Okay, so you were a geek in high school, couldn’t get the girl, and got tossed in the dumpster regularly by bullies. None of that really matters when you form a company that changes the world and makes you a billionaire, right?
Then you realize having all that money and no fashion sense just makes you an even bigger target. GQ recently did a very funny ranking of the worst dressed men from Silicon Valley, and it’s very funny to see these guys get the Mr. Blackwell treatment.
Just a sample of their Joan Rivers style-commentary: how about Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist: “To the surprise of no one, the guy who started Craigslist dresses like a guy who stalks Craigslist – wrinkled shirts, oversized blazers and a beret fetish.”
There’s a picture of Howard Stringer where he indeed looks like he’s wearing a life vest, Smartphone founder Seth Priebatsch is called to task for his “signature ski goggles, sandals, ‘lucky’ backpack, and shirts that bleed ‘Jersey Shore’ orange,” Blaker Krikorian, CEO of Sling Media, looks like “a Project Runway challenge gone horribly awry.”
How about Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn? “Easy to mistake for the cable guy.”
Not to mention Bill Gates goes for the “lazy preppy approach.” This list was compiled before the untimely passing of Steve Jobs, who GQ joked “never gets an upgrade. Black turtleneck, dad jeans, Seinfeld kicks – a style blunder no AutoCorrect can fix.”
Funny enough, as we’ve reported on TG, the Daily Beast liked Jobs’s look, calling it a good example of “geek chic,” and Jobs showed his biographer, Walter Issacson, his stockpile of black turtlenecks in his closet.
#1 on the list? Mark Zuckerberg, and his ensemble does indeed look very thrown together, thrown together while blindfolded, actually.
Funny enough, there have been quite a few geniuses who had absolutely no fashion sense. It’s been reported that Einstein wore the same outfit every day because he didn’t want anything to impede on his brilliant thought.
Stanley Kubrick had a closet full of the exact same shirts and pants, and wore the same beat up sneakers forever, and disgraced financier Ivan Boesky also had a closet full of the exact same suits. (As reported in the book Den of Thieves, which chronicled the insider trading scandal of Boesky Ivan and Michael Milken, Ivan told people he had enough decisions to make every day).
So is the hidden message here dress like a slob, and don’t worry about fashion because it will impede your progress as a genius? I’ve been trying it for years myself, I’ll let you know if it eventually works out.