I read the below article and it got me thinking; do us technology fans appreciate assholes or do we simply respect someone who can get it done?
From the article I read:
“ We have this habit of highlighting and celebrating brilliant assholes like Steve Jobs and [Uber co-founder and ousted CEO] Travis Kalanick, when the reality is they are awful human beings,” said Greg, head of technology at e-commerce startup Brandless, adding that it is women and people of colour who tend to bear the brunt of their behaviour.
“It reminds me of stories that came out of Wall Street in the 1980s, when sexism was part and parcel of the culture,” he added. “Stories like that become public very quickly and people find out and paint tech with one brush.”
Some of this behaviour stems from the hubris that positions profit-seeking corporations as benevolent forces in the world.
“You are selling ads, you’re not really making the world a better place,” noted the former Facebooker. “But most people drank the Kool-aid.”
I can’t take comments from a previous employee too seriously as most tend to be bitter plus this all wreaks of virtue signalling (my new favourite term).
So let’s ask the question, are these people assholes or do they just call it like they see it and get stuff done?
Let’s talk about everyone’s favourite CEO (except mine) Elon Musk; he’s is known to be an asshole but unlike many before him he seems to be getting stuff done and is loved like get it done Steve Jobs before him; those same people who whine about technology companies are the same ones who are kissing his ass, I guess it’s different because he’s a green guy right?
So let’s ask a different question; do you need to be tough and terse to get things done?
In most cases yes, the CEO who is more concerned about appeasing everyone rather than getting things done usually gets tossed out on their ass and does not churn the results investors want or the products consumers need, they don’t become obsessed with the companies vision, instead they become obsessed with people pleasing which will not always go hand in hand with good results.
When you read up on any of these titans you soon come to find similar personality traits which is no coincidence, so why do we keep whinging about it?
In an old AAT accounting magazine I read it said one of the reason small accounting practices fail is owners have a tough time letting people go when times get hard or who are not cutting the mustard, i.e. they are people pleasers and this behaviour is partially responsible for the failure of their business.
Another quote that made me smirk was this one:
“ Some of these folks aren’t the most socially gifted people and therefore suddenly having a culture encouraging this experience for them bleeds into everything, giving them a sense of self-importance and entitlement. It’s effectively like dealing with children all the time,” Greg said, referencing his time at Dropbox when people would “fly around the office on these stupid scooters and skateboards”.
This is probably the same type of person who hates ‘suits’ wants ‘dress down Fridays’ and considers being able to bring a blooming dog to work an ‘awesome’ idea, to me it’s simple, build a better company, change companies/careers or do us all a favour and shut up!