Unflashy and unassuming, he doesn't try to draw press, hired older folks to be the faces. It's just like watching someone that's really good at playing this video game called spreadsheet. Patiently stacking and stacking day in and day out the same thing, but bigger and bigger.
consistency and scalability... Leprino made himself indispensable
Just do the thing that is the point of the place and do the shit out of it, why wouldn't you? -- Louis CK
There is wisdom in hard, but simple work that others value, even in tech. Don't be too clever in that MVP. Substance over style. Etc etc.
Maybe this particular bit of philosophy wasn't the reason he became a commander on the ISS, but it seemed to work for him. It isn't to say you let people take advantage of you, or that you don't make hard decisions, or that you never attempt to innovate. It is just to say, don't be a minus one. It is sort of like comedy in that you can't decide to be funny and then everyone will think you are funny.
The context is also important, he mostly used this to illustrate how he approached things as a new member of a team learning the ropes, even as the commander. He is thrust into a new environment, and he is the commander of the operation, but he didn't immediately impose his authority, he stacked and organized and learned how things were going before making executive decisions. So the whole -1, 0, +1 thing is as much a leadership style as it is his idea on how to be successful.
I think also the environment of a fighter pilot then astronaut does not tolerate showmanship or overt "I am smart" cleverness. It likes consistent hard work and problem solving that is well thought out. Showmanship gets people killed in space. Endeavoring to be a +1 for any of the very numerous wrong reasons just ends up taking away from the mission.
Anyhow, perhaps that adds some context to the idea.
Another question I like in the same vein, "Would you recommend other people to work here?". I think it is just one of many measures of "engagement" though.
Also, I have to agree with the general sentiment against NPS. I have seen teams forced into UI enhancement death marches because their app got a low NPS. It was plastered on billboards and there was a huge push to get the NPS up. It became a bit of a running joke. That anecdotal experience made me really wary of it in general, even though I like the concept as a general engagement measure.... maybe you shouldn't base management decisions on just that :)
When I worked for Apple Support the best in breed was a five point scale with a neutral midpoint and multiple questions on different axis, just as the wikipedia article stated, and I felt it was a clear and straightforward method of measuring customer satisfaction and in some cases quality, so that is what I recommend.
I've only spent time with one person like that - a distant uncle I acquired by marrying into my wife's family and he was exactly as described in the book. He had more money than he ever needed, but he still worked and tended to his business, he never moved out of his starter home, never bought flashy cars or did anything to display his wealth. He wasn't miserly but he just didn't see the need to waste money.
Obviously, it's their money and theirs to do with what they want, but if all you can think to do with a large sum of money is keep it in the bank or in stocks / bonds with no actual purpose in mind (starting a business or non-profit, early retirement, world travel, owning a home, owning a helicopter, donating it, a few years of hospice care for someone in your family, whatever) it just strikes me as super boring and a waste. I don't actually see how people can work so hard to simply attain a certain number on their bank statement when that is the sole goal. To me, that is a total misunderstanding of what money is, and I feel somewhat bad for people who do this.
Anyone whom offers to go into business with someone (at a less than equal footing) or tries to make them their employee when they're the primary technologist is likely cheating them a-priori.
As opposed to being founded on stealing other people's stuff.
"You mean I don't have to wander around the land responding to threats, you'll do that for me? If someone else comes around and threatens me, I can just point them to you? I can sit here and just figure out how to increase my YoY crop? Buddy, you don't have to coerce me, just swing by every month and we'll wine and dine the fuck out of you! I sure hope you brought all your horses because you're gonna need em!"
Warlords were like helicopter bosses. Annoying, but they don't stick around long enough to really mess with anything. It's those with misplaced senses of justice that really got a bee under their bonnet over it. Same as today.
it's not always pretty (and needs regulation to prevent monopoly formation, which the US currently lacks) but the alternative systems with involuntary transactions are demonstrably worse.
When one party is hungry, and the other is not, voluntary participation does not imply freedom of choice.
