Quelling ones Jobs-like tendencies July 24, 2012 8:20 AM   Subscribe

He displayed a graph of his mid-twenties existence, with the bar representing work towering over the one for personal life. Now that he’s 40, the bar heights are reversed. Mathowie, family man/firm rejector of corporate villiany, is featured in this month's Wired cover story.
posted by obscurator to MetaFilter-Related at 8:20 AM (62 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Why do you love Fiona more than us, Daddy?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:29 AM on July 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Interesting article. It should maybe be an FPP, even though it does mention Matt.
posted by philipy at 8:32 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


It’s worth pointing out that these male rejectors have wound up where most female entrepreneurs have been all along. Women CEOs and managers didn’t need a biography of an absent father to start thinking about balancing work and family; unlike the fortysomething dudes, they’ve been having conversations about this trade-off most of their lives.

Rat Own!!
posted by Melismata at 8:34 AM on July 24, 2012 [9 favorites]


I like the first comment:

Guess I'm old fashioned, but to me 'changing the world' doesn't mean being more successful than your competitors at selling consumer electronics.

Also, if you search Wired for "Haughey", the result is four pages of links.
posted by orange swan at 8:35 AM on July 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


Interesting article. It should maybe be an FPP, even though it does mention Matt.

Call him "MeFi's own" and watch people freak out.
posted by Artw at 8:50 AM on July 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


When I follow the link all I see is an article about Steve Jobs. Where is there anything about Mathowie?
posted by alms at 8:55 AM on July 24, 2012


Okay, found it. Page 3.
posted by alms at 9:00 AM on July 24, 2012


The relevant paragraph, roughly half-way through:
Matt Haughey, founder of the community weblog Metafilter, addresses this point directly in a presentation called “Lessons From a 40- Year-Old,” which he delivered last February at the web-design conference Webstock. Haughey remarked that he was grayer, his daughter was turning 7, he had recently put down a longtime pet, and he had experienced his own near-brush with cancer (a brain tumor that turned out to be benign). Haughey heard many in his cohort—most of them devoted Jobs followers—saying, “It is time not to end up like Steve.” So rather than trying to create the next Apple, he proposed building a “lifestyle business,” a smaller-scale enterprise that rejects venture capital and funds itself, leaving its owner time for pursuits outside of work. He displayed a graph of his mid-twenties existence, with the bar representing work towering over the one for personal life. Now that he’s 40, the bar heights are reversed.
posted by Wretch729 at 9:02 AM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I too reject the idea of being like Steve Jobs.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:04 AM on July 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


this month's Wired cover story.

This is actually the second time Matt's made the cover.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:06 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure, but it's no Brill's Content.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:07 AM on July 24, 2012 [15 favorites]


Call him "MeFi's own" and watch people freak out.

Yes, when clearly instead it should be "owns MeFi"
posted by drlith at 9:08 AM on July 24, 2012 [32 favorites]


cortex: "Sure, but it's no Brill's Content."

Poor Brill's Content doesn't even have a Wikipedia page.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:12 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


it's no Brill's Content.

Remember when Matt dressed up as Washington for the cover of George? Good times.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:16 AM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


MCMikeNamara: "
Poor Brill's Content doesn't even have a Wikipedia page.
"

I kind of liked Brill's Content. Though I can't forgive it for exposing me to Jonah Goldberg.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:16 AM on July 24, 2012


Cool. Thanks for this.
posted by rtha at 9:20 AM on July 24, 2012


I liked to imagine it was Brill's content. Like, everything's groovy with Steve Brill.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:23 AM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Though I can't forgive it for exposing me to Jonah Goldberg.

You exposed yourself to Jonah Goldberg?
posted by goethean at 9:28 AM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great article. Probably wouldn't have read it otherwise. Thanks.
posted by slogger at 9:35 AM on July 24, 2012


goethean: "You exposed yourself to Jonah Goldberg?"

The whole weekend is a blur, thank God.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:42 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, everytime I think he couldn't be more of a shitstain, he proves me wrong.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:45 AM on July 24, 2012


The bulk of that article was about how Steve Jobs was a major-league douche.
posted by Renoroc at 9:45 AM on July 24, 2012


Jobs, not mathowie.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:45 AM on July 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


I talked to this reporter for a while so I was surprised that he chose the least scientific/qualitative thing in my entire talk (I made up the graph, I said so when I showed it). But yeah, cool, and I loved Jeff Atwood's quote about fucking up iPads, not raising your children.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:59 AM on July 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


t’s worth pointing out that these male rejectors have wound up where most female entrepreneurs have been all along...

