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>rightfully and loudly blamed

There is an enormous difference between assigning fault in a good faith attempt to find a root cause/solution, and casting unnecessary, unprofessional insults such as "Verizon's team should be ashamed of themselves". One is productive, and the other is just being a dick.

>The way you lead people isn't the same as the way you lead companies.

Yes, it certainly is. A company is an organization of people, after all. You don't get to eschew professionalism and start throwing around insults just because a group of people has decided to attach an additional label over their heads.

And just to put an even finer point on it, Matthew Prince's tweets about the issue were not targeted at Verizon "the company". He specifically attacked Verizon's NOC and its team members. Despite everything, this isn't a faceless, soulless corporation that's having insults hurled at them. He specifically went after a specific group of people and publicly shamed them. And then he has the gall to shame them even more for not immediately chomping at the bit to help someone who just aggressively insulted them.

Ask yourself: if Matthew Prince had sent a tweet berating team members from his own company, telling them they should be ashamed of themselves, and spent the rest of the day commenting on the internet insulting their competence, would you still be saying he is a good leader? Or even a good CEO? Of course not. It's Leadership 101 that insulting your team members isn't a good leadership style. And that doesn't change just because Prince isn't the one signing the Verizon team's paychecks.

> This is not a problem that requires active cooperation.

This is clearly not the opinion of those at Cloudflare that are loudly kicking their feet and whining that Verizon didn't devote enough resources to actively cooperate with Cloudflare's troubleshooting today.




> A company is an organization of people

Blaming a specific team can get too personal. Blaming an entire company is more about the decision-making structure, and is close to as impersonal as you can get. It's really not the same as blaming a person.

> This is clearly not the opinion of those at Cloudflare that are loudly kicking their feet and whining that Verizon didn't devote enough resources to actively cooperate with Cloudflare's troubleshooting today.

They didn't notice, acknowledge, or fix the problem. That's different from a lack of resources devoted to active cooperation. Heck, two messages of "on it" and "it's fixed" would be a pleasant level of "active cooperation", and that takes only a minute or two.


> Blaming a specific team can get too personal.

And yet blaming a specific team is exactly what they did.

>They didn't notice, acknowledge, or fix the problem. That's different from a lack of resources devoted to active cooperation. Heck, two messages of "on it" and "it's fixed" would be a pleasant level of "active cooperation", and that takes only a minute or two.

Sure, I'm not defending Verizon's inaction. My point is that regardless of the level of the cooperation, some cooperation is clearly still required. And now because of Cloudflare's hostility towards Verizon after this incident, I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon is much less inclined to participate in any cooperation. That not only seems counterproductive to Cloudflare's goal, it's also bad for all of us that use the internet.


> And yet blaming a specific team is exactly what they did.

In this specific case, just blaming "Verizon", it was not personal. (There are a variety of things that can be classified under "blaming a team" so I can't give it a blanket okay/not okay.)

Knowing it's the NOC team, as an amorphous blob of nameless people, is not getting too personal.

Just because something can be traced to a team doesn't mean that shaming the company is the same as shaming specific people from that team.

Going down that road would declare everything as personal, and that's really not how things work.

> I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon is much less inclined to participate in any cooperation.

The public pressure should be stronger than any pettiness, and if it's not then the solution is to let even more people know it was Verizon's fault.


>In this specific case, just blaming "Verizon", it was not personal.

That isn't what they did. They specifically called out teams, which according to what you just said, is too personal.

https://twitter.com/eastdakota/status/1143182575680143361

> The teams at @verizon and @noction should be incredibly embarrassed at their failings this morning ... It’s networking malpractice that the NOC at @verizon has still not replied to messages

Not only does he specifically call out the NOC, he also calls out teams. It is very obvious which "the teams" he is referring to, and "the NOC" is indeed a specific team. In other comments he also calls out Verizon's support team.

This wasn't the case of "tracing it back to a team". CF's CEO specifically addressed them and told them to be ashamed of themselves. That's personal, and it's also being a dick to boot. Was there anything in this situation that was gained by Prince calling these people out in these tweets? Would it not have been just as effective at calling out Verizon (while being less unprofessional and less personally malicious) if those tweets had been less vitriolic?

> The public pressure should be stronger than any pettiness, and if it's not then the solution is to let even more people know it was Verizon's fault.

So the solution to pettiness is more pettiness? Why does CF have a license to be petty but VZ apparently does not?


> according to what you just said, is too personal

That is not what I said!

