Yesterday, The New Yorker released a brief profile of Shingy, the Digital Prophet employed by AOL at a six-figure salary. He is often the subject of internet mockery, and this anecdote was no exception:
Next, Shingy stopped by the office of Erika Nardini, the chief marketing officer of AOL Advertising, and handed her an iPad Mini. "Wanted to show you a little brain fart I had on the plane," he said. It was a cartoon he had drawn of a bear wearing zebra-print pants and a shirt covered in ones and zeros.
"Love it, love it, love it," Nardini said. "I'm thinking of the bears more as a metaphor."
"A thousand per cent," Shingy said.
Vox's own Brad Plumer attempted to replicate this image:
As you can see, this is not in a literal sense a valuable contribution to business. But metaphorically speaking, it may make sense.
Meanwhile, AOL is still a profitable business only because 2 million people haven't yet remembered to cancel their dial-up internet subscription. But despite the shaky underlying business, purchasing AOL could be a savvy way for Yahoo to avoid taxes. And here is Shingy doing his thing: