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Technology Rewriting the Rules of Business

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the smaller-is-better dept.

200

theStorminMormon writes "Fortune magazine is running a story describing the overthrow of Jack Welch's old rules of business. (Welch responds here.) Although the article lists Google and Apple as two paragons of the new rules of business, it fails to note that the old rules of business originated from straight manufacturing firms while the new rules of business are coming from the (more service-oriented) tech sector." From the article: "Steve Jobs has emphasized that Apple hires only people who are passionate about what they do (something that, to be fair, Welch also talked about). At Genentech, CEO Art Levinson says he actually screens out job applicants who ask too many questions about titles and options, because he wants only people who are driven to make drugs that help patients fight cancer."

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Yo Yos (-1, Offtopic)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699381)

Apple hires only people who are passionate about what they do

But are they as passionate as this sales clerk who just wanted to sell a yo-you [foxnews.com] ?

Re:Yo Yos (1)

Camp0rz (952053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699446)

Possibly too passionate? Where does Steve Jobs draw the line?

Re:Yo Yos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15699629)

At least he's not so passionate that he would, say, throw a chair.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15699390)

whoohoo! First post!

Re:first post (-1, Offtopic)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699407)

whoohoo! First reply to the first post that claimed it was the first post but really wasn't!

It's about passion (4, Insightful)

thewiz (24994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699401)

If you are passionate about what you do, you'll get out of bed in the morning and actually look forward to going to work. Passion also drives you to do your best, not to just get by so you can collect a paycheck.

Re:It's about passion (4, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699553)

Passion also ensures that you will work long hours for little reward, while the CEO takes home all the company profits.

Re:It's about passion (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699725)

Passion also ensures that you will work long hours for little reward, while the CEO takes home all the company profits.

Ask not what your employer can do for you; ask what you can do for your employer.

Re:It's about passion (1)

fury88 (905473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699743)

Ahhh yes, a dying breed IMO.

Re:It's about passion (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699779)

...but it also means that if the CEOs (and other board members of such companies) are passionate (which is the part of the company that TFA focuses on), he'll (she'll?) take on the larger number of hours --and more importantly-- the larger risk and liability than the average employee (there's a reason that most of them take in a lot of profit, no? After all, the majority of beancounters in Enron didn't go to jail... the CFO did, in spite of the suspicion that many of the mid- to higher-level beancounters had to know that something was fishy).

(... /me patiently awaits another down-mod because some grammar nazi hates my .sig :) )

/P

Re:It's about passion (1)

RetroGeek (206522) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700298)

(... /me patiently awaits another down-mod because some grammar nazi hates my .sig :) )

Ha!

Re:It's about passion (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700348)

Depends on what they are passionate *about*.

Most seem to be passionate about making lots of money,
not the companies mission or destiny.

On the "larger risk and liability" two things.

The CEO and executives dont usually suffer the consequences
of their decisionmaking, the rank and file do, in layoffs.
Rarely does the board remove the CEO. And usually then,
the golden parachute that is part of their contract leaves
them well set up.

Second, they make the decisions, why shouldnt they be the
ones that the consequences affect? Where is that good
old Republican "personal responsibility"? The lower level
beancounters have some responsiblity for not blowing the
whistle, but that is nothing compared to the responsiblity
for making the original decisions.

That said, there are some small numbers of companies who's
executive staffs are passionate about what the company
is about.

Re:It's about passion (1)

LeoDioxide (836870) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700540)

If your goal was profits, you wouldn't be passionate about working as an underling.

It's about passion...for F/OSS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15699582)

"If you are passionate about what you do, you'll get out of bed in the morning and actually look forward to going to work."

That's not passion. Passion is working for free. Giving all your possessions away. And living off of handouts from complete (and sometimes ungrateful) strangers.

Re:It's about passion (1)

Spritzer (950539) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700186)

Passion is what keeps me in bed late in the morning. I guess it just depends on what you're passionate about.

What do folks like me do? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15699402)

"Steve Jobs has emphasized that Apple hires only people who are passionate about what they do (something that, to be fair, Welch also talked about)...

I work to live not live to work. I will do my job to the fullest, but I want a life. I don't want to wake up when I'm old and find that I'm alone and regretting that I didn't live my life instead of wasting it in the office.

Re:What do folks like me do? (1)

castoridae (453809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699519)

That's a good work-life balance, and I don't think you're wrong for drawing that line. But, it sounds like you don't meet the criteria that Jobs et. al. are looking for. What they want are employees who love their jobs so much that they don't separate working and living - they love their job more than what they might otherwise do in their time off.

Re:What do folks like me do? (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699592)

If you don't like your job, find a new one. Why spend years of your life in misery? There's no reason why you can't enjoy your work as much as you enjoy the rest of your life. The best way to balance work and home life, is to enjoy both.

Re:What do folks like me do? (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699844)

There's no reason why you can't enjoy your work as much as you enjoy the rest of your life.

There are many reasons people can't do what you suggest. Some people didn't have the ability to go to school or otherwise learn what they love. Or maybe they don't know they can do what they want. These are real obstacles.

Re:What do folks like me do? (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700742)


Are you kidding me? How about "Can't find an enjoyable job?"

Seriously, do great jobs just rain out of the sky for you or what? I'm currently training my off-shore replacement and expect to be unemployed by the end of the year.

And life is very, very, hard to enjoy when you're not making good money. Almost everything enjoyable costs money. And you just can't let yourself enjoy the moment if you're worried about "How much am I paying for this?"

Re:What do folks like me do? (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700602)

If that's what they're looking for, I hope they like re-hiring their entire workforce every 5 years. People who love their job to the exclusion of other free-time activities tend to burn out quite rapidly. Single-minded devotion to a task isn't usually a sign of bright individuals, either. The ones who are really good at what they do understand that they need downtime to stay an enriched individual, and to perform better at their jobs during the time they do spend on it.

Maybe look of another line of work (5, Insightful)

erice (13380) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699522)

I work to live not live to work. I will do my job to the fullest, but I want a life. I don't want to wake up when I'm old and find that I'm alone and regretting that I didn't live my life instead of wasting it in the office.

