6 Mentality Tips from Bill Gates
Niklas K

I’m not sure Bill Gates is a good example. My intuition says that, like the space shuttle, the near monopoly of Microsoft has delayed progress and damaged productivity by making software more difficult to use and by normalizing slow progress (as opposed to fast churn).

  1. The necessity of competitiveness to “succeed” is a failure of business culture. Also our national (USA) culture. I suspect that if ACTUAL teamwork was valued more, businesses would do better AND people working in businesses would be happier. There seems to be a developing consensus among people who study these things that competition is often less effective than other motivations.
  2. Hard to argue with that one, though there may be differences of opinion about what’s a good opportunity.
  3. If all this talk about passion was honest, we’d be tripping over fornicating couples in corporate hallways. And the population would be 400 million. We don’t see that, plus it’s against corporate policy. It’s been my experience that if people don’t care about their work, it’s because management makes clear it doesn’t care back. I think most people want to enjoy their work and put some sweat into it. Or at least they would if they experienced less resistance while doing so. Every hypocritical policy or time wasting meeting is a dead weight on motivation.
  4. Constant learning will occur as a result of motivation and also, more formally, if you give people some honest, respectful training on company time. The time they gave me a manual to learn the new software for a week until the hardware came in was not one of those times.
  5. Taking risks is great if you always win. Otherwise it has to be a balance. I’ve worked at a startup where everyone but me and another guy drank all the Kool Aid and bought up all the available stock options. Those people were out $50k for every year they’d worked for the company. I was out $6k. A co-worker had hundreds of thousands of stock because of options at a previous company but, at the time of the telecom collapse, still had all that in one place. Most startups fail.
  6. Most people put in the work if you don’t stop them.

Implementing the above will only work if it’s sincere. Faking it won’t do it. IMHO, the bottom line will be bigger if there’s less worry about next quarter’s bottom line and more about human issues.

If there’s a shortage of life jackets, it might be more productive to blame the ship owners than the passengers.

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