Step 1: Be Absurdly Wrong; Step 3: Prosper!

I know everyone else is pointing to Dan Lyon’s stupid article about bloggers now that he’s been unmasked as Fake Steve Jobs. Personally, I think it’s an unusual coincidence that the Forbes writer I associate most with being a cheerleader for SCO’s ridiculous legal shakedown of Linux vendors has managed to change the subject just when a judge finally determines that SCO has absolutely no case.

It’s not a bad career strategy to take a gamble on a contrarian position: if you’re right you look like a genius and get rewarded for it, if you’re wrong you look like someone who would push an unfounded idea for potential personal gain despite the harm it might do to your company, colleagues or customers, and you get dinged or maybe quietly fired. The upside is often more personally rewarding than the downside.

In journalism it seems that the price for being wrong when you take sides on a story you just don’t know enough about to know who is right is… nothing. No wonder our business press is so freakin bad.

Instead of taking Lyons to task for being so wrong on the SCO story (and, no doubt, convincing some readers of Forbes to put their money into SCOX; look at the five year chart and check out the price when the Lyons story was published–about $12 per share–and the price at open today–$0.40… yes, 40 cents.) Lyons will, instead, reap the benefit of the media’s short management attention span.