If your mission in life is best accomplished at the office, then how can spending your time there be a waste? If you are genuinely afraid that, when you are old, you will regret the time you spent at work, then maybe you chose your career poorly.

Many or even most people choose their career poorly. Sometimes this is avoidable. Sometimes it is not. Sometimes the best occupation is one that pays poorly or not at all. Too many don't even try. They just chase the money instead. But those who do manage to unify their passion with their career are more effective employees.

Re:Maybe look of another line of work (2, Interesting)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699615)

If I didn't care about money I'd be doing exactly what I'm doing now. But since i do, I actively spend my time trying to do something else that pays better. Yes, it's nice to enjoy what you do, but do you get out of bed in the morning to an alarm clock to have fun, or because you need to pay the bills? If I didn't care about money i'd do exactly what I'm doing now, but I'd do it when I wanted, how I wanted.

It's impossible to blend "fun" and "work" in any consistent/logical decision that necessarily produces happy. I find happy at work equates to any of: a) You are so obsessively driven on a subject that you can tune out status/personal needs for gratification of your other desires, b) You want money/status so badly that you'll do anything you're asked to achieve it, c) You are not driven, but have learned to make the best of what you've got.

Unhappy people have either pursued the inappropriate path above and/or have failed at it.

Re:Maybe look of another line of work (3, Interesting)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699750)

I think the great majority fall under option C - work is what pays the bills, paving the way for the higher priorities in life, like family, hobbies, etc. There's a lotta days I really don't enjoy my job, but it provides an opportunity for us to have a nice home, and allows my wife to stay at home with our 3 kids. For me to pursue a "dream job" like sports writing or academia, we'd take major hits in other areas that just aren't worth it.

As regards these management philosophies, this translates to selecting employees for whom their career is the end-all-be-all. As a manager, that makes a lot of sense, as long as the people are somewhat balanced and won't burn out too soon.

Re:Maybe look of another line of work (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700766)

I think the great majority fall under option C - work is what pays the bills, paving the way for the higher priorities in life, like family, hobbies, etc.

The way we use the word today, if you enjoy it, it's not really work, is it? It's a hobby that pays.

I'm definitely trying to work my way to a point where I can make money while doing things that I enjoy. I'm getting closer...

Re:Maybe look of another line of work (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700128)

Yes, it's nice to enjoy what you do, but do you get out of bed in the morning to an alarm clock to have fun

Alarm clock? How pleasant is starting the day via an alarm that is designed to keep me from doing what I'm doing? Do people time their shits, and punish themselves when they are late?

If I didn't care about money i'd do exactly what I'm doing now, but I'd do it when I wanted, how I wanted.

I'm confused why money keeps coming into the picture.

It's impossible to blend "fun" and "work" in any consistent/logical decision that necessarily produces happy.

News to me. "fun" + "work" + "human brain function" != "happy". I work with people that don't set schedules, make plenty of money, are happy, have human brains that function, and work beyond their .75-1.0 "full time equivalent" or FTE worth in psycho-management terms. AFAIK, this is fairly common, but I guess its not that common at many jobs that are not that flexible.

The rest of the parent's post does not even parse by my interpreter...

Re:Maybe look of another line of work (1)

SABME (524360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700711)

hackstraw, if you're "confused why money keeps coming into the picture," please have your paycheck direct deposited to my checking account for the next six months. I guarantee your confusion on this issue will disappear.

Re:Maybe look of another line of work (2, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699702)

If your mission in life is best accomplished at the office, then how can spending your time there be a waste?
If your mission in life is to sit in an office so some CEO can sit on a yacht and decorate private 767s, then that is a sad thing indeed.

Sometimes the best occupation is one that pays poorly or not at all.
If you live in a world where everything is free, yes. It's not a good occupation when the bank repossesses your house and your kid can't go to the dentist when he has toothache.

Re:Maybe look of another line of work (2, Insightful)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700080)

Perhaps, but...

Excluding things like my wife, daughter and family, I basically have four passions in my life: music, rock climbing, kayaking and flying. About seven years ago, I did a six month stint as a flight instructor. When I was up with a student, I thought flight instructing had to be one of the greatest scams on the face of the earth--I mean, I was actually getting paid to do something that I had previously shelled out $$$$$ to do.

Unfortunately, at the end of six months, I was burned up and burned out. While on paper I was making a decent hourly wage as a flight instructor, in the real world, I was getting paid one hour for every two hours I was really working...if I was with a student. I spent many, many more unpaid hours hanging out at the flight school waiting for potential students to show up. For three of those six months, I was at the flight school from nine to twelve hours a day, seven days a week. That's on the order of 90 days straight with no time off, no weekends, nothing. I finally started drawing a line and said that I was willing to work this much time, on these days, but when I wasn't getting paid, I would work at my discretion. It was still more time than your average employee spends at work, and a good deal of the time would still be off the clock.

I got fired.

I've logged maybe 30 hours of flight time since.

In short, if there's something you really, truly enjoy doing, don't ruin it by trying to make a living at it. Find something you *like* and do it for a living, but don't take your *real* joy and make it work. When it becomes work, it's no fun any more.

Re:What do folks like me do? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699538)

But why do you have to feel that your time at work is wasted? Many people find their time at work to be interesting and fulfilling. Obviously there's a balance. You probably wouldn't enjoy doing anything 16 hours a day. But if you enjoy your job, there's no reason why that 8 hours a day you spend there should feel like a waste.

Re:What do folks like me do? (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700164)

But why do you have to feel that your time at work is wasted? Many people find their time at work to be interesting and fulfilling. Obviously there's a balance. You probably wouldn't enjoy doing anything 16 hours a day. But if you enjoy your job, there's no reason why that 8 hours a day you spend there should feel like a waste.

If you can find anything fulfilling in what mainstream America (or the rest of global culture) throws at you, from employment (should you be so able to "passionately" jump high enough to grab it) to McJobs to Hollywood DVD titles to McDonalds then you still have a lot left to discover. Even though most people are far from realizing it, this world we are in has unlimited possibilities.

