Whether fact or fiction, in business, sports, politics or the arts, everyone loves a triumphant underdog story, and who could be more of an underdog than a bookish, socially awkward geek? You know … the ones that were overlooked and under-appreciated (until they made their first million dollars). The history of the Internet is littered with geeks changing the way nearly every person in the developed world interacts with the people around them. In honor of these stereotypically statistical underdogs, May 25 – the premiere date of the first Star Wars film (among other geeky holidays) – has come to be known as Geek Pride Day.
With more than 80,000 active servers and 550+ employees, SoftLayer is essentially a Geek Think Tank of employees and and proving ground of sorts for customers. As I’m writing this, the faint hum of our generators and cooling systems remind me that the next Facebook or Microsoft might be getting started in the data center pod right below my desk at our Dallas Alpha HQ.
Just considering that prospect reinforced to me that the geeks have really done it! The 2.0 millennium has been marked by the rise YouSpaceTwitterWikiMyTube sites spurred on by textbook-definition nerdy underdogs … It’s right in line with Lance’s theory of world domination. No longer are geeks merely the Steve Urkels of the business world.
They’re successful, smart, savvy, innovative early adopters.
Let’s take a moment and explore some of the more polarizing geeks of our day – Geeks who made being a geek cool:
- Steve Jobs – 500,000 iPads sold by the end of the first week of release. Apple’s market cap exceeds that of Microsoft for the first time since 1989. Open Source application development and support is a key part of its ongoing software strategy.
- Bill Gates – Windows, Microsoft Office, Xbox and their new “To the cloud” focus.
- Mark Zuckerberg – The Founder of Facebook:
- More than 500 million active users
- Entrepreneurs and developers from more than 190 countries build with Facebook Platform
- Many of whom use SoftLayer as their Infrastructure host
- People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
- Peter Parker – Spider Man – Peter has a natural gift for the sciences and is considered by some genius. After being bit by a radioactive spider Peter develops super physical human strength and ability along with a sixth sense for danger.
- Dwight Schrute – Top salesman for the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Winner of numerous sales awards. One-time Assistant to the Regional Manager and beet farmer extraordinaire
Alright … I might be getting carried away lumping fictional characters into the mix, but you get my point.
As a member of the SLales department, I am forever “geeking out” over new and exciting applications, products and tools the our customers are coming up with. Although I don’t believe I can truly claim my geek badge of honor yet, I aspire to reaching that rank.
PS: For the geeks out there, (without cheating) what year was the first Star Wars film released? Did you see it in the theater? If you weren’t alive when it was released, when did you first see it?