I read it once and didn’t want to read it again.

New Year’s day year 2000, I told 20 people that they didn’t have jobs anymore. The last person fired me a week later. He was my driver and he quit. I couldn’t pay him anymore really and was actually relieved. He was relieved too as we both knew how tensed I became at the end of every month when it was time to make payroll. I basically was the sole business development person in a team of 22. If I didn’t bring in business, there was no business and I couldn’t bring in business anymore as I kept getting bogged down with client politics.

I spent the next 6 months sleeping and wishing that I didn’t wake up from that sleep. Finding good talent was hard in 200o. I believe it is still hard now. There is no “employers market” for great talent. There is always a market for rubbish talent. Culture is not created, it emerges. Lethargy is also a culture.

I had to let go of everyone not because they were all bad, it was because I was an inexperienced founder who could not read the market properly. I could not hear the music in the streets like Tuld in the movie “Margin Call”. I didn’t hear that the music had gone silent. The company died. It only existed as a piece of incorporation paper.

I went on to make 2 more blunders before I realized that my job is to read the music and nothing else. I let go of operational stuff and years later, I have realized to that move was also a blunder as you also need to listen to the music inside your organization as well. You need to see even though you don’t touch.

That is a founder’s perspective. My perspective.

Automattic created Wordpress. The company runs as a distributed team from several geographical locations. That is the future of work. Not the bullshit Silicon Valley media spews as culture.

This is from their site

“HOW WE WORK

Choose your own adventure · Everyone works from the location they choose. We’re spread out all over the world in more than 50 countries. We track about 70 percent of our projects on P2-themed WordPress.com blogs, 25 percent in private chat rooms, and the rest on Slack. Because of the geographic variance, we’re active 24/7. We care about the work you produce, not just the hours you put in.

Facebook is successful not because Mark Zuckerberg runs the place like an army. It functions because every problem is everyone’s problem. There is no weak link in the chain. Being data driven is not bullshit. Google does it very effectively. They also make everyone in the organization “goal oriented” each goal also encompasses your personal goals. There is really no point working if your personal goals are not aligned to the organization’s goals. A good system should not force alignment but should be able to take out those not aligned. Voluntarily.

I eat Nigerian Jollof and I write things. That is what I do. Chief Fanatic @ Manchester United FC.

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