Re:What do folks like me do? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700322)

Comparing 8 hours spend even in a career one enjoys to 8 hours spent with family, friends, reading, playing video games, etc- it is a waste. Even though I enjoy programming, I'd rather do any of the above. Unfortunately you have to do it in order to afford food, shelter, etc. Now there's better and worse ways to make the money you need to survive and enjoy the rest of your life, and you can pick one that you at least somewhat enjoy. But I'd still rather not do it at all. And I'm not going to take on more stress or more time commitment than I have to in order to do it- I'm going to put in my bare minimum time (I'll do strong work in that time, granted) and go home to my real life.

Passion (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699564)

Living for work is a basic abuse of a person's life.

In the cosmic or geological scale of things, our lives
are a fly fart in a hurricane. We are but a flash in the
pan of live unless we distinguish ourselves like Hitler,
or more appropriately, Dr. Jonas Salk.

We turn around and we find we are OLD. I am way past my
median age and can look forward to only 20 statistical years of
life left. Time flies. Trust me.

Seize the day! Live while you can. Enjoy what you can. Unless
there is a mania for work, lighten up if your basic needs are
met.

So far, you only live once , until a second person returns
from the dead to substantiate the afterlife.

Re:What do folks like me do? (1)

Sanitized for your p (988225) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700330)

We are not machines, we are not meant to spend all of our time working and not enjoying life. There will always be a push for the extra commitment - either by those that want to replace or surpass us, or from the company wanting to downsize and cost cut. Always strive to do the best job you can, set boundaries and know your priorities. That's what it all boils down to. If you can stick to those 3 things, you will be able to say at the end of the day that you were successful. Secondly, I would like to say; don't "waste" your life in the office. That is doing disservice to your employer, your customer, your loved ones, as well as yourself. No one benefits from someone that feels that way. While most of us have to work for our living (and sometimes at jobs we hate because there isn't a choice), most of us can also find something in that time that is fulfilling and enjoyable - even if it's just the company we keep there or making someone else's day.

Crazy Ideas (3, Interesting)

mrxak (727974) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699427)

It's always the crazy ideas that change the world. Of course not every crazy idea is a good one, and there are thousands of business that have gone under for thinking a little too outside the box. If you look around, there's really only one Amazon, only one Google, only one Apple. Companies that operate in more traditional ways seem to last longer on average, but nowadays they're often not leading things.

Re:Crazy Ideas (2, Interesting)

Chode2235 (866375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699482)

It really doesn't matter what the 'new rules of business are' as there is not a significant shift what really makes the world go round. We can talk all high and mighty about technology, and it is pretty good and cool; but the fact of the matter is that we are still dependent upon natural resource aquisition and control. Granted technology allows us to exploit economies of scale and use resources more efficiently, but we are still slaves to land and natural resources much like our ancestors of the industrial age, or even the agerarian age. Not to troll, but if you want proof take a critical eye to post-WWII US foreign policy.

Other methods of screening (4, Insightful)

TechDogg (802999) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699438)

I surely hope they have other methods of screening applicants, because I think that some people are easily able to fool interviewers and sound passionate.

They are are just waiting to get hired and once they are, they lay back and start making all kinds of demands.

Re:Other methods of screening (1)

TechDogg (802999) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699502)

After writing my post, I scrolled down and saw that quote at the bottom of the /. page, that pretty much sums up what I was thinking about:
It doesn't matter what you do, it only matters what you say you've done and what you're going to do.

The Secret of Jack Welch's Success (4, Interesting)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699463)

Jack Welch started at GE in 1960 as a junior engineer, worked his way up to CEO by 1981, and grew the business by $400 billion during his tenure from 1981-2001.

From his rebuttal:

> When has there ever been a divergence between shareholders and customers? No one is out saying, "Let's screw this customer today, and if we do, our share price might go up 20 cents." They're just not doing it.

25 years later, the secret of his success slips out: he has never owned a wireless phone.

Re:The Secret of Jack Welch's Success (3, Insightful)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699665)

When I read his rebuttal:

When has there ever been a divergence between shareholders and customers? No one is out saying, "Let's screw this customer today, and if we do, our share price might go up 20 cents." They're just not doing it.

I thought "Well he's obviously never bought a Sony product"...

Re:The Secret of Jack Welch's Success (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700033)

When has there ever been a divergence between shareholders and customers? No one is out saying, "Let's screw this customer today, and if we do, our share price might go up 20 cents." They're just not doing it.
Um, I was once told that "Customer's rate companies better on customer service if they have a few small inconviences that are quickly resolved, than if they have no problems, so we are going to start delaying mail server maintenance."
Where does that fall in the 'just not doing it' scheme?
Companies live and die by the stock price - not sure why because after they sell it, they don't get any more money from the stock - and anything that might get it to nudge up just a little - without causing an open rebellion from the customers is going to be tried. If they loose some customers - the thought is that the better report numbers will generate new ones. Let's face it, for most businesses customers are just as replaceable as the employees.

Re:The Secret of Jack Welch's Success (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15700102)

I'm not picking on you for your opening sentence, but have never liked the sentiment that the CEO "grew the business by $X over Y years," and this seems as good an opportunity as any to ask if anybody can set me straight. Maybe I'm just a complete idiot for not knowing this already, but is there any objective way to measure how much the actions of one guy at the top really "grew the business by $400 billion during his tenure from 1981-2001?"

By an amazing coincidence, these dates correspond to a huge expansion in the US economy that went far beyond GE - do we give Jack credit for all that growth, too, or do we just say that he was in the right place at the right time? It seems to me that these guys are compensated (and lauded) for results that are largely out of their direct control.

Re:The Secret of Jack Welch's Success (1)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700716)

...is there any objective way to measure...?

Not so much measuring but laying responsibility. The guy at the top gets the credit for everything that goes right. That's only fair. Conversely, unless he's George Bush, he gets the blame for everything that goes wrong.