The truth is, the engineer in this case no doubt provided value. But that value was effectively of a commodity nature. If he refused to deliver, any number of other competent engineers would've stepped up and done work-for-hire for an hourly rate.
No doubt the success in this case was like nearly all success: Unsexy, year-after-year persistence, building industry connections, meeting deadlines and delivering products. Overall being a good company to do business with.
However, its understandable that this concept of the "ripped off engineer" would be popular on a place like HN, since engineer types tend to overestimate the importance of clever ideas on success.
Anyway, having said that, I suspect that the "ripped off engineers" that you mention are disillusioned with Capitalism. They may not realize it explicitly, and may even object to what I'm saying, but I think that's the underlying truth.
And I'm with them on it. I question any economic system that yields salary imbalances of 262:1 at a single company.
 http://www.epi.org/publication/webfeatures_snapshots_2006062... (a 2006 article, and I vaguely remember seeing that the situation has only worsened for the workers)
The criticism boggles my mind. If someone thinks they deserve more, they should make steps towards that (ex: leave for another company) instead of expecting for the money to drop in their lap.
Don't expect sympathy saying your mind is boggled while spending more effort to misconstrue than to understand.
> More fairness... by earning more or having others earn less?
You know there is a fixed amount of money in circulation at any given moment, making these alternatives the same thing, right? If you don't, your mind is boggled for sure, but not because of anything anyone else is saying. If you do, why pretend you don't?
Apparently the people who are complaining about fairness are expecting something (unless they are just complaining for its own sake).
>You know there is a fixed amount of money in circulation at any given moment, making these alternatives the same thing, right?
It seems you're being purposefully obtuse. There are plenty of people who would love to use force (or the State) to ensure that some group of the "underserving" earns less than they do now and some group of the "deserving" earns more. Maybe this isn't what the GP intended, but their post smacked of communist/socialist collectivism thinking to me.
I don't expect you to reply constructively since you're likely hiding behind a new account, but am always curious if you do.
Yeah he can lose his job if entrepreneur fails... if the job is in demand he'll easily get a new one, if it's not in demand it's his poor carrier choice irrelevant of the entrepreneur.
Plus most entrepreneurs put way more on the line and go through several rounds of failures... if you're not there when entrepreneur fails and have part in the downside why should you take a cut larger than you deserve as an employee from the success.
But here's the thing... the chef is replaceable... that guy who built that company, he's #1 in the industry and probably in the world.
Yeah you say you owe him success because that's what leaders say... but he'll do it with or without there's no doubt about it.
Lastly, as an employee he was likely paid more than anyone in his position and achieved higher success than he could ever hope as a chef who voluntarily chooses to stay employed.
EDIT: if you're downvoting, at least counter with an argument... don't be hypocrite.
downvoting without giving an explanation is not "being a hypocrite"
See what PG says about downvotes: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1853529
I like your comment. In my defence, I responded within the context and referred to original rules by PG rather than trying to dictate the terms myself. Thanks for the upvote and the response.
That's a good point, hadn't really thought of it that way. My apologies for being so confrontational.
I think the best part is that his company basically gave the ability to upstarts who entered the pizza business because of a consistent well developed product. That they went the distance to not toss much of their ingredients into the river speaks volumes about a man who grew up poor. You learn from that style of life that everything has value and you need to find it
so instead of concentrating on the possible loss for the engineer celebrate that someone from such an upbringing could create an industry and give work to many more engineers.
Reason: think of all the gallons of milk and processing it takes to make an unit of cheese.
Source: Someone whom worked at a Pizza Hut in South San Jose in high-school.
PS: Another interesting business model (in Texas) is Braum's, which is a large co-op ice cream/restaurant/convenience store chain run on behalf of a consortium of dairy farmers. This cuts out middlemen and is basically direct-to-consumer. The prices are much lower than similar SKUs in local grocery stores and the quality is quite high.
