Friday, August 29, 2008

Party-Spoiling Chutzpah

Google is no stranger to the concept of chutzpah; and Eric Schmidt is one of the earliest Chutzpah of the Week award winners, going back to 2007 when he seemed to be spending much of his time telling Washington what to do. In more recent times the case has not been one of Google transcending chutzpah as much as the competition getting much tougher. So there is something to be said for winning the award at the site of the Democratic National Convention, since political conventions tend to be times when chutzpah runs wild in the streets. However, at a time when the priority seemed to be to let unity run wild in the streets, Google, as reported by Stephanie Condon for CNET, made a bold move in the name of exclusivity:

Yes we can? Sure, unless you're talking about getting into the Google/Vanity Fair party on Thursday night.

Barack Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination for president Thursday, in front of thunderous crowd of nearly 80,000 in Invesco Field, evoked inclusivity and unity--two qualities that don't necessarily make for a cool party.

Google managed to build the buzz for its party all week in Denver--limiting tickets, dis-inviting people, and making well-known Washingtonians--gasp!--wait in line. Not helping was that recipients forwarded around the e-mail invitation, resulting in an avalanche of RSVPs.

Also lending an aura of exclusivity was the location at the Exdo Event Center, a nondescript building in an almost-shady part of town, where a red carpet was rolled out and folks hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity or two hung around outside. (For the record, Google is planning another similar event for the Republican convention next week.)

Somehow this all seems like nose-thumbing directed at last night's speech by Barack Obama (not to mention the previous night's speech by Joe Biden); and, at the very least, it leads me to think back on just what Schmidt thought he would be able to teach such folks in Washington. (They certainly do not need lessons in throwing parties.) Well, between the sushi and the Krispy Kreme doughnuts (again, as reported by Condon), the party was too intense for me to get the award through the door; so it will be waiting back in the Board Room in Mountain View!

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