about half.  A tech CEO ends up spending a lot of time with lawyers due to the nature of intellectual property. Being in Michigan means lawyers are the ones you actually see the most.
  2. Journalists.  Let me be the first to tell you that being friends with journalists doesn’t equate to preferential treatment. I spend far more time worried that they’ll knock us down a point in order to eliminate the appearance of bias.  Journalists make good friends because they often share the same interests and, like CEOs, typically have to deal with a ton of different topics.
  3. Other tech leaders. This is a more generalized area but one that is probably surprising to most consumers. The reason you rarely see CEOs (especially ones in the game industry) criticize other companies is because they’re likely friends outside of work.

That isn’t to say that represents 100% of my friends.  Most of my other friends are people I work with on a day to day basis.  In terms of broad generalizations, that’s what I’m seeing.

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March 28, 2013 7:57:02 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

You really need to find some new friends....that are actually human....

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March 29, 2013 4:00:39 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The non CEO/Journalist/Lawyer types, ones you bend an elbow with at the local gin mill.

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March 29, 2013 9:23:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums
People who actually *see* you and *listen* to you, sans the filter of CEOness. People who might share other aspects of your personality: altruism, charity, justice, compassion, etc. which sometimes may become excessively 'focused' through the attorney/merchandising professional rubrics.
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May 10, 2013 10:55:51 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Give me call and we'll have lunch.

 

I'm a  collector, I'll bet you never had to deal with one of my type

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May 10, 2013 3:38:46 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I'd be interested to hear more about your issues with IP.

 

What have been your most serious problems in this regard?

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May 10, 2013 4:47:01 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Many people have a lot of Friends. Someone they can have coffee with, go out together now and than. Really most of them if not all are just people we know. Like saying I have 10,000 friends on Facebook. Are these people really friends/

Now if spomeone says they have many true friends I wouldn't agree. True friends are hard to come by. The one you can say anything to and it will never leave their lips. One that will do anything for you at any time and never expect anything back but yet they know if they need help you would be there. One that understands your situation and respects you no matter what.

So I could say I have a lot of friends. I pefer to just say that I know a lot of people. A CEO knows many people or friends as it's said but how many would one really trust with their life besides family and than maybe not all of them either.

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May 10, 2013 5:07:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

We can be friends Brad!  Good friends!  We can tell each other secrets!  We can drink tea together!  Make out!  Play games together!  We can build a fort under the covers together, but don't invite the wives!  Did I mention I keep secrets?  

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May 13, 2013 8:22:42 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

    Thought of our esteemed leader with this one.  

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May 16, 2013 6:58:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Brad, why don't you count your family--wife, kids, others--in among the groups of close friends?

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