Caught that too as a very important observation and one you don't encounter too often - especially not so positively framed.

Nice portrayal of Matt! Interesting piece.
posted by Miko at 10:20 AM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, when my Webstock talk first went online and people were chattering on Twitter about it, I got quite a few responses from women saying that anyone calling my talk revolutionary was only saying it because women had been dealing with the same position for centuries, and it's true. I'm glad he included that subtle jab in the article.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:31 AM on July 24, 2012 [22 favorites]


It's kind of interesting to compare and contrast this article to last month's (unfortunately titled) Why Women Still Can't Have It All. Also I second the motion that this should be a FPP.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:36 AM on July 24, 2012


Well I'm proud that the leader of this site has his values ranked properly. Yay, mathowie.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:38 AM on July 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


I got quite a few responses from women saying that anyone calling my talk revolutionary was only saying it because women had been dealing with the same position for centuries

That was always my response to the cult of GTD.

But lifestyle business sounds a little pervy. At the same time it's nice to be able to have "corporate" values that are more similar to human values. We get to talk about ads being a necessary evil and not the mission that drives the rest of our content.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:01 AM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Call him "MeFi's own" and watch people freak out.

MeFi's Own or Owns Mefi?

I am confusion.
posted by lampshade at 11:22 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


lampshade: "MeFi's Own or Owns Mefi?"

MeFi's Owner
posted by Rock Steady at 11:37 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


MeFi's Own Owner.
posted by boo_radley at 12:17 PM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ahh...I feel better now.
posted by lampshade at 12:50 PM on July 24, 2012


At the same time it's nice to be able to have "corporate" values that are more similar to human values.

Corporations are people, my friend.
posted by atrazine at 1:48 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought soylent green was people.
posted by Melismata at 1:57 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


People who need eat people...
posted by Mister_A at 2:02 PM on July 24, 2012


Does that mean that we can eat corporations now?

"The Supreme Court said we could!"

My luck, they'd make me eat Chick-fil-A
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:37 PM on July 24, 2012


are the huuuuungriest people
in the wooooooooorld
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:49 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I celebrated two months ago when I, on Disability for 7 years after having survived Congestive Heart Failure and an antibiotic-resistant staph infection, reached the same age that Steve Jobs was when he died. Living well IS the best revenge. And just living is pretty good.

Also I have never owned anything Apple, having started my microcomputing with a Commodore 64 in the '80s. So there. And my loyalty to Lenovo laptops - albeit reconditioned ones bought cheap via eBay - was recently justified when its CEO gave his $3million bonus to 10,000 low-level employees (after that, he's still getting over $10million this year, but hey...)
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:58 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


That "Are You an Acolyte or a Rejector?" quiz should actually be titled, "Are you a Raging Sociopathic Asshole or Not?"

It's nice that Matt falls into the "Not" category.
posted by stagewhisper at 6:16 PM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yes, working excessively is for chumps. I figured that out when I was 14.
posted by Decani at 6:31 PM on July 24, 2012


I loved Jeff Atwood's quote about fucking up iPads, not raising your children.
“If you’re going to fail at building something,” [Atwood] says, “fail at building the fucking iPad. Don’t fail at building children.”
Yeah that was a great line.
posted by Ritchie at 6:47 PM on July 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wait a minute... if Matt had been more willing to ignore his daughter, we'd all have iPads instead of accounts on this crappy web site?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:00 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


But lifestyle business sounds a little pervy.

Interesting. I always thought it sounded dismissive.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:05 PM on July 24, 2012


I have an iPad acquired when I noted to a client that if they wanted their site to especially look good on an iPad, it might behoove them to send me one. Mind you, it's got their property tag on the front.

It's neat enough, but glad I didn't spend a lot of my own cash to get it. I don't think I do enough iThings to see its added value.

And I'm the laziest person in the world, working just enough to make ends meet, which is a nice luxury, even if it leads to a modest house and what-not. What makes these people so ruthless and horrible? I mean, look at a list of their businesses. Do any of them even actually matter?
posted by maxwelton at 7:06 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting. I always thought it sounded dismissive.

I'm with you on this. It seems to be saying that if your goal isn't to take over the world with your business, you're doing it wrong.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:42 PM on July 24, 2012


Interesting. My experience is that things cost more in town.
posted by fleacircus at 8:32 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always thought a lifestyle business sounded glamorous. But I'm not much of a business type.

(Though I may be pervy too.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:56 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yay for having the right priorities.

