Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
2004-11-29
  Favorite article of the week
From the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge site, an excerpt from The Weird Rules of Creativity

Basically it describes my ideal working environment:

Fail often
Never wait
Ignore and defy superiors
Fight amongst yourselves
There's lots of interesting bits about products that were produced despite management, and in one case created a new award class: extraordinary contempt and defiance beyond the normal call of engineering duty. Unfortunately, as the author points out, no corporation has this explicit policy in their job manual: "Ignore your boss if you think he or she is wrong."

Here's one example of a the proper use of management bypass:

People who do what they think is right—rather than what they are told or what they anticipate their superiors want—can drive their bosses crazy and get their companies in deep trouble. But they also force companies to try ideas that some boss or powerful group may have rejected as a waste of time or money. 3M's former CEO William McKnight, for example, once ordered a young employee named Richard Drew to abandon a project he was working on, insisting it would never work. Drew disregarded the order and went on to invent masking tape, one of 3M's breakthrough products. Drew's perseverance also laid the foundation for 3M's defining product, Scotch tape.
If I ever get one of my startups off the ground, my employee handbook will include the following:
The following will be considered grounds for dismissal:
  • Failure to address any problem or through inaction allow any opportunity to slip by.
  • Failure to argue with the boss (me) if it appears that he holds some bone-headed opinion or continues to fail to understand the problem.
 
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Paul Graham's Essays
You may not want to write in Lisp, but his advise on software, life and business is always worth listening to.
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Feb '04
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The audience is not listening.

Mar '04
Neat chemicals you don't want to mess with.
The Lack of Practise Effect

Apr '04
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Doing dangerous things in the fire.
The Real Way to get a job

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Checking out cool tools (with the kids)
A master geek (Ink Tank flashback)
How to play with your kids

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