When you think of business mags like Inc., Forbes, or Fortune, the first thing that comes to mind is probably their lists: the Inc. 5000, “30 Under 30,” “40 Under 40.”
The next thing that comes to mind is how it was total B.S. that you were left off those lists.
Then comes the part where you double-check to make sure none of your biggest rivals made them.
Finally, you spend 30 minutes tracking down the LinkedIn profiles of whoever puts these lists together, plotting how you can charm them and buy them enough drinks so you make the cut next year.
Even if you’re not as obsessively insecure as I am, there’s a good chance you still care about these arbitrary rankings, which have become the traffic-driving, life-saving cash cow of business journalism.
But if I were an editor at one of those pubs, I’d be a little worried right now: LinkedIn is storming the farm, and it’s coming for Bessie.1