I meant Matt, in case any of you were wondering.
posted by arcticseal at 9:09 PM on July 24, 2012


I don't think I do enough iThings to see its added value.

I'm really getting into using my partner's iPad when I cook. I'm entering my recipes into Evernote so that I can prop up the iPad on a stand and have all my recipes there in front of me while I cook. I can enter changes right there if needed, etc.

Before I started doing that, I only used it to watch movies on Netflix when I was sick. I don't know what other people use them for, but the recipe use is the only one I've found that I'm excited about. Which is kind of a shame for such an expensive piece of equipment (and considering that I'm going to have much more access to it now that my tech-loving partner now has a Nexus tablet).
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 9:13 PM on July 24, 2012


I'm really getting into using my partner's iPad when I cook.

Me too, but I'm glad I got one of those ceramic knives because that glass face is hell on a steel edge.
posted by flabdablet at 11:08 PM on July 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


I have MeFi's own Matt Haughey's iPad. True story.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:04 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's very disconcerting and disturbing to me how much American culture makes one's employment central to one's identity. It seems like the most important thing that people want to know when they meet someone new is what is their job. If your job isn't your primary life focus then you're considered lazy and morally suspect. If you don't have a job, you aren't really a person at all.

Mind you, I don't have any problem with people emphasizing work over other things when it's the thing they most enjoy doing, when it's what fulfills them, actualizes them, whatever. Especially when it's something that someone has a talent for, they do it well. We should all have such work. But most people don't. Most people work hard because it's expected, because professional achievement has been directly linked to their self-worth, because they want and need the material benefits that wages provide. But most of that stuff is illusory in the end and it doesn't really build real value in one's life.

I don't want to say that family and friends is the only thing that does, because it's not the only thing that does. There are other things. Many other things, really. But just walking a metaphorical treadmill because that's what expected — that doesn't.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:17 AM on July 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


He who shall not work, neither shall he eat...or have health care, or get an education or be able to have children, or something...and so and so forth.
posted by Chekhovian at 3:41 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


'When your karma and your lila meet, you find your dharma—your one true path,” he tells me, citing a precept that might have sat well with Jobs, a devotee of Eastern religions. “It’s a beautiful concept. You discover your way to contribute to the world.["]

I'm finding it hard to make sense of that based on the Wikipedia definitions of karma, lilia and dharma. Could anyone enlighten (!) me?
posted by StephenF at 6:46 AM on July 25, 2012


The daughter anecdote was sad. Especially as, as a daughter, myself and my sister saw it happen with our brother often.
posted by mippy at 7:09 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why are there direct links to the companies of some of those profiled and not others? It's pretty noticeable (to me, anyway) especially in an article about entrepreneurship.

If they're going to make TwoFour, Box, Bridgewater Associates, and Stardock just a click away, they should go ahead and do the same for Square, Code Academy, Stack Exchange, Metafilter, SlideShare, LinkShare, and any others I may have missed on a quick scan.
posted by desuetude at 7:39 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's very disconcerting and disturbing to me how much American culture makes one's employment central to one's identity.

You know what's funny? I first learned to notice this while studying Brecht in undergrad; my prof was teaching us about Marxist literary analysis. (I wholeheartedly agree with your point, but we're not the only ones guilty of this particular sin.)
posted by smirkette at 9:24 AM on July 25, 2012


Why are there direct links to the companies of some of those profiled and not others? It's pretty noticeable (to me, anyway) especially in an article about entrepreneurship.

I absolutely wondered the same thing. It's kind of weird.
posted by Miko at 8:37 PM on July 25, 2012


Now that he’s 40, the bar heights are reversed.

Glad to see handing-over MeFi to the space robots has worked-out for Matt...
posted by Thorzdad at 8:24 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I talked to this reporter for a while so I was surprised that he chose the least scientific/qualitative thing in my entire talk (I made up the graph, I said so when I showed it).

That’s how that works. That’s why athletes, actors, etc. say the same things over and over and give out any real information. Anything you say that can be taken out of context and made to sound weird will be.

One example; someone I know did a long interview and later saw that reporter in passing. Literally in passing. The reporter said "Hi" and made some small talk comment, my friend answered with some friendly comment, but they never stopped walking and went on their separate ways. When it came out the story and the headline were built almost entirely around this exchange. Everything was framed as if this off hand comment were the guiding principal of their career, and little else was in the article.
posted by bongo_x at 10:09 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now that he’s 40, the bar heights are reversed.

Yes, it was always difficult having to stand on tip toe and not spill that pint of beer.
posted by infini at 8:06 AM on July 27, 2012


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