Typically, quarterly earnings calls are a time for the CEOs and CFOs of public companies to reveal some numbers and then either brag or plead for forgiveness from analysts and shareholders.
But the ethos of Silicon Valley has enforced itself upon Wall Street, so things are no longer typical. For instance Twitter and Facebook reported earnings on back-to-back days and the message to people watching their stocks was neither "You're welcome" nor "We're sorry." In fact, it was much more like a "Chill, bro."
While both companies beat estimates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and interim Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey struck tones of semi-annoyance with the idea that they should be in the mood to make any real news on their respective calls with analysts.
For Dorsey, the whine for patience was twofold. His absurdist beard was trimmed in seeming deference to standard Wall Street quarterly behavior, but Dorsey was not to keen on talking about near-terms results or even if he will keep the job for long.
Dorsey had this to say about the internal thinking at Twitter.
We'll take the necessary time to build a service people love to use every single day. And we realize it will take some time to show results we all want to see.
It's hard to imagine the CEO of publicly traded community bank telling an audience that he'll fix the loan issues on his own damn time, but this is tech so apparently you can say this about who's going to even run the show at your company.
I know this is a trending topic on Twitter, around the CEO search, but unfortunately we do not have an update to provide today. The search committee does feel the urgency of the search but is doing its work to make sure the we arrived at the best answer.
Hey, as long as they feel the urgency.
But Dorsey was almost pliant compared to Zuckerberg who treated his earnings call like he was Jeff Spicoli in Mr. Hand's third period history class.
Zuckerberg pushed back a few times on the idea of what people can expect from Facebook in the near-term. He referenced the idea of building products and asked for patience from Wall Street to let Facebook do its own damn thing.
How out of the ordinary was Zuckerberg's tone? Here's the lede of Bloomberg's story covering the Facebook call.
Patience is a rare investor virtue. Mark Zuckerberg thinks he has the track record to ask for it.
Zuckerberg shared pretty much nothing of note. Not new user stats, not ad projections. Nada. He seemed to just want to get the call over with and get back under his hoodie with his laptop.
The idea here is that guys like Dorsey and The Zuck are hyper-aware that many Wall Street types have little idea of what they actually do since they are literally inventing it as they go along.
But like Spicoli and Mr. Hand, at some point the attitude wears thin and someone's hall pass is going to get torn up right in front of their faces.
The only question is which party will be angrily saying "You dick!"