Thorsten Veblen got it wrong.
The early 20th century University of Chicago social scientist (it was before they called his breed economists, I think) wrote in The Theory of the Leisure Class that there are two things you should do if you want to show the world how well off you are without uttering a word and thus sounding crass.
First, ensure that your wife doesn’t work outside of the home for money — volunteering and charity work are good because they expose wives to the community so that all can marvel at her free time and your earning ability. The second is to own a dog, for much the same reason — dogs take time to groom and exercise and they are thus trophies just like your non-working wife.
Good luck with that today.
There wasn’t much that Veblen got wrong. He was brilliant and more than a bit sardonic and he had a penchant for other professors’ wives. So great was his reputation that no scandal ever prevented him from getting hired but it did make for some interesting job interviews. In one, a question came up and his reply as it comes down to us was, “Gentlemen, I have seen your wives and you have nothing to worry about.”
He was right, I have seen pictures.
But Veblen was wrong about demonstrating your status or at least he would be today. In the early 21st century, the best way to demonstrate to the world how well off you are is to take over San Francisco for a week and invite your customers which is what Oracle has done again for Oracle Open World (OOW).
Somewhere north of forty thousand attendees are pouring in to the city in anticipation of tomorrow’s opening (though there is a welcome event this evening). As early as last Monday you could tell the rest of the world was paying attention to Oracle. The company’s stock began moving up early in the week in advance of Open World and in expectation of good earnings news, which was delivered last Friday.
No doubt good Oracle news is set to pour out of the Moscone Center this week with the company able to report on its first year of Oracle Fusion software and it’s first efforts with Sun Microsystems as a member of the fold. Closer to home, there will be more than 200 breakout sessions for CRM. A raft of CRM brainpower led by the inestimable Paul Greenberg and a cast of tens (quite a lot actually, though I haven’t seen everybody yet) has assembled to blog and tweet and Facebook the proceedings.
Like them, I am here to absorb as much as I can and to ask probing questions the answers to which I will relay back to you through this blog and assorted other venues in the CRM universe.
For fun and games Oracle has taken over Treasure Island one evening and invited a stellar cast of entertainers including The Black Eyed Peas, Steve Miller, Berlin and Don Henley. They’ve closed off a street and covered it with a tent where they intend to feed us lunch and the rest of the eateries around here eagerly anticipate our tourist dollars. There’s not much else they could do to make old Thorsten proud.
We’re ready, locked and loaded.
Ten-four good buddies.
Book ‘em Dano.
Over and out.