(Oh, and it's not Texan. Braum's is an Okie brand; they don't open up stores more than about 300 miles from their central farms in Oklahoma.)
I never said it was based in Texas, you read the wikipedia and acted like an expert. It's a vertically-integrated supply-chain.
Please don't assume malice.
Sidebar: if you find yourself in southern Ohio near a UDF, go ahead and give the cookie dough ice cream a try. You won't be disappointed.
More dairy companies:
128 stores in Oklahoma
99 in Texas
27 in Kansas
13 in Arkansas
13 in Missouri
I agree. Usually. ;-) Just for fun, I offer the menu for a nearby (Vancouver) pizza joint that includes several triple-digit-dollar 12" pizzas, right up to the $850 Seenay.
> Medley of tiger prawns, lobster ratatouille, smoked steelhead, Russian Osetra caviar, snowed with Italian white truffles $850
> Price has long been Leprino's biggest advantage, and a large one since cheese accounts for about 40% of a pizza's cost.
> On Thursday, Denver-based Leprino Foods, for whom Winchester Dairy was a supplier, announced a program that requires its dairy suppliers and farmers to comply with new company guidelines regarding animal care. Leprino, the world’s largest producer of mozzarella cheese and a supplier to fast-food chains nationwide, has said that it was “extremely repulsed” by the video.
In line with his "ethics" principle that comes after quality and price.
Anyway, if you value the wellbeing of animals going vegan is pretty much the only to me. There's no such thing as animal-friendly meat or bio-industrial dairy.
Pugs are my favorite example-- always in respiratory distress, abnormally short life spans, and unable to normally reproduce.
It isn't some kindness that we create pugs the way we do-- just a gap in traditional morals.
We may confront this more should we find we've created an intelligence with the capacity for emotions.
One could make the argument that evolutionarily speaking, being domesticated (usually then eaten) by humans is the most reliable survival strategy for any species.
Still hopeful that we'll see something that universally disables HTML5 auto-play videos.
I love to get pizza from some of the smaller pizzerias near me occasionally. I don't love that the cheese breaks sometimes, leaving me with a watery, ricotta-like mess on top of my pizza. I don't love that the crust is sometimes too thin and gets soggy or tears, or that the crust is occasionally burned in spots. This doesn't happen with Pizza Hut. Whatever else, they're consistent.
Personally, I also think that the cheese on a Pizza Hut pizza is just fine. If you're buying Pizza Hut or Papa John's, you're not looking for an old-world artisan experience. I don't want buffalo mozzarella on a delivery pizza.
we'll try to work harder and make more money, to be more like you, so we can have excellent gourmand-level taste 24/7.
It can't be that terrible, because they had to inject it into the crust when they ran out of room on the top to satisfy consumers' desire for it.
(edit: To be clear, tomcam did provide his answer. This comment isn't directed at him.)
They all praised it.
I have come to hate the concept of fast food (although readily admit that I guiltily enjoy various bits like McMuffins and Stuffed Crust) and back myself to be able to tell when something is fast food no matter how it's presented.
I probably wouldn't make good tv for the producer of your aforementioned show.
The skillet (understandably) doesn't heat the top of the pizza that much. The toaster oven doesn't have that problem.
*Instead, he hired Lester Kielsmeier, who had run a cheese factory in Wisconsin only to find out that it was sold during his stint in the Air Force during World War II, because his dad believed he'd been killed in action. "When Lester came, I went downtown to the junkyard and I bought a couple bigger cheese vats to make it look like we were really in the business," Leprino says.
Leprino's dad thought Lester Kielsmeier died in WWII, or?
EDIT: Not sure why this is being downvoted. Analysis of the mass market pizza industry as a race to the bottom, in terms of ingredient quality, is an old idea. Couldn't the secrecy, fake differentiation of leading megacorps, and low quality cheese be connected? Are we supposed to be impressed at this way of making money?
[EDITED to add: For the avoidance of doubt, yes it's a spoof.]
