I did a double take over a story in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about the websites of troubled financial institutions. There are about four paragraphs on the Lehman Brothers website — and that site was one of my responsibilities when I was Lehman’s managing editor for e-commerce.
The story by Virginia Heffernan complains that while the institutions were flailing, their websites didn’t reflect reality. While I am always in favor of criticizing Lehman, I don’t know what Hefferman expected. A black screen with “OMFG!!!! We’re going dowwwwwwwwwn! Mayday! Mayday!” flashing in blood red? That’s not a good idea when you’re trying to avoid bankruptcy. (By the way, anyone who can make an animated gif of that for me will get a gold star.)
Also, back in 2003 or so, we were very proud of our elegant corporate history timeline, thank you very much!
UPDATED TO ADD: Thanks and a gold star go to gorgeous blogger June Shin for creating the new Lehman Brothers home page.
we wear things says
awww.. seriously! i’m sure you did a fab job while you were running the site!
Deja Pseu says
That timeline is truly a thing of beauty.
Couture Carrie says
Nice job, Wendy!! You rock!
I can’t really imagine any company being entirely honest about being in financial dire straits. But if they were, that animated .gif would be the way to go. If only I knew how to make one.
Princess Poochie says
That .gif/Flash would be awesome.
I’m surprised no one hacked in and did it just for “fun” (aka spite).
Maybe I’m just twisted that way.
June Shin says
Ladies Who Lunch says
Hi Wendy, I was just watching an episode of Ugly Betty and I noticed Betty wearing what looked like one of your Boleyn necklaces with the initial B.. is it one of yours?! It was on a string of pearls though but I only saw it in one shot.. hope its one of yours!
Do they still trade for cotton?
miss cavendish says
Very nice timeline. Back in the “old” days (pre-2003, obviously), I designed those for books and they took FOREVER to get into print . . .
I like the smiley face.
fashion herald says
that’s one damn lovely timeline.
It seems there were a lot of activities here while I was sleeping. I could have made you a beaut animated gif!
Well next time for me. 🙂
Alice Olive says
Absolutely classic! And you’re dead-on. I am the person who also has the joy of writing client reports and website content amid these interesting times. Finding the appropriate tone is a challenge. Hopefully this period will help me broaden my skills and enhance my career. (How’s that for a long-term investment horizon?!)
I read that article and was surprised that she was surprised about the websites! Would any company ever acknowledge financial difficulty on their corporate website? Seems like a given that a company wants to maintain a positive front right up until the end.