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World's Greatest CEO?
July 1, 2001 9:17 PM   Subscribe

World's Greatest CEO? Comparison shopping site MySimon.com had its namesake character animated by Blur studios, and placed into a live-action commercial where he goes to a party and tells everyone how much cheaper they could have gotten various items in attendance. Apparently Frank DiMauro of Chapel Hill, NC didn't like the commercials and told the CEO of the animation studio who really could've cared less what Frank thought. I wish all CEO's had the nutz to reply to jerks like this guy. (Thanx to the Digital Pimps at BadAssMofo for this story and link).
posted by suprfli (30 comments total)

 
Agreed - and on top of that, Blur is a very good studio. The link I had is dead now, but they used to have a list of what to do and what now to do to get a job with them, i.e. "Don't stop by the office. Don't send us a link to your website." etc. Pretty cool stuff, good advice for an aspiring animator as well.
posted by GriffX at 9:29 PM on July 1, 2001


Yeah, man, if only all CEO's would take time out of their day to make dick jokes. That sure is something to wish for.
posted by Doug at 9:33 PM on July 1, 2001


Even the guy you just awarded the World's Greatest CEO trophy admits, "I was in a funny mood that morning. I was being purposefully juvenile, purposely sophomore-ish. Maybe it got a little out of hand."

Fuck you.

I wonder if Mr. Miller responds to criticism similarly from clients and employees?

I'll bet your dick is very small.

I don't think the best CEOs are juvenile and sophomoric. I've worked for CEOs like Miller. Nobody likes working for — or working with — someone whose insecurity drives them to lash out given the slightest provocation. What a jerk.
posted by barkingmoose at 9:39 PM on July 1, 2001


The source of the email is a frequent MetaFilter contributor, by the way.
posted by mathowie at 9:51 PM on July 1, 2001


"who really could've cared less"

about every hundredth time I see this mistake I feel compelled to reply ---
If you can care less that means that you care.
If you don't care then you could NOT care less.

sorry for being off topic and being a nitpicking jerk.

(I have a really bad feeling about this...)
posted by drunkkeith at 10:43 PM on July 1, 2001


Juvenile and pathetic maybe, but sort of refreshing in comparison to the usual milquetoast corporate speak.
I'll always take a direct fuck you over being spoken down to by some empty, duplicitous suit with a room temperature IQ.
posted by dong_resin at 10:55 PM on July 1, 2001


keith, did you read this sunday's jumpstart comic?
posted by lotsofno at 11:16 PM on July 1, 2001


"who really could've cared less"

Actually, this is usually used in a sarcastic way, the sense being something like an abbreviated version of "as if I could have cared less." This according to linguist Steven Pinker, who defends the construction in The Language Instinct.
posted by kindall at 11:17 PM on July 1, 2001


Whoa, whoa. Hold on there. I didn't write the Blur e-mail.; I'm not Frank DiMauro. I just forwarded his e-mail conversation onto Phil "Pud" Kaplan. I originally got it from Mat Honan, at honan.net.
posted by waxpancake at 12:52 AM on July 2, 2001


Wouldn't it be fun if Frank DiMauro was an ex NFL linebacker who carries his balls in a wheelbarrow, and he shows up at blurry-boy's front door and rips his bangled ears off?

Or am I just feeling extra-confrontational?
posted by Opus Dark at 1:46 AM on July 2, 2001


I am reminded of the CEO of Diesel who when recieved a complaint about an magazine ad which showed two men kissing replied to the complainer saying "we don't want you buying our products anymore".

CEO as human, Discuss.

I think the boy done well. Ask anyone who deals with the public how much respect your boss would get if he turned round to the customer from hell and said "fuck you".
posted by fullerine at 3:25 AM on July 2, 2001


Am I the only one who is in complete agreement with the author of the complaint email?
posted by Spanktacular at 3:32 AM on July 2, 2001


"we don't want you buying our products anymore" = confrontational, direct, human, shocking, grown-up, brand-reinforcing (?), and the only real response that a creator of goods, services, media, fiction, whatever can offer to a minority offended.

making dick-jokes = unfunny, childish, purile, dumb.... and just generally uninspiring and demoralising to read.
posted by blackbeltjones at 3:40 AM on July 2, 2001


MySimon is about the ugliest logo/mascot I've ever seen. Maybe the CEO was uptight because he knows how bad it is-- notice how even in the middle of telling the guy how small his dick is, he makes sure to point out that they didn't even design it. They must know how crap it really is, hence the protesting too much.
posted by FPN at 3:59 AM on July 2, 2001


The site sucks ass, to boot.
posted by dong_resin at 4:12 AM on July 2, 2001


fullerine writes:
I think the boy done well.


The boy done stupid. And I bet his funders have mentioned it to him.

In olden times, before the great crash of 2000, cutting slack for idiot savant geek CEOs was de rigueur. Now, companies are expected to present with a full set of skills, technical and social. I wouldn't hire this clown to motion-design me a Pong knock-off.

Design, any kind of design, benefits from the application of a wide range of talents and skills. This guy has displayed a singular lack of imagination, a dreadful lack of writing skill, and an unforgivable lack of social grace. He is a loser-waiting-to-embarrass-clients-or-cost-them-money-and-good-will.

