Tall and fast on the outside, weak and brittle on the inside. Looking at these trees, it made me think of businesses too. How the companies I’ve seen that seem big, tall and fast-growing cripple and implode internally. Preoccupied with raising as much money as they can and spending as much money as they can, these co…
If you just do nothing, continue to buy the services and products of those who do wrong, you’re at least partially complicit, right? And if you take every opportunity to ban a company from your wallet because of every transgression, life quickly becomes complicated.
It’s tempting to focus on United’s ground staff — what were they thinking? — but the bigger problem is United’s culture, the system of restrictions and permissions that denied the staff the authority to up the volunteer ante yet granted them power to ask for the violent removal of a customer. And in questions of culture, top management is the real culprit. United staff in Chicago showed poor judgment, but their bosses are guilty of having fostered a culture where this behavior is possible if not encouraged.
I totally get why some cultures develop social norms about not staring into the eyes of strangers for long periods of time. It’s a deeply uncomfortable experience. Now multiply that experience by, what, seven-eight times so far, and it’s like it’s some sort of absurd social experiment. Who’s going to crack first!?
The problem is that everyone thinks they’re going to run a spectacular marathon in technology these days. There’s no amount too great to be invested in future growth, because the future is infinite, and you’d be a fool not to capture as much of that as you possibly can.
Forgoing sleep is like borrowing from a loan shark. Sure you get those extra hours right now to cover for your overly-optimistic estimation, but at what price? The shark will be back, and if you can’t pay, he’ll break your creativity, morale, and good-mannered nature as virtue twigs.
But here’s the thing. You can’t help Uber build Greyball during the day, or help Palantir design databases to round up immigrants as your main gig, and then buy ethics offsets by doing a non-profit side hustle. We need you to work ethically during that day job much more than we need you working with that non-profit.