Edit: Yep, Barker refers to Engineering and Sales as the two pillars of success in S03E02, and Growth as the "foundation" of the CToS. Compromise is the "shared hypotenuse". Jack was fired before they could discuss Manufacturing.
It really takes someone that knows their shit when a single ingredient has changed ever so slightly and the final result isn't quite right, the heat patterns and cycles of the ovens, changes in temperature and humidity of the inside of the plant...
> Pizza Hut franchises would sometimes wait too long to thaw the presliced mozzarella and reported that their cheese would crumble, so Leprino Foods responded with its first major breakthrough: a preservative mist. The scientists there soon realized that this method allowed them to add flavors such as salted caramel and jalapeño. They could even make a reduced fat "cheddar" by using a mozzarella base and then misting on cheddar flavor and orange food coloring.
> When Pizza Hut began using a hotter conveyor oven, Leprino Foods changed the formula so the cheese wouldn't burn at higher temperatures. As delivery-focused Domino's expanded, Leprino's head cheese maker, Lester Kielsmeier, manipulated the product so that it retained its fresh-out-of-the-oven look and taste longer.
> in the 1990s, Kielsmeier realized that just as the cheese changed when ingredients were sprayed on at the end, certain additives used early in the process could affect how cheese melts--from how big and how brown the bubbles get to how many are on the top of the pie. On the manufacturing side, Kielsmeier cut down the cheese's aging period from 14 days to just four hours, which multiplied the company's production capabilities while cutting costs significantly.
HN is also about business, and this business owner decided to OEM his cheese rather than brand it and sell direct to consumers. "How do you get your first 10 / 100 / 1000 customers?" is often asked on HN, and one answer is "Don't sell directly to them, sell to the people who sell to them".
Also, HN is about many things that are not tech nor business, but which are deeply interesting to hackers.
> On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.
I don't get why people do this. You read one comment on the internet about someone whose name you don't even know. How are you so sure of yourself to pass judgement?
"I would tell people,'Lester is the man that made me rich,' " Leprino says. Notably, though, Leprino never gave Kielsmeier any equity. While Leprino got rich, Kielsmeier — who came to work every day right until his death at 95 in 2012--would have to content himself with being very well paid."
It's obvious he was taken advantage of, just like it's obvious that Steve Jobs took advantage of Steve Wozniak. Just because the Woz is a nice guy and kept working with Jobs despite the abuse doesn't change the abusive behavior.
That's not clear to me at all from the available evidence.
Maybe he was offered stock and didn't want it.
It's hard to make such black-and-white verdicts without being 100% sure you have all the evidence.
Unfortunately it's also true. Life isn't fair.
The solution is to ruthlessly threaten to leave, without making it a threat. If the scientist did that, he probably would've been able to get equity. You have to be sure you're as irreplaceable as you think you are, though.
It's something that took a long time to grok. Honor in business simply does not exist, and nobody will look out for you except you.
(Also, woo, this downvote hiding mod is so nice. I have no idea whether I'm being upvoted or downvoted and it's wonderfullll. I can say whatever I want. Toasters are ugly. There, I've just offended everyone who likes toasters. HN hasn't been this pleasant in years.)
You always could. That you assign so much value to it that it causes you discomfort if you're downvoted is the problem.
As for the equity bit:
People want jobs, they don't want to be entrepreneurs in general. The large companies that I've worked for must have had shareholders, but I've never seen one or even talked to them. What I was concerned with is whether they were going to pay my wage in time, which was the extent of our agreed upon contract.
Now if mr. Leprino had defaulted on wage payments or had somehow taken unfair advantage of his employees by paying them wages lower than was agreed up on or were considered normal for the work they did then you have a point.
But I'm not familiar with an obligation to give out stock on the part of an employer. If you feel that isn't fair then you'll have an uphill battle ahead of you, your definition of honor is an extreme one that not many people subscribe to , including employees of companies.
Now, of course in an ideal world we'd all equally own all the wealth, the means of production and so on, but every time that has been tried for real it has for the most part not worked. The one counter example that I'm familiar with still has by far the largest chunk of the stock owned by founders and investors.