A full-fledged ghost-written public apology is the guy's best hope.
posted by Opus Dark at 4:14 AM on July 2, 2001


Am I the only one who thinks the CEO lost the battle of wits? What the hell does "obscurely proud" mean?
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 4:20 AM on July 2, 2001


As dong_resin noted the standards for decorum in corporate correspondence are high enough that if Miller wanted to appear tough or offend his critic (which seemed to be his goal) he could have done it without resorting to profanity and little-dick remarks. (Or misusing words like 'obscurely.' Vocabulary insecurities on top of all the other ones...)
What really gets me about guys like Miller is that once he's called on his bad move instead staying in character and saying 'I didn't take my company to where it is today by pandering to inconsequential fuckwads' (the whole blur.com site is/was filled with that kind of talk relating to potential clients, potential employees, etc) or whatever, he makes some weaselly half-baked apology for 'feeling sophomoric' that day. What a coward.
And also - did anyone notice that DiMauro's original email was addressed to webman@blur.com? I think at most companies the emails addressed to the general delivery address wouldn't make it past the temp working the front desk.
posted by twitch at 4:34 AM on July 2, 2001


Before I read it I thought (from the comments here and on the Reg) that the "fuck you" guy sounded cool. But reading the exchange he's pretty much chewed over and spat out by the other poster who comes across as just as hard but a lot smarter and (curiously0 more helpful.

Anyone who thinks the "fuck you" approach is cool and hasn't read the exchange should really read it...
posted by andrew cooke at 4:52 AM on July 2, 2001


twitch writes:
What really gets me about guys like Miller is that once he's called on his bad move instead staying in character[...]


Very good point. Privately, and for the entertainment of his employees, he's Tim the Terrible, and when he gets spy-cammed, he morph/shrinks into Tim the Timid. Makes the company's swaggering attitude appear to be little more than a scripted PR ploy.

I'm actually starting to feel sorry for the guy - I've needed a small-stuff time-machine once or twice myself...
posted by Opus Dark at 4:52 AM on July 2, 2001


Does everyone realize that Blur simply did the animation and that's it? They aren't the creators of the character and they aren't part of MySimon.com. They are animators. They did the animation. That's it. Why would a guy e-mail the animators to tell them that he doesn't like the character and doesn't like MySimon? I can understand if he e-mailed to tell them their animation sucks and looks like shit and at least that would've been a valid criticism that the CEO could've reponded to. Some people still seem to be missing that point when reading this exchange of e-mails. That doesn't automatically justify the CEO's reactions but at least it helps you to see where he's coming from.

kindall: "could've cared less"
i appreciate your interpretation of my mistake but my point is that there was obviously some level of caring by the CEO otherwise he wouldn't have even replied therefore he could've cared less but didn't.
posted by suprfli at 6:38 AM on July 2, 2001


He loses any cred he gained, in my mind, for not realizing that the proper adjectival form of "sophomore" is "sophomoric", not "sophomore-ish". What a sophomoric error to make.

(Random thought: I have always liked the not-quite-a-word "sophomoronic")
posted by jammer at 6:48 AM on July 2, 2001


The guy's an out-of-touch, insecure idiot. Next post, please.
posted by rushmc at 6:56 AM on July 2, 2001


A C.E.O. is powerful when he/she is referred to in the second-person as, 'The Chairman' (like Man-kind, The Chairman has yet to reach gender neutral status)
posted by clavdivs at 7:07 AM on July 2, 2001


Pathetic. What a whiny, whiny, sad little man is Tim Miller.

From the Salon article:
And with lines like "what were you guys thinking?" DiMauro's failed to acknowledge that the MySimon idea came from an advertising firm, not Blur. "If you're not really constructive, you can't expect a constructive answer," Davis says.

Where did this idea come from that any and all criticism must be offered with an olive branch and a solution? This attitude seems very prevalent online and I'm seeing it more and more in everyday life. Is it because so many people online are new to the "spotlight"?

Who cares whether DiMauro's email was misdirected? Obviously, Blur had something to say about it and Miller is so clearly telegraphing his own insecurity about the MySimon (So, what *were* you thinking?) character.

I think the whole thing is pretty disgusting. People like this guy *are* the reason that some dot.com companies failed. It's embarassing for the whole industry. And, it's a shame that he still has a job.
posted by amanda at 9:19 AM on July 2, 2001


I handle customer relations for clients... and I can't fathom why BLUR didn't just reply with something along these lines (with appropriate editing for "voice"):

"Your feedback was directed to the wrong people. We animated the character "Simon", but otherwise had nothing to do with its creation. If you want your feedback to be of value, please send your comments to the folks at XYZ, who are responsible for the MySimon mascot."

You don't offend, you educate... and then move on.

Someone should fire that CEO.
posted by silusGROK at 10:00 AM on July 2, 2001


Vis10n: DiMauro made exactly that point. Andrew's right, he buried that nasty CEO in the exchange. Fire Miller, hire DiMauro.
posted by frykitty at 10:19 AM on July 2, 2001


That guy needs to hear the clue phone ringing for him -- you don't answer non-personal complaints with personal invective for any reason. He was just simply and basically out of line. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever to justify such a response to the DiMauro e-mail or for the folks at Blur to put up with such an unthinking "leader" at their helm.
posted by Dreama at 10:21 AM on July 2, 2001


jammer: Etymological note: Did you know that the "more" of "sophomore" actually derives from the same root as "moronic"? In fact, "sophomore" (from the Greek) means "wise fool."
posted by macrone at 10:59 AM on July 2, 2001


Yes, I'm aware of that, macrone. That's what always puts "sophomoronic" in mind when I'm thinking about sophomores. :)
posted by jammer at 1:29 PM on July 2, 2001


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