If it were a scene in Silicon Valley, it would be dismissed as yet another example of Hollywood stretching the truth—but it really happened to Palantir during a meeting with the Pentagon in August 2009. When the data analytics company met with military officials, Palantir execs were reprimanded for the way they dressed. Their slacks and dress shirts “with a few buttons undone” were taken as a “sign of disrespect,” reports Bloomberg.
The military brass, which included U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Dean Popps, told Palantir: “Don’t come to the E-ring without a tie unless your name is Gates or Buffet,” an official told Bloomberg. “They couldn’t get over the tie thing. They didn’t care about the technology.”