Optimism, and certain amount of exuberance have returned to the technology land, not necessarily a bad thing, given the five-year tech drought, which left many if not all despondent. It is perhaps an opportune moment for all of us to remind ourselves of the lessons of the recent past. The best and perhaps the least sanctimonious way to do so is taking a trip down to the nearest Cineplex and watching Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room.
In a desperate bid to blog less, and live more, last evening I ended up watching the documentary on my way home. Never before I have been outraged, amused and disgusted for so little an amount of money. A smart, well directed and amazingly edited, the docudrama is taut with tension.
The film brings home the very complicated story of Enron scandal in a succinct easy to understand manner. (Mark Cuban is one of the backers of the film, and I wonder when he is going to green light a project on WorldCom, and other broadband scandals. I am available to help out!!)
The documentary is a living testimony of greed, naked ambition and hubris – all gone wrong. The amazing collapse of Enron is a rude reminder of what happens when we forget the basic principles of capitalism and deem money as the sole yardstick. We saw a lot of that in Silicon Valley, where we made accidental bumpkins into heroes. Enron, to me is what went wrong because instead of focusing on nuts-and-bolts (Chips and switches, so to speak in SV parlance) and instead started focusing on the ephemeral.
What I found disappointing is that the documentary doesn’t focus as much on the role of Enron Broadband in the ultimate collapse of the company, and how that ill-fated, ill-conceived pyramid scheme pushed the whole bandwidth market into an unending downward spiral. But, well that’s just me.
PS: I wonder when hReview, the micro-format for reviews like this will be implemented in WordPress and other popular CMS systems like TypePad.
The Boing Boing round-up of Enron The Movie