The Conspiracy of Cool

What is it that attracts us to the labors of HTML, the cacophonous world wide web, and the ever crashing computers? Perhaps the most compelling attraction to employment in the new media industry is coolness. Our working lives don't exist within just another company crafting direct mail postcards or exterminating Y2K bugs, though they could be. The vast majority of us could just as easily hold similar positions in a more traditional company, but it wouldn't feel nearly as hip.

So what is cool about these new media startups? Does simply working here make us cool? That depends on how we define cool. For the sake of argument, let's define cool as being, or producing something that is, markedly different or better than the rest, combined with an elusive quality of attitude, a subjective X factor.

Recently, the web shop I work for talked to a prominant financial magazine which intended to write a story about us and "why we're a cool Silicon Alley Internet company." In preparation for our first big league press coverage, we set out to list, on a huge whiteboard in the office, all the reasons why we're so cool.

Knowledge is Power
Marketing Cool
Why We Are(n't) Cool
What is Cool