Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nobody Ever Got Rich By Working For An A-Hole

There are a lot of ways to motivate the people around you. You can push and pull, carrot and stick, pay or whip, pester or praise, scream at or celebrate your fellow workers. Many workers need motivation, organization, management and refocusing, but there is a line that should not be crossed. That line is summarized by remembering that "nobody ever got rich by working for an asshole."

Our economy is based upon mutually beneficial relationships. Relationships based upon strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, ability and comparative advantage. Relationships that are not mutually beneficial are not maintainable and people who exploit this fact are assholes.

Pushing people to the limits and beyond can be mutually beneficial. This may open new horizons for those involved, but setting goals at unachievable levels without consensus burns people out. It damages their lives in innumerable ways and reduces their overall productivity. In short, it is not mutually beneficial. This behavior is the reason that many workers formed trade unions to oppose exploitation in centuries past.

We often hear about Microsoft Millionaires and Bill Gates is no choirboy. However, with the revelations that Steve Jobs was an exploitative asshole, it comes to mind that there is no such thing as an Apple Millionaire. There are people who made money on the stock, but I have not found one story of an Apple employee becoming vastly wealthy beyond Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and the forementioned article may explain why:
He cheated his friends out of money. He cut old colleagues out of stock options. He fired people with peremptoriness. He bullied waiters, insulted business contacts and humiliated interviewees for jobs. He lied his pants off whenever it suited him – "reality distortion field" is Isaacson's preferred phrase. Like many bullies, he was also a cry-baby. Whenever he was thwarted – not being made "Man of the Year" by Time magazine when he was 27, for instance – he burst into tears.

As for critiquing the work of others, Jobs's analytical style was forthright: "too gay" (rabbit icon on desktop); "a shithead who sucks" (colleague Jef Raskin); "fucking dickless assholes" (his suppliers); "a dick" (the head of Sony music); "brain-dead" (mobile phones not made by Apple).
...nobody every got rich by working for an asshole.


Arlen Williams said...

Without truly abusive employers, I doubt any Marxist revolutions would have ever succeeded.

There may never have even been something called Marxism.

Doo Doo Econ said...

Imagine if Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had actually worked prior to writing the Communists Manifesto.

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