LinkedIn Actually Created a Hilarious Meme

A CEO decided to make a long, LinkedIn post about firing his staff — and made it about himself. It’s now a meme on the platform.

Jamie Cohen
4 min readAug 12, 2022


A Dall-E artificial intelligence generated interpretation of the phrase: Crying ceo posting a selfie while at a villa. The image is a distorted man, wearing a pink shirt and red tie, seemingly crying while holding his cellphone in front of palm trees and a blue sky on warm day.
DALL-E interpretation of “Crying CEO posting a selfie while at a villa”

Every social media site has its own grammar and posting style. Facebook has its weird over-sharing and humblebrags, Instagram with its performative positivity, and Twitter with its mind-numbing doom posts and hot takes. And then there’s LinkedIn, home of #grustle (an unfortunate mix of hustle and grind) post.

LinkedIn’s posting style is so different from other platforms that its formal structure has become a meme: sentences posted like paragraphs, self-aggrandizing mentions, super specific advice, colorful broetry, and some notes of tone-deaf toxic positivity. Every so often someone hits it out of the park. That winner is Braden Wallake, CEO of Hypersocial who posted after he laid-off some of his staff — and attached a crying photo of himself.

Wallake’s post is still up and currently has over 32,000 reactions and almost 7,000 comments. The post has hilariously inspired many people to meme it in their own way.

The reason Wallake’s post resonated with so many is that Hypersocial is a company that optimizes LinkedIn posts to get more engagement. Engagement bait is a style of posting on some sites that’s designed to make a reader react in and engage to a post — like sharing, liking, commenting. Optimizing a post is an odd art form which is assisted by algorithms and by people who keep a LinkedIn tab open all day at work.

To give this optimizing some CEO credit, Wallake’s post is designed perfectly. It reads:

This will be the most vulnerable thing I’ll ever share.

I’ve gone back and forth whether to post this or not.

We just had to layoff a few of our employees.

I’ve seen a lot of layoffs over the last few weeks on LinkedIn.

Most of those are due to the economy, or whatever other reason.


My fault.

Unfortunately, the post doesn’t include the links to his employees work, or their socials, or their talent, but rather that this is about…



Jamie Cohen

Digital culture expert and meme scholar. Cultural and Media Studies PhD. Internet studies educator: social good, civic engagement and digital literacies