The IP sector. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15699474)

"Although the article lists Google and Apple as two paragons of the new rules of business, it fails to note that the old rules of business originated from straight manufacturing firms while the new rules of business are coming from the (more service-oriented) tech sector."

Of course the "service sector" revolves around IP and the creation and maintainance of it.* The other kind of "service" is "would you like fries with that", but you can't build much of an economy on that.

*Billions and billions of dollars as compared to the "buggy whip" sector.

lost sectors (1)

rodentia (102779) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699902)

Of course the "service sector" revolves around IP and the creation and maintainance of it.* The other kind of "service" is "would you like fries with that", but you can't build much of an economy on that.

Blinking a few little industries like Financial Services (banking, corporate, private, hedge and mutual fund management and advisory services); Corporate Services (outsourcing of payroll, HR, fulfillment, customer service or IT); Legal Services (anything other than IP law); Medical Services; et. al.

I think you'll find the french fry and clean linen group just isn't putting up the numbers necessary to account for the growth of service industries in the national GDP. There is some fuzziness in semantics; recall that line cooks have been mooted to be *manufacturing* hamburgers.

Re:The IP sector. (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700363)

Of course the "service sector" revolves around IP and the creation and maintainance of it.* The other kind of "service" is "would you like fries with that", but you can't build much of an economy on that.

That's a little short-sighted.

To reduce the service sector to either high-tech or fast food is a rather stupid thing to do. Last I checked "service" also included plumbers, electricians, construction workers, mechanics, nurses, doctors (practicing doctors instead of research doctors), lawyers, police and firemen, teachers, beauticians, and many many others professions, many of which pay decently, and make up a substantial part the economy. Some of those you might be able to argue are built around IP to some extent or another, but mostly, while they might be *skilled* professions, don't exactly revolve around IP.

Hire passionate people (5, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699478)

"Hire passionate people." Well, if that isn't touchy-feely management at its best.

Welch's rule was to grade your players and go with the A's. Some of us might call that a meritocracy. To the B or C graded employee, of course, it looks like an unbalanced, unfair gold-key system driven by self interest on the part of senior managers.

What's the alternative? "Hire passionate people."

Am I the only one who imagines the following conversation: "Look, Bob, I know you're working hard. Your code is better than everyone else's on the team, and that's great! You did a good job getting everybody working together on that one project, too, and you were right about cutting out those side jobs -- if we were still eating those expenditures this project would have crashed and burned months ago. But Dave's the right guy to get this promotion, even though we only brought him in from that middle-manager position at Nabisco three weeks ago, and I'll tell you why. Frankly Bob, you just don't have Dave's passion."

Re:Hire passionate people (4, Insightful)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699611)

...But Dave's the right guy to get this promotion, even though we only brought him in from that middle-manager position at Nabisco three weeks ago, and I'll tell you why. Frankly Bob, you just don't have Dave's passion."
That's the great fear of being a long-term employee unjustly passed by a new guy who interviews well. I believe that the 'passion' which the author refers to cannot be captured in a cover letter, interview, or golf outing, but in one's day-to-day commitment to the work. If that passion is the one which his managers look for then I am certain that your 'Bob' would find himself well rewarded.

Re:Hire passionate people (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699935)

I believe that the 'passion' which the author refers to cannot be captured in a cover letter, interview, or golf outing, but in one's day-to-day commitment to the work. If that passion is the one which his managers look for then I am certain that your 'Bob' would find himself well rewarded.

Sure, you believe ... it's easy to believe.

Where's the benchmark for "passion"? How do I prove I have it? How does a manager evaluate me for it? If Dave was hired because of his passion, and Bob was hired because of his passion, which one gets to head up the project? Which one has more passion and which could work on his passion a little bit?

For that matter, is it even possible to "work on" your passion? If you were hired with just a little less passion than Dave, is there some kind of program or training course the company can offer you that will increase your passion levels? Or are you just doomed to not succeed because, hell, it's about hiring the most passionate people you can find?

This is what I mean by touchy-feely management. Yes, in today's more compassionate America, nobody wants to look like a bully. God forbid we should be competitive, or aggressive, or challenge ourselves and our coworkers to do better work even if we're working on something that we're maybe not all that passionate about. But come on -- do you really want to work for a company whose mantra is "Admire us for our soul?" I feel oily just thinking about it.

I'd much rather work for Jack Welch than the people who wrote this list of tips. Jack's world may not be the most forgiving one, but at least he doesn't mince words with this kind of New Age garbage. At least he shoots straight.

Re:Hire passionate people (2, Insightful)

ericspinder (146776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700269)

I'd much rather work for Jack Welch than the people who wrote this list of tips.
Well that should be a no-brain-er, because I don't think that that people who wrote that list are hiring, as they are writers just trying to capture a perceived trend.
God forbid we should be competitive, or aggressive, or challenge ourselves and our coworkers to do better work even if we're working on something that we're maybe not all that passionate about.
In his rebuttal, Jack mentioned that he was quite proud of reducing the corporate hierarchy, and he believed that in general it should be reduced even further. In your well received example 'Bob' was a skilled coder, but he feels that in order to succeed he needs to have the job which 'Dave' took. I think, that this internal struggle for dominance is not the real point of most businesses. While some pressure is good, 'Bob' should be able to succeed without becoming 'Dave'.

I think that you basic 'problem' is with the word 'passion', and I'll agree that it is just about the vaguest 'concept word', and open to interpretation. Grading someone an 'A', 'B', 'C', etc, is also highly subjective as well. Jack and his team picked, promoted, and nurtured some pretty good people, but others who have superficially implemented 'his style' have not been so successful. Articles like this are good for self-examination, and should not be used as a manifesto. Of course someone will use it as such, and will likely miss the meaning altogether, surely even resulting in yet another example of your complaint. I wonder how many good coders were rated a 'B' because they lacked 'managerial' qualities.

Sure, you believe ... it's easy to believe.
And I also believe that using one's moderating term of speech against them is rude. Particularly without a smiley :)

Re:Hire passionate people (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700289)

And I also believe that using one's moderating term of speech against them is rude. Particularly without a smiley :)

See? Everybody's got a set of rules.

