Geek Glamour

Sergey-brin Sergey Brin, one of the co-founders of Google and ranked by Forbes as the 26th richest man in the world, recently took part in the announcement of Google’s Chrome OS. A number of internet sites have shown more interest in Brin’s footwear and choice of smart phones than in the Chrome announcement.

John Biggs at CrunchGear labels Brin’s footwear as “crazy monkey shoes,” but he also describes how these shoes solved all kinds of problems he himself had been having as a runner. On the other hand, he writes “They definitely make you look like a freak. However, I suspect the sting of scorn and ridicule is dampened a bit by the fact that the man has billions and billions of dollars. In my case, people just laugh at me when I run, and I cry. The sweat hides the tears.”

Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo is likewise fascinated by Brin’s footwear, but he also notes that he “carries a Motorola Droid, not a super secret phone we’ve never seen before.” His post has a fascinating photo of participants taking notes on their various gizmos. Most are using smart phones, one person is holding two devices, and one is using a Moleskine notebook and a fountain pen. Judging from these photographs, geek glamour is more about owning and using the “right tools” then wearing high-fashion clothing, no matter how rich you are.

Brin does have unusual taste in footwear, having before been photographed in Crocs (his choice to wear at the US Tennis Open). And, speaking pragmatically, when you’re working obsessively on a project, there’s something to be said for clothes that look much the same whether you’ve slept in them or not.