an interesting conversation

I'm having a conversation with right now about his latest post. I am surprised he mixes home and work so freely. But enough about that. It made me think of a few observations about corporate life.

Aristotle said: “The law is reason free from passion.” I say: “A corporation is greed unfettered by morality.” Or by intelligence, for that matter…

Companies, particularly software companies IME, are usually engaged in a little self-deception. Videlicet:

1) We exist by virtue of the competitive advantage of our IP, so we must protect it at all costs.
2) We hire only the best.
3) Our developers produce amazing stuff, better than anyone else out there.

This leads to the rather reductio ad absurdum conclusions that:

4) Our developers are brilliant in a vacuum. They never talk to anyone else in the industry because of point 1), therefore their brilliance is a direct result of point 2) and the great environment the company provides which enables these amazing ideas.
5) When our developers leave the company, as they do from time to time, they somehow stop being brilliant, because they leave this amazing creative environment.

In some cases I have even heard developers (not just management!) saying things that indicated they actually accepted point 5! I had to jump in and point out this craziness. “So, last week when John worked here, he was brilliant… but now he works at Sonic ScrewdriverSoft, he's somehow not as good?”

One Response to “an interesting conversation”

  1. auntysarah says:

    1) We exist by virtue of the competitive advantage of our IP, so we must protect it at all costs.

    This one used to drive me up the wall at a company that shall remain nameless. There seemed to be this belief that the company's competitive advantage would be maintained by legal action, and that IP laws were all that separated us from bankruptcy. Strange ideas like providing customer satisfaction, and the security of having us take something that wasn't their core competency off their hands and manage it, worry-free, for them (i.e. arguably the reasons they bought from us in the first place) seemed to be more or less forgotten.

    (http://livejournal.com/users/auntysarah)

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