Re:Hire passionate people (1)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699936)

cannot be captured in a cover letter, interview, or golf outing, but in one's day-to-day commitment to the work. If that passion is the one which his managers look for then I am certain that your 'Bob' would find himself well rewarded.

And that is where the problem lies -- where lesser companies take, say, Apple as an example but completely misinterpret the idea and begin hiring the least qualified people based upon such subjective intangibles as passion. I can see 'Bob' easily getting sidelined -- Showing up for work every day and getting the job done isn't passionate. It's the Dilbert principle [amazon.com] in full effect.

Re:Hire passionate people (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699993)

If that passion is the one which his managers look for then I am certain that your 'Bob' would find himself well rewarded.

For a lot of companies that would really depend on Bob's ass kissing skills. If Bob sit's in his cube & makes magical code flow across the screen like water over Niagra Falls, but tells the manager he's wrong, why he's wrong, and offers proof of why he's wrong, chances are he's going to sit in his cube until they take his caffeene pickled corpse out. But Dave, who grovels, says yes to anything no matter how stupid, and can't code "hello world" in any language without 6 hours of debugging, will probably get promoted to a glass office somewhere.

I've dealt with a slew of managers in different industries. Some actually cared what you had to say, most only cared about what they thought. I had one who insisted that something be done one way because 'it would work better'. When it took a production line down for a week, he was screaming about how nobody listened to him, until someone dropped his Emails & all the responces sent to him warning about what would happen on his bosses desk.

I worked at one company shifting from family ownership to trying to go public - long term planning and projects were both thrown out the window in the name of next month's proffit. 300% profit specialty products were ditched in favor of 1% high volume products - with a projection that the margin would narrow as the market saturated. IIRC that gave them a 2 year NP increase of about 5% and they are still chasing old accounts trying to get back to where they were.

you miss the point (2, Insightful)

enjahova (812395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699872)

In your example Bob IS the passionate person. From the factors the manager listed there is no way he hates his job and can write top code and work well with everybody. Being passionate about what you do isn't about saying how much you love it, its about waking up in the morning and WANTING to go to work and get stuff accomplished.

The manager you imagined is just an example of a bad manager, and not how I imagine hiring passionate employees at all. I would imagine the manager hiring Bob and hearing Bob talk with enthusiasm about all the ideas he has to implement. Hed probably pass over the cookie cutter from Nabisco ;P

Re:Hire passionate people (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700262)

But Dave's the right guy to get this promotion, even though we only brought him in from that middle-manager position at Nabisco three weeks ago, and I'll tell you why. Frankly Bob, you just don't have Dave's passion."

Yeah, that would be the first time that objective merit has won over subjective goals and vision.

Apple has fanatical customers as well as staff. Call up 1-800-SOS-APPLE, and the computer voice is a little more human sounding than most. Its perceived as a male voice over a female one (female voices cause more stress in males), and the guy says "OK, what do you want to have support with...", you speak to it, and blah blah. Its much better than a chick voice saying "Please choose from one of 8 options..." "Please choose from one of 5 options" "Please enter you're customer number to expedite service" "Please hold for the next available customer representative..." Customer representative: "What is your customer number?"

That is a simple example, and one of many, but there is passion at Apple. Granted, Microsoft products may be more technologically "correct" and they have the greater marketshare, and all of that jazz, but Apple has gotten my promotion over the years, and Microsoft has been fired. Linux is still in the server room, busy as a beaver.

The difference? A company like Microsoft has chosen to appeal to the drones of the world, and has done it well. Apple has decided to target those that don't shave every morning, wear not necessarily clean clothes, all of those quiz items that are on the OS personality quiz. Apple has sayings like "Think different", Microsoft is more goal oriented with "Where do you want to go today?"

Different strokes for different folks, but at this time passion driven companies like Google and Apple are making more headlines than mass marketed things like IBM and Microsoft. Even though IBM and MS have huge market shares in their markets, Google only has something like 37% market share, Apple less than 10%, but they are all the buzz.

Yawn... (-1, Troll)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699487)

Another article for suits. Who gives a rat's ass about business other than suits? We're here for free source code and innovation that is unfettered by needing to cater to stockholders. Why are so many folks in IT obsessed with business? It makes no sense. I got into IT because of art. That's the way it should be. IT is all about being creative and original not business.

Re:Yawn... (1)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699534)

Because you can't eat elegant code.

Well, I assume you could, but I don't recommend it.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15699574)

30 years from now: "Why am I broke? Whaddya mean I should have set aside money for retirement? I created ART! Shouldn't somebody support me now? I shoulda talked to girls, maybe I coulda had kids to feed me now :( "

Re:Yawn... (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699597)

And if Steve Jobs isn't lying (I'm too cynical not to suspect that he is), you're exactly the sort of person he's looking for. I'm with you - I'm in it for the coding. I enjoy learning about the core business (the real stuff like, "what do we sell" and "how do we make money") but only as it relates to learning it well enough to automate it.

Re:Yawn... (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699666)

For the vast majority of coders, business pays their salary.

That being said, I agree that this is an article for suits (well, what do you expect from Fortune) and it's packed with business jargon that means very little. A lot of non-tech types make fun of techie jargon, but the jargon means something; when we say "TCP/IP," it's because it's a lot quicker than saying "transmission control protocol and internet protocol," and a whole lot quicker than spelling out, in detail, what each of those terms actually means. Suits have long had a habit of either taking technical jargon (from various fields, not just CS) and twisting it until it doesn't mean anything, or just making up jargon that didn't mean anything in the first place.

"Six sigma," mentioned in the article, is a fine example of this. How many suits really understand what a "sigma" is in this (or any) context, or why six of them is an interesting quantity? Then the six-sigma crowd compounded their sins by using the phrase "black belt." And of course there's all the military talk they love to throw around, this bunch of lifelong civilians who wouldn't know which end of an M16 the bullet comes out of. As a mathematician, a martial artist, and a veteran, I find this particular combination to be the Holy Trinity of bad suit-speak.

