The Internet: A Different Culture, Breaking Social Norms

The business world of the internet is a very unique place to work, especially compared to other business environments.  Internet companies are extremely free thinking and put a lot of emphasis on enjoying work and expressing ones self.  It is very much a relaxed environment where everyone is trying to help everyone else succeed.  This is a stark contrast to other businesses in corporate America where making a profit is the chief goal and employees are just expenses that hurt the bottom line.  Industrial companies like GE that have a strict policies on getting rid of the bottom 10% of their company verses companies like Google that make its employees take mandatory breaks and relax.  Google also strives to create an extremely fun office environment that has everything from arcades, to bean-bag chairs.  Google strives to create an environment where people want to work and creativity is encouraged.  The internet is a place where industry experts in areas like SEO and internet marketing will do an interview in a t-shirt with a funny cartoons or profanity on it.  No thought is given to what others would think.  It is not important that they look their best.  The CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg always wears hoodies to work and has been called socially awkward at times, but is a great CEO in the internet industry.  All of these quirks are seen as completely acceptable in these technology companies, but would never be allowed in other industries.  Why are the rules so different?  The rules of business for these technology companies are very different for several reasons.  First, because the internet is so new and different from anything else.  This has called for a different type of work environment.  Secondly, the internet is constantly changing. You can never know enough about SEO, Content Marketing, Web consulting, Web Design, etc. There is always something new out there, and it is always changing and improving.   Because of this constantly changing environment, the industry has developed a “come as you are and prove yourself” mentality.  It is more important to the industry that you are good at your job versus how you look and act. Finally, I also believe that another reason for this is because the people who are the main leaders in the internet would not have been accepted by Corporate America.  I believe this has led these people in the internet industry to have a “I will prove you wrong mentality.”   They want to show Corporate America that they don’t have to follow their rules and they will be just fine without them. I think they enjoy breaking the social norms.  One thing is for sure, the internet is growing faster than any other industry and there may come a time when corporate America changes to look more like the Mark Zuckerberg not the other way around.  There is already a trend in corporate America to change their dress code from business professional to business casual.  This is shows that corporate America is realizing that they might need to start to change the way they do business.


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