business

/Tag: business

The second industrious revolution.

I am neither for nor against temping (or consulting, or freelancing). If this emergent flexible economy were all bad or all good, there would be no need to make a choice about it. For some, the rise of the gig economy represents liberation from the stifled world of corporate America.

But for the vast majority of workers, the “freedom” of the gig economy is just the freedom to be afraid. It is the severing of obligations between businesses and employees. It is the collapse of the protections that the people of the United States, in our laws and our customs, once fought hard to enshrine.

We can’t turn back the clock, but neither is job insecurity inevitable.

Louis Hyman on jobs.

2018-08-28T10:55:02+11:006th February, 2019|Tags: business, economics|

On a scale of zero to ten…

You know how sometimes websites or apps or whatever will give you that “on a scale of zero to ten, how likely are you to recommend us?” thing? What is up with those, amirite?

Well, turns out those surveys are for calculating something called “Net Promoter Score” and it’s even further along the “nonsense pseudoscience” scale than I’d originally assumed

2018-01-15T08:35:42+11:0025th June, 2018|Tags: business, tech|

Kill your Ricklings.

On the benefits of firing “superstar” programmers.

Like most people in STEM I’ve worked with a fair few Ricks and wannabe-Ricks in my day, and they are always, without fail, explosive disaster zones. There is nothing so great they contribute that it can make up for the mess they leave in their wake.

2019-01-17T08:37:01+11:004th April, 2018|Tags: business, tech|

The iron stiletto.

On woman-on-woman bullying in the workplace.

The worst bullies I’ve personally endured in my career have been dudes, but I’ve skirted around a few women.1 A quote in the article pretty much nails the problem:

With women, I’m partly being judged on my abilities and partly being judged on whether or not I’m ‘a friend,’ or ‘nice,’ or ‘fun.’

And, oh boy. I have stories. Do I have stories, particularly given I’m not a particularly sociable nor emotionally available person.

One day, when I’m a millionaire New York Times bestseller and no longer need a day job, I might even be able to tell them…

 

  1. Incidentally, all the worst offenders worked for the same company, even when I encountered them in different parts of the organisation at different times. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence…
2017-10-03T16:05:42+11:008th March, 2018|Tags: business, culture|

Uber’s Law.

The 16th-century financier Sir Thomas Gresham famously observed that bad money drives out good. The same, I’d suggest, is true about illegal business models. If we allow an illegal business model to flourish in one sector, soon businesses in that sector and others will see that the shrewd strategy is to ignore the law, seek forgiveness rather than permission, and hope for the best.

Benjamin Edelman is here for Uber.

This is Edelman in the Harvard Business Review, and he’s talking about Uber. Well. In this particular paragraph he’s talking about Lyft, which was the first ridesharing company to use unlicensed vehicles. His point is that, once one company (i.e. Lyft) “got away” with lawbreaking, others ran in to copy (i.e. Uber). His wider point is that Uber is unsalvageable as a company; its business model is built wholly on breaking laws, and evading capture/prosecution for said lawbreaking, and the side-effect of this is that its entire management structure is toxic.

2017-06-29T07:40:02+11:0022nd August, 2017|Tags: business, tech|

Trickle-down.

A refutation of the culture of workaholism. Specifically in tech startups, but makes some points later on that are more broadly applicable.

Anecdote: I’ve known workaholics in my time, and for the most part they are not more “productive” than people who keep more balanced schedules. (There’s a lot of pointless busywork you can get yourself into in the office, if you really put your mind to it.)

2017-09-28T13:54:04+11:0028th July, 2017|Tags: business, tech|