and through my own professional experience, i know for a fact nobody with a cutesy demeanor like that builds a company like amazon. i don't buy it for a second. i don't buy this little emergency damage control email either.
also, just one little detail from the article that jumped out at me - any company that specifically designs and defines a mechanism for anonymous reporting (snitching) on your coworkers to your manager, knows how it will be used - as a manipulative backstabbing tool. these people aren't naive, they're professional assholes designing their own little lord of the flies workplace.
it's like someone took the gervais principle and optimized for it.
"Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy.
I'm going to fucking bury that guy,
I have done it before, and I will do it again.
I'm going to fucking kill Google."
I would feel like a failure because I couldn't push myself or my employees to work that way. I wanted everyone to have a good time, to work, but also to have fun with their work. It felt like I was doing something wrong.
Today, I've given up on that "18 hour workday" dream. I'm not built like that. I don't care about maximizing efficiency or increasing profitability. I want everyone to be happy, and I've realized that that's anti-thetical to the way businesses usually work across the world.
I don't care. I'm happy. My workers are happy. The clients I have are certainly happy. Others can work their 18 hour days and buy six figure cars they can't drive. I'll stick to my 7-8 hours, read my favorite authors and spend time with friends.
i.e., when you go to work for microsoft or oracle you pretty much know what you're dealing with. interestingly, i haven't heard nearly as many stories about shitty work environments at those companies.