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Applying The Muppet Theory to tech — who are the Chaos Muppets?

The Muppet Theory has been making the rounds of late, most recently on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday. As detailed by reporter Dahlia Lithwick, it holds that everyone can be categorized as a Chaos Muppet or an Order Muppet.

Chaos Muppets are “out-of-control, volatile,” she wrote in Slate earlier this month.   Their ranks, include Cookie Monster, Ernie, Gonzo and—especially—Animal. In the real world, Lithwick, who covers the U.S. Supreme Court, puts Justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia both in the Chaos Muppet camp.

On the flip side, there are the Order Muppets– the Berts, Sam the Eagles, Kermit the Frogs of the world. They are regimented, averse to surprises and neurotic. Their Supreme Court representative is Chief Justice John Roberts.

And that that brings us to the overiding question: Who are the Order Muppets and Chaos Muppets in high tech? It’s a tricky question. The late Apple(s aapl) CEO Steve Jobs? Order Muppet, no question. With some execs it’ s harder to tell. Microsoft(s msft) CEO Steve Ballmer in his Monkey Boy incarnation seems very Chaos-oriented but I very much doubt that is really the case.

Mark Zuckerberg(s fb)? Larry Page(s goog)? Who’s in which camp and why?

 Photo courtesy of Flickr user A.M. Kuchling

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