I said it can be, and then I clarified with: There are a variety of things that can be classified under "blaming a team" so I can't give it a blanket okay/not okay.

I see the tweet. I call this case not personal. He's pointing the blame at large groups inside someone else's opaque company.

If you're pointing at a blob of 100+ people (like you said, support is also being blamed) then you're not making it personal.

> Was there anything in this situation that was gained by Prince calling these people out in these tweets?

People know what company to blame (a good thing), but nobody outside that company even knows how many teams, let alone specifics about the people on those teams (an acceptable thing). Overall positive.

> Would it not have been just as effective at calling out Verizon (while being less unprofessional and less personally malicious) if those tweets had been less vitriolic?

Being less vitriolic would not make it more or less personally targeted.

I'm not sure if the vitriol helped exactly but I think Verizon did enough to deserve it that there's no need to berate Cloudflare for the vitriol itself.

> Why does CF have a license to be petty but VZ apparently does not?

Presuming I even agree with your definition of pettiness, the problem is not the pettiness itself, but the actions they take or don't take.

It's not terrible for VZ to be petty as long as they still fix their broken equipment.


>If you're pointing at a blob of 100+ people (like you said, support is also being blamed) then you're not making it personal.

Ahh, I see. So it's okay that he was offensive and insulting, because he was offensive and insulting to many people? It wouldn't have been okay if he was offensive and insulting to only a handful of people, but because it was more than that, it's okay? Is this some weird perversion of "one death is a tragedy, 1000 deaths is a statistic"?

He isn't pointing the blame at a large group inside an "opaque" company. He's insulting people. The people at Verizon will know full well that he is talking to them. People that work with the Verizon NOC will know full well that those specific people are being insulted by this CEO. The fact that it was personally directed at multiple people doesn't make it any less personal, it just makes it personal to more people, no matter how much you move the goalposts.

> I'm not sure if the vitriol helped exactly but I think Verizon did enough to deserve it that there's no need to berate Cloudflare for the vitriol itself.

So it didn't help to berate Verizon, but it was still okay because they "deserved it"? And then you don't apply the same logic to Cloudflare themselves? There absolutely is a need to berate Cloudflare for their unnecessary use of vitriol, especially if you're telling me the bar for berating someone is as low as "it didn't help but that's okay".

It's clear at this point that you're moving goalposts and adjusting your own principles in some weird attempt to defend Cloudflare. Cloudflare did nothing positive here, and your attempt to justify their vitriol and maliciousness is telling.


Please don't break the site guidelines. Also, please don't do these intense tit-for-tat arguments with another user. They don't help, they lower the signal/noise ratio, and they bore everyone else. I know it's hard (believe me I know how hard it is), but at some point someone needs to be the first to let go.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


> Is this some weird perversion of "one death is a tragedy, 1000 deaths is a statistic"?

Nah. If you deliver 100 insults to 100 people, that's terrible. But if you deliver one insult to a vague blob of 100 people, that barely registers. The amount of insult directed at any specific person is tiny. That's why I'm not bothered by it.

> it just makes it personal to more people

No.

> no matter how much you move the goalposts

Really?

Someone disagrees with you so they must be moving goalposts?

Do better than that. I've been consistent on what I consider personal.

Also, I think you're too focused on vitriol. You can single people out and cause them harm while using the nicest and most polite language in the world. The way you target and your underlying meaning is far more important than your choice of words.

> So it didn't help to berate Verizon, but it was still okay because they "deserved it"? And then you don't apply the same logic to Cloudflare themselves? There absolutely is a need to berate Cloudflare for their unnecessary use of vitriol, especially if you're telling me the bar for berating someone is as low as "it didn't help but that's okay".

Let's put it this way. I regard "impersonal beration" as one tenth the crime of "being obviously and extremely negligent with equipment that can break the internet". And I'm willing to forgive vitriol when it's deserved and impersonal.

You don't forgive that, and want to say Cloudflare acted somewhat badly? Okay, sure.

You want to claim they are failing as a leader, overcompensating with drastic childish measures to blame someone else for something they could and should have mitigated themselves? I completely disagree.


Please don't break the site guidelines. Also, please don't do these intense tit-for-tat arguments with another user. They don't help, they lower the signal/noise ratio, and they bore everyone else. I know it's hard (believe me I know how hard it is), but at some point someone needs to be the first to let go.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


That's fair. While I haven't had a huge number of arguments like this, I can only name one or two that resolved successfully. I'll leave things earlier.




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