So the answer to the question, "Why should we care?" is, "Because that's where the money is" -- but that shouldn't keep us from pointing out what a bunch of jackasses they are.

Re:Yawn... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700122)

Six sigma," mentioned in the article, is a fine example of this. How many suits really understand what a "sigma" is in this (or any) context, or why six of them is an interesting quantity?
What? Six Sigma is the name of a specific approach to management of a company. It's copyrighted (owned by Motorola) and "Black Belts," "Green Belts," "Champions," etc. are the titles of specific roles within the program. It's not a generic (which is a mistake in TFA, they should have capitalized it) term, it's a proper term.

Your ill-advised rant (which has nothing much to do with the concepts in TFA anyway) is akin to griping about Microsoft having a program they've titled "Windows" -- the name is meant to convey something. Ditto for Six Sigma and the roles' titles -- keep in mind that Motorola developed this program to instill a new way of thinking about management.

That being said, I agree that this is an article for suits (well, what do you expect from Fortune) and it's packed with business jargon that means very little.
Means very little to you, you mean. To people who focus on strategy rather than tactics, there is a lot of meaningful dialogue in the article. Whether or not you get anything out of it is a different story.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15700546)

A-fucking-men. I always suspected the Dir. Ops at my last (engineering) job had no idea what a standard deviation was...

Speak for yourself (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699686)

Speak for yourself. With no big business to pay an IT department, you're relegated to programming after your pizza delivery job. Actually, without big business, there wouldn't even be PC's.

Re:Yawn... (2, Insightful)

engagebot (941678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699691)

See, i disagree. If you got into IT for creativity, you should have looked into marketing. IT is about standards, best practices, and things 'just working' for your customers (ie the company's internal people). Yes, there are places where creativity is good, but no more than any other 'office job' at the same company.

Lets see, i need a fool-proof disaster recovery scheme. Best practices or art? I choose best practices. File server? Yep, best practicies. Email? Exchange, please.

Like i said, there is room for creativity, but only here and there. IT is not alchemy by any stretch.

Re:Yawn... (1)

fury88 (905473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699764)

Oh man I could spend all day replying to this article.. I just put in my 2 weeks notice for the same reason.. screw the suits, screw the investors who don't give a flying fuck about their employees, screw them all, they will learn at some point now or later.

Re:Yawn... (1)

michaelvkim (981938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699830)

Investors don't really care about the employees or the customers. All they care about is money. Kudos to you for having the balls to leave a company based on that. I don't exactly agree with a lot of the red-tape beaureaucracy that goes on at my company, but I still need money to live.

Re:Yawn... (1)

fury88 (905473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700064)

No, I hear ya 100% Luckily I get health benefits through my wife's company. I've been screwed over by investors more than once in a company and I've about had enough. I think things are changing but maybe I am naive. I hope more people start standing up for this bullshit.

Re:Yawn... (1)

michaelvkim (981938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700224)

The thing is, there will always be people who will do anything the company wants them to do. The assurance of a paycheck every other week is what they base their lives around, and if that goes away, then so does their comfort zone.

Re:Yawn... (1)

fury88 (905473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700282)

You got that right.. I can't believe how many people are in a "comfort zone" here. All I really care about anymore is to just be happy but I have a hard time doing that when there are so many morons and micro-managers working around me.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15700209)

screw them all, they will learn at some point now or later.

One thing I've come to believe, after years in corporate america, is that no, they won't learn. Now, OR later.

I do agree with the "screw them all" part though.

Re:Yawn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15699806)

"Why are so many folks in IT obsessed with business? "
Because a good and solid businessmodel is the most important thing of all because it's pays the bills so you and your family can live.

If you work in this industry a economically viable businessmodel is more important than anything else, you will also understand this when you get a family.

Re:Yawn... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700196)

OOPS! Too late. I've already got one and I work for a non-profit. So go stick that in your pipe and choke on it. Yeah! Me: 1 The Slashdot Poster: 0

Jack's still got it (3, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699498)

just a few people want to play with words to make ideas their own. As he pointed out in his rebuttal a lot of the ideas that are being set out for today are compatible if not part of the ideas he espoused.

I do agree with one item, weed out your worst. It is true. You will come to find that that passionate ones will not be lost in this. I'm in a company which doesn't do this, its a good old boy club. As such we still make money but never really move forward. We have so much deadwood it stifles innovation. The only time things change is when someone dies or retires.

Re:Jack's still got it (2, Insightful)

m-wielgo (858054) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699530)

Want change? Promote the person hindering it to a higher position in a different area. Works in more industries than you would imagine.

Re:Jack's still got it (1)

Blink Tag (944716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700287)

I have to agree. After reading the linked articles (gasp!), I saw very little difference between the two lists. The author is creating "exclusive ors" where there aren't any. "Big" doesn't mean "not lean," "passionate" doesn't mean "not grade A," and "customer focus" does not exclude "shareholder focus."

When we're dealing with broad-brush ideas, comparing symantic differences is a bit silly.

Blasted spell check... (1)

Blink Tag (944716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700318)

Seems I don't have the new version of Firefox yet. That's "semantic," not "symantic."

Re:Jack's still got it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15700460)

As a person who has been weeded out many times over, I used to think I was a failure every time I got the pink slip. But I later realized it wasn't usually my fault. Sometimes it was bad management with unrealistic expectations, another time it was simply being a mismatch for the job. Hey, the B's and C's are not failures. I finally ended up at a good company where I am considered an A player, and the passion came back. Rank and yank may be good in theory only but there are more variables within the company to consider. Not all of us are deadwood do-nothings.

Compensation is ALWAYS Important (4, Insightful)

muntumbomoklik (806936) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699512)

Whenever I hear the phrase "passionate about what you do" I get this eery feeling that they're going to offer up far more "passion" in their compensation package than "salary". Passion is all and well, and enjoying work is naturally important, but a large number of employers (especially in tech sectors) love to use the "passion" card as a way of underpaying their staff. If employees ever complain about meagre wages the employer can always counter with "But you LOVE this work! You should be glad to be doing this for a living!"

