Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

These 8 Talking Points Could Save Your Life at Holiday Parties


It’s December and that means it’s party season.  Time to see friends, neighbors, and colleagues that you often only see once a year. Time to reconnect with extended family galore.

Many of these people will be far removed from the tech scene that we live and breathe. However, if you are in any way affiliated with a tech company, or have brought up anything related to the Atlanta Tech Village in conversation, you should be prepared for these unavoidable party topics.  Don’t be caught off guard!

8 Topics you will be forced to discuss because of this affiliation:

TOPIC 1: New in 2013. Bitcoin.
What is it? How does it work? Isn’t this illegal? Should I buy some? Do you have any? I don’t understand why it exists.
Best answer: I don’t know.

Best answer: Just be careful what you say in your e-mail, granddad.

TOPIC 3: Debacle…
Why didn’t it work? What happened?
Best answer: I need more wine.

TOPIC 4: Traditional favorite: Can you fix my printer?
Best answer: You know, I hear cousin Johnny (who just started college) is taking a computer class. He can probably fix it better than I can.

TOPIC 5: The One that won’t Die: My Windows 98 computer just started popping up an error message on startup?  It takes too long to load Outlook Express, do I have a virus?
Best Answer: This turkey is delicious. Is this homemade dressing or stove top stuffing?

TOPIC 6: Should I get an iPhone?
Best answer: Yes.

TOPIC 7: I don’t “get” the Atlanta Technical Village. What exactly is it?
Best answer: It’s hard to explain. You have to come see it.
Alternative answer:  We aren’t allowed to talk about it. We’re working with the government.

TOPIC 8: Tell me again, what does your new company do?
Best answer: Computer stuff, mom.

It’s a jungle out there. Best of luck to you all.
See you on the other side!


  • greghorowitz says:

    No. 8 made me laugh. My grandmother passed away 10 years ago, three days shy of her 100th birthday. By the last few years, her mental state was such that we would often repeat the same conversations over and over, and one of her favorites was, “So tell me what you do again?” If I said “computers”, she would ask, “And do you sell them?” “No, not exactly, Grandma.” Then five minutes later, she’d ask again and I’d try out a different tactic: “I do marketing.” Sometimes, though, that came back to bite me, since she’d say, “And what is it that you’re marketing?” “Uh, computers.”

    Despite lots of opportunities to practice, I never came up with a foolproof response.

    December 4, 2013 at 10:50 am

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