One of my favorite quotes came at the SV Angel CEO conference a few years ago. When asked about culture, Bill said: "Culture is not about the free food or the ping pong tables. Culture is about how you treat your people and how they treat each other."
Rings very true to me. My condolences to his family, Bill was a great man.
And for the record, I am all for tax simplification. :-)
It's possible that this was just the party line that they were all told to parrot, but if felt like they had more integrity than that, so I'm choosing to believe that they've all internalized that logic and truly believe it. For my part, when I worked at Intuit, I chose to rationalize it by telling myself that I worked on an unrelated product and that I was not involved in that "shadiness." Still, whenever we'd release rosy TurboTax numbers to investors and the stock would pop, I felt a little guilty profiting from that.
The details of the second could be sinister or evil from a macro, national context, but if you narrow down your scope to just Intuit the organization and its people, its lobbying efforts can be seen as doing the right thing for its workforce and their well being.
For one thing, forcing individuals to determine their own tax puts some practical limit on how complex the tax code can be.
Also, it is one thing to say that the tax code should not be secret or obfuscated. It's another thing to say that tax preparation should require use of private companies. It doesn't, quite, but you can't e-file directly with the IRS...
I would love to see comments by people who had personal interactions with him. Please. :-)
I met him at one company mixer and he was regaling us with many stories from Intuit's past. Someone asked him if he'd like another beer (he'd had a few already) and his response was, "I can't drink from an empty bottle." I also saw him do tequila shots with the head of our business unit on stage at a fireside chat they had. I don't mean to paint him as a lush, because that didn't seem like the case, but more to point out how genuine he was. With him, there was no concession to propriety. He did and said whatever he felt like doing or saying.
I can see why the companies he lead and advised tended to have great culture because I think the first step is for the leaders to be as warm/friendly and genuine as possible and Bill had those qualities in spades.
Campbell was responsible for shaping some of the greatest minds the tech industry has ever known. I mean, the amount of money that the people who learned from Campbell control can be measure in TRILLIONS. This man was the absolutely one of the most influential people I can even think of when it comes to tech.
I wish I could've met him!
C'mon now, let's not get ahead of ourselves...
> the amount of money that the people who learned from Campbell control can be measure in TRILLIONS
That's a pretty substantial fraction of the company's valuation.
(source : Founder)
That's really awesome to hear that you were able to meet him. I always hear stories about people like that, who leave that 'approachable' impression on people they meet, I'm glad that there are still others like Campbell left, and that it seems that so many have learned from him. Surely his great work will continue on in the lives he touched.
They typically mean that the person believes that food and games are appropriate compensation for continuous overtime. I wouldn't need food if I was (socially, it's rarely made explicit) allowed to leave at an appropriate time (5pm, assuming 9am arrival), because I'd have time to make my own dinner.
Similarly, ping-pong tables mean you do not value your employees' focus, and believe that "whack whack whack" noises are totally okay in a room of knowledge workers (well, then that it's a single room room means...).
So culture might not be the ping-pong tables and candy, but they're certainly representative.
Currently I'm my image of the ideal workplace (assuming no resource constraints) hovers around: quick internet, sufficient computing power, multiple screens, +100sqft/employee, spacious desks, 1-3 person offices,
windows (the glass version), lighting, etc. It's a wishlist, for sure.
Then there's also the question of an ideal restplace. I believe most people (including me) are incapable of doing challenging work for 8 hours a day, and anyone who thinks that we are is lying to himself. I think 2 hours are good, 4 brilliant, and 6 are almost impossible. That means from 9-5 there's at least 2 hours, if not 6 spent doing things that are somewhere between work and decidedly not-work. If I could use that time to think/nap/mediate/sit in a really nice massage chair in a quiet room, I'd be a lot better rested. Fully resting instead of pretending-to-work-resting should be more time efficient and more effective, which hopefully allows you to take on more challenging work after a shorter rest.
Thinking deeply about issues seems to be another component of knowledge work. How do you set out thinkspace? Trails, gardens, mazes, solitude and complex layouts seem to lend themselves to getting lost in a problem, but that's just a personal hunch and requires more study.
I think the fundamental difference between knowledge workers and industrial workers is that industrial work solves a given problem thousand times a day, and that knowledge work (ideally) solves any given problem once, and if it crops up twice, you automate and abstract till it solves itself. That requires a different approach, and therefore a different environment to facilitate.
If leaving at 5pm is important to you, work at an employer who ends work then. There are plenty out there. They also tend to require arriving by 9am (which I would hate), but I don't derail other HN threads to complain about that.
But they are when someone stays at office because they don't want to cook (which is the reason the comment I replied to gave)? Nobody is asking for extra privileges for having kids, the problem is being penalized for having a life outside work.
Offices certainly aren't obligated to provide food and in fact the majority don't.
Different companies offer different perks which appeal to different workers. If you don't like the perks of a particular company, it's not a "penalty"—just work elsewhere.
>Different companies offer different perks which appeal to different workers. If you don't like the perks of a particular company, it's not a "penalty"—just work elsewhere
First, this is a general trend, not an exception. Most new companies advertise free food as a perk.
Second, just work elsewhere is not always possible for everybody. If you can't relate to other people's situation and problems, keep quiet. Don't say it is not a problem because you don't think it is.
will you say the same thing about working conditions in sweatshops? Should the kids assembling iPhones also 'find' another job?
Comparing highly paid software engineers to kids working in sweatshops is ridiculous at best, insulting at worst.
Some companies have strict working hours of 9–5. There are plenty of job openings at such companies. Again, should I complain about the penalty I would inevitable receive from such companies for not showing up at 9am?
Yes because money is what determines the ethics and attitude that companies and managers have towards employees.
>Again, should I complain about the penalty I would inevitable receive from such companies for not showing up at 9am?
No because that is a written rule that conforms to labor laws that you have agreed to, before you joined.
Not staying back after work because I have life outside of work is neither.