There's a fine line between passion and simple exploitation of that passion to get stuff done for cheap. And I don't trust most businessmen to look out for my best interests when cutting a deal.

Re:Compensation is ALWAYS Important (1)

whyrat (936411) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700072)

It's important to distinguish the actual work being done (at that company) from the type of work (in general) the person does.

If I'm passionate about my work, it doesn't matter so much if I'm at my current company or say... one of it's competitors, where I'd be doing pretty much the same job.

This is where compensation will always be important. You can't go to someone and say "you love doing this so much we won't pay you" unless you're a monopsony. If you love writing music (as an example); Atlantic records can't keep you around w/out paying you since other record labels would love to steal you away, pay you slightly more than nothing and let you write music for them instead.

What he really meant... (5, Insightful)

darthnoodles (831210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699540)

At Genentech, CEO Art Levinson says he actually screens out job applicants who ask too many questions about titles and options, because he wants only people who are driven to make drugs that help patients fight cancer.
What he means is: "I don't want people who are interested in whay THEY'LL get from the job. I want people who are interested in nothing more than the good of the COMPANY!"

How dare someone be interested in their own benefits!?!?!

Re:What he really meant... (5, Insightful)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699639)

I know. It's the companies I have interviews with that constantly talk of how "passionate" and "dedicated" their staff is that expect you to work 70-80 hours per week for a tiny salary. The ones who actually have a good work-life balance tend also to be the ones that pay a sane rate.

Re:What he really meant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15699640)

My thoughts exactly. Levinson's looking for people who love the job so much that they'd do it for nothing. He conveniently neglects to mention that he pays these people what they're worth to the company... probably because he doesn't. I'm pretty damn good at what I do and I know what my work is worth. Consequently I consult because from my experience, only companies who don't want to pay their employees tend to hire consultants to get the job done.

Re:What he really meant... (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699974)

The lions share of Genentech's fortunes rise and fall with getting a single big product to market after passing FDA approval. It really is individuals who make the difference there, and Genentech's success really is their success. The same goes for many tech firms.

A manufacturing firm really has to plug away and build up reputation while keeping quality consistent year after year (mind you Genentech had better keep up quality too -- look what happened to Chiron). What you really want there are well-manufactured cogs without defects or variance. Go look up some six-sigma training material -- it's amazing how cult-like the thinking is in fostering a group of elites ("black belts") who prize conformity and groupthink amongst themselves.

Re:What he really meant... (1)

HeyMe (935075) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700397)

Love the quotes with the pics in the side bar:

"We've never said we wanted to be No 1 or No.2" - Jim Donald, CEO, Starbucks.
BS. We've always wanted to be No.1 and we'll dump No. 2 on anyone who tries to beat us.

"If you're not nimble, there's no advantage to size. It's like a rock." - Anne Mulcahy, CEO , Xerox.
Oh, please! Xerox invented practically everything we take for granted in the IT world at their Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and then gave it away because "we're a copier company".

You have to have the courage of your convictions." - John Chambers, CEO, Cisco Systems.
BS. If the market is big enough (say communist china), he'd sell his soul to get the contract. Oh, that's right, HE DID!

Volume is something we've often chased to the detriment of the long-term business." - Neville Isdell, CEO, Coke.
That's probably the most honest quote of the bunch, however he's not above using volume to drive competitors into the dirt. BTW, who names their kid Neville? I'd thought after that brush-up in Munich in 1938...

Its the New Economy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15699572)

nm

passion vs. obsession (4, Insightful)

spykemail (983593) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699586)

Some of you are confusing passion with obsession. A passionate employee loves his or her job and strives to do a good job - they don't necessarily devote their entire life to it. I know plenty of passionate people who have lives outside of the office. You can really love your job and try really hard without even taking it out of the office.

In my experience some of the people who are obsessed with their job (spending nights / weekends) actually hate it.

Does anyone else see a creepy Apple vs. Microsoft comparison here? I know a couple of managers at Microsoft, and the "old" rules sound exactly like what they do.

I'm Not Convinced (5, Insightful)

amelith (920455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699609)

Well they can say what they want but, in my experience, the corporate sector thrives on mediocrity. Most companies want to hire average people and pay them an average amount of money, or a bit less if they can get away with it. I don't claim that this is necessarily wrong, just hypocritical.

They can go on about "passion" and wanting "the best people" but they know that passionate people can be difficult to deal with and the best people not only want the best money and benefits but they want some say in how things get done.

And would they hire someone "passionate" in their late forties or is this merely another codeword for "naive new graduate"?

Ame

Re:I'm Not Convinced (1)

patrixmyth (167599) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699924)

The value of passion is in starting new companies and turning around troubled companies. That's why Jobs was a success building Apple, a failure when it was on top, and a success again upon his return in the darkest days of the company. That is also why I fully expect he will shoot himself, Apple and Disney in the foot eventually with some disastrous and passionate endeavor.

In prominent successful and stable firms, like GE, there are many valid arguments for AVOIDING the most passionate people.

Passion also has a dark side. Enron was a very successful company before their passion took them into industries they didn't understand and policies that defrauded their shareholders. I have no doubt Ken Lay et al were passionate about their work. That passion didn't only inspire their efforts though, it also tempted their greed and inflated their pride to dangerous levels as well.

If the success of a business is dependent upon the passion of the individual employees there is also a very real possibility that the loss of those employees, which should be planned for, will seriously harm the business. That makes for exciting financial news, but lousy investments.

money for nothing, chicks for free (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699610)

I think this is like the perpetual motion machine. Everyone hopes they can circumvent the laws of the universe and create profit from nothing. The dot com philosophy was the unoriginal "we make up for in sales what we don't make in profit." Enron was an outshoot of this, and eventually though it had "sales", it ran out of money. The jury is still out on Amazon. It is scary to think that each order steals a few cents from investors.