What you will find works in practice (and which is a lot more common) is profit sharing, where a chunk of the profits is paid out (usually annually) to employees of the company.
As increased automation leads to fewer jobs, basic income is one way to avoid the ill effects. But the other half is entrepreneurship. Ownership. And the current system is not set up to let most people become entrepreneurs.
The other fib that rich people like to believe is that their wealth is merit-based. Again, it's partially true, so it's easy to believe. Just pluck an idea off of the idea tree, then turn your laser focus on. Grow it for ten years, and presto! Rich!
Not so easy. There's a lack of ideas, for one. It's no coincidence YC started in 2005. It was like Standard Oil starting right before the oil fields became monopolized.
Two, there's a lack of cofounders. I've been seeking a cofounder literally my entire adult life. It's possible to go through life and find zero, despite looking. And in the current system, if you don't have a parter, your options are severely limited. I know many people will disagree with this, but your disagreement matters less than the disagreement of VCs, whose money allows companies to form without turning a profit. And if your aim is to turn a profit immediately, not to grow a company, then that lack of ideas I mentioned earlier becomes a famine.
Not what I would have done, as I am a big softy and would be giving out chunks of equity left and right, but that would probably explain why I'm not rich. Didn't Wozniak give out stock to people he felt bad for?
Yes. And I think, as opposed to Jobs, his legacy will be rewarded.
Just world fallacy.
People who are forgotten leave no legacy.
Most people don't even know how Wozniak is and the few that know probably see him as the geek that was Jobs' "slave".
You're equating fame with legacy then assuming Woz failed at his goals because he didn't end up famous.
Fame might matter to you, but its very obvious that fame doesn't matter to Woz.
As for legacy, Woz's legacy will be his work. My sister doesn't know Wozniak's name, but she loves her iphone and carries it everywhere she goes. Her iphone wouldn't exist as it does today without Woz. If thats not a ringing endorsement of his work, I don't know what is.
There are different definitions of success. Living and being able to do intelectual work until 95 (if this is what you want to do) could be perfectly one of them.
We don't know what being very well paid means in this case. If Kielsmeier was making $500k or $1 million a year, that wouldn't be too terrible, and perhaps would in the end be as much as he would have gotten from whatever equity he might have gotten.
Of course, well paid might have meant only $150k a year, which seems less fair. But really, we don't know and shouldn't jump to assuming that no equity didn't mean unfair compensation.
I am the founder of a (previous) start-up which has a loooong list of small shareholders that costs real money and time to handle any time there is some corporate action. Equity is not always the right thing to hand out.
It's even sadder how people seem not to care at all, and are okay with all the torture and mutilation that goes behind the milk/cheese industry if they've something tasty in front of them.
Going after dairy is an absolute non-starter (unless maybe you're talking only to vegetarians). I highly recommend sticking with targets that might actually be achievable in your lifetime without requiring the complete collapse of global civilization.
I also fail to see why this would "collapse global civilization". The fact that there's a huge industry behind this in some countries doesn't make it critical. The world economy wouldn't change that much IF these vanished (people would just consume something else).
Yeah... this is the problem right here. The biggest issues facing our species and our planet boil down to one simple thing: the majority of the human race is too selfish, shortsighted, stupid and stubborn to change even the smallest aspects of their destructive behavior.
I mostly agree with you, the reason I said eliminating dairy is a 'non-starter' is entirely about how difficult it is to get fellow humans to upgrade their life choices. That was my whole point. This is also why I half-jokingly mentioned a civilization collapse as the sole way to 'fix' this, because it is only after the nukes have gone off and things have gone all to hell worldwide (and dairy is no longer available) that you will get people to stop eating cheese and ice cream. Outside of complete dictatorial control over a population closed off from the rest of the planet, they will keep consuming dairy until they cannot. It's sad and pathetic, but that's nature of the human beast.