Apple on the other hand is so clearly old line. Make quality and useful products targeted to an audience willing to pay for the products. Charge enough for the product to create a good profit. Give good service before, during, and after the sale. Charge enough so that at the end one has enough to pay for fixed costs, manufactureing, service, overhead, and research and development. Do not be afraid to change the product to meet demands, and throw in a bit of flash. This probably had not changed since Ford innovated the car in on color Black, with evolved into the mustang of many colors. I think the old Ford put some big dogs out of bussiness as well.

I understand what the article is saying, but the article is talking about established firm. Apple, as an established firm, did exactly what it was supposed to do. That is fixed itself. Apple has been, and is, a major manufacturer of consumer and proffesional intergrated computer solution. So is Dell. MS only supplies software. Apple is and will continue to be, at least in the near future, a to manufacuturer of high tech solutions. The have proven that they will adjust to meet new needs, just as old bussiness says they should. The article cites IBM, which also did what it needed to do. Refocus on the customer, develop customer oriented products that provided real value. They talk about how the iPod is unique, but how many new catagories of product did IBM help create? The selectric, the PC, SQL, GML, etc.

It is ludicrous to think that anything other than good products or services matter, or that creating new products is something new. IBM exists because it started creating products and focused on customers.

As far as google, that is a story yet to be wrote. They have an Enron like grasp on the ad market, unregulated, not transparent, unpredicatable. The success may be last remant of the dot com boom, or they may be able to leverage advertisers in the same way that TV did. If they are succesful, it will be nothing but bussiness as usual. Create a product, namely adwords, charge enough for it to generate a profit, and use some of the cash to innovate.

I think what happened, especially in the 70's and 80's, was the sense of entitlement of the big corporations. That somehow Americans were obligated to purchase the products no matter how horrible they were. In a perverse way, they were applying the soviet model to capitalism, where the people had to buy what they state supplied, except in out case capatilism provided such an oversupply that we had the illusion of choice. This was illustated with the government bailout of chrysler. In fact, some of the few comapnies that haven't leared thier lesson are in the auto industry. Chrsyler has so given up and is running ads featuring it German owner. In the end what we may be seeing is not new rules of bussiness, but the return to the basics. Make a product, sell a product at a fair price, and realize the consumer is the boss.

Re:money for nothing, chicks for free (2, Informative)

DemiKnute (237008) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700038)

The jury came back on Amazon a long time ago. They've pulled a profit each of the last three years.

Re:money for nothing, chicks for free (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700062)

Apple on the other hand is so clearly old line. Make quality and useful products targeted to an audience willing to pay for the products. Charge enough for the product to create a good profit. Give good service before, during, and after the sale. Charge enough so that at the end one has enough to pay for fixed costs, manufactureing, service, overhead, and research and development. Do not be afraid to change the product to meet demands, and throw in a bit of flash. This probably had not changed since Ford innovated the car in on color Black, with evolved into the mustang of many colors.

Quoted for truth. You can have all of the latest flashy techno-gadgets, but when it comes to a successful business model, there's no school like the old school.

It is ludicrous to think that anything other than good products or services matter...

This point, however, should be related to the major thread above. Good products are created by skilled, passionate employees. Of course, employees will only stay passionate if the company treats them well. It doesn't matter how excited a product team is about their project. If the company rewards them with a 2% raise every year, with more work for fewer employees, no bonus, and shrinking benefits, that team's passion is going to disappear faster than a vodka martini at a James Bond convention.

Thou shalt not question. (3, Informative)

daskrabs (976610) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699695)

"At Genentech, CEO Art Levinson says he actually screens out job applicants who ask too many questions about titles and options..." Mr. Levinson went on to say that he also screens anyone asking about salary, vacation, internal advancement, the company's business model, stock performance, or any other matters pertaining to the position. "I ask them, 'Do you want to cure cancer?' It's a simple 'yes or no' question. Any information about us is irrelavant."

Re:Thou shalt not question. (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699794)

To be fair, I know some people who work for Genentech, and they seem to be pretty happy with their work conditions.

OT: Ads in Slashdot RSS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15699731)

Anybody else notice Slashdot has added ads in the RSS feeds? This story's summary has an ad for Camtasia Studio and it's the first I've noticed.

Hrmm. A bit annoying...

Not really anything new (1)

michaelvkim (981938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699765)

Technology has been changing the way business has been conducted forever. People can run their business in pajamas while doing laundry at home. I think it all evens out, though. Avant garde companies hire people who are passionate about their work while old-school companies hire good businesspeople. In both instances, the person being hired is probably a very hard worker, or else they won't last long.

The Gravy Train (5, Insightful)

Zobeid (314469) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699867)

With regard to hiring. . . After a company reaches a certain level of success and public recognition, large numbers of people start applying for jobs just because they want to work for a successful company -- not because they want to help make the company successful. In other words, they want to ride the gravy train. Those are the ones you have to weed out.

Start-ups and small companies rarely have this problem. It's after your company turns out to be Google, then everybody wants to climb on board.

Re:The Gravy Train (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15700708)

With regard to weeding people out, what about the ones who are left behind? Don't they get a feeling of insecurity that they could be weeded out next year when the bar is raised a little higher? Then the members of your A-TEAM start quitting to find a more stable company. People talk about weeding out the bad employees, but do nothing about retaining the good employees.

Reminds me of the NO CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND school program. :-)

RSS feed? (-1, Offtopic)

houghi (78078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15699880)

I get links to I get links to http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ht tp://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/11/15522 45&from=rss [slashdot.org] instead of http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/11/155 2245&from=rss [slashdot.org] resulting in errors when linking from Liferea.

passion vs results (1)

jay2003 (668095) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700194)

The problem is that his passion vs results never goes both ways. Can a manager at Genetech who misses his numbers tell Art Levinson, "It's not about the money, it's about helping cancer paitients so you should just forget about those numbers I missed"? I seriously doubt it.

Customers vs. Shareholders (1)

superflippy (442879) | more than 8 years ago | (#15700440)

In his response to this article, Welch says, "No one is out saying, 'Let's screw this customer today, and if we do, our share price might go up 20 cents.' They're just not doing it."

Clearly, Mr. Welch does not have a cell phone or cable TV.
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