Seriously, this is just ridiculous.
Is there anyone here that would actually put up with this ridiculous public shaming at all, let alone from a CEO that's off in Asia staying up "20 hours" to print flyers for one of his other companies, while he bitches that you're not reneging on your teaching commitments (which I would presume he knew about when he took you on...) so that you can meet his arbitrary (and from the sounds of it, utterly unrealistic) timeline?
Fuck guys like this. I know them, and I'm even friends with a couple, and sometimes they're decent people to hang out with and (on occasion, in the right contexts) even learn from. But I'd never dream of working for them, or even usually with them, because they tend to be neither very good businessmen nor good employers.
Bitching about your people being "jokers" is not the way to speed up a product's release: cutting features is, and that sometimes requires a CEO's involvement. Learn that lesson fast, or you'll be sorely disappointed in all your future projects, especially when you're just the guy-in-charge-of-negotiating-rates-for-business-cards...uh, I mean CEO.
The text in itself is very close to self-parody and severely lacks editing (as most of his writing that I have read or sampled) but that can be forgiven in a person-to-person context. There is a whole different world of rules that apply when you address an entire audience that does not happen to be on your payroll. As it stands, this is a kneejerk "and you know what? I'm so taken by how motivating my own writing to you guys is, I'll also blog it ON THE INTERNET" reaction that reeks of delusion.
Telling your employees "hey guys, stop joking around" and telling the entire world that your employees are "jokers" are two very different things - even if we don't know them in person. Having the person I work for confuse the two would be quite the wakeup call for me.
In fact, this reminds me of an anecdote - I once did an internship at a design studio. One day, one of the guys asked me for a favor - send out faxes with his software and make sure to resend all the faxes that failed to be sent. (He had to leave early, for whatever reason.) Turns out, he kept a LOT of failed records and I ended up sending a lot of faxes from previous batches.
He was obviously angry at me and I could certainly agree with that. But then he proceeded to call every single recipient and tell them that the idiot intern messed it up. There were a million excuses (the software failed etc.) he could have used that were perfectly harmless and he won nothing by shaming a particular person in front of them. But still, he did. So yeah, that WAS quite a wakeup call.
It sounds more like a con-artist to me. I also feel very sorry for the employees, even though I have my doubts that they take away home any salary at this point.
> "I’m cyclothymic too. Like Nieztsche and Byron and those guys. Albeit, much less talented; I’m just saying I got the same affliction. [...] What’s a cyclothymic? It appears that we feel emotions more strongly than other people, and cycle through them. I’m fucking awesome when I’m manic [...] Cyclothymic mania is when the SPIRIT OF GOD is within you. [...] It’s pretty fucking awesome when it’s going on. SPIRIT OF GOD WITHIN YOU. Imagine that, eh? [...] Jut one rub – it’s a Faustian Bargain – crashing is… well, “hell” [...] when a convergence of bullshit strikes, then I crash hard and I’m fucking useless for a while. It’s a real bummer, I’ll tell ya."
So yes - manic depressive. And a little too taken by it, if I may say so.
They're partners, not employees.
Yes, I'll suffer at the printshop when I promised it. My colleague offered to do it, but he just had a baby and it would be ridiculous to keep him all night. No one else was available on Sunday night.
> they tend to be neither very good businessmen nor good employers.
My staff like me, I pay top of market (sometimes 10x market pay, if the person is worth it but short-changed due to supply and demand), everyone is treated great, we have a culture of radical transparency and honesty, have a book club, there's no task management, and everyone is free to basically do whatever they want whenever they want as long as they get their job done.
I want people to be their best and keep their word. And again, that email was to business partners, not to employees, on what was supposed to be a very short project that dragged on.
I don't know if you'd like working with me. Maybe not, it's not for everyone. But I look for top performers, pay them extremely well, treat them well, give them huge respect and autonomy, and push them to give their best and really deliver. We tend to have fun, too.
Somehow I doubt you're paying $1 million a year, which would be 10x market pay for a good engineer...
That said, if you're paying even high-ish market rates and your people are really partners with significant percentage interests in the company, then I do retract a lot of what I said, and apologize if it was too harsh - I have had some bad experiences in startup-land with CEOs that demanded miracles from underpaid near-zero-equity employees, and I'm definitely biased by that. It's very likely that I've misinterpreted what's going on in your case based on my experiences, it's definitely more reasonable to expect serious commitment from equity partners that are well compensated for their time.
That said, I'd still think hard before posting stuff like this publicly - it's got a dirty laundry smell, and I think that's what a lot of people are reacting most negatively to. Did this really need to be a public blog post, or could it have had the same effect as an e-mail cced to the involved parties, without inviting the rest of the Internet to comment on it?
I know if I was one of the "lazies" called out, I'd be a bit pissed off about how public this got, and I'd probably be retaliating with any other side to the story, if there was one...
First: I'm fine with this email. Didn't love it, responded to it in a way that raised my own issues, worked them out with Seb on the phone, moved on.
Second: I'm fine with him posting this email. He posts a lot of very candid material about his somewhat unique approach to life and business, which I respect and have benefited from, so am happy to contribute back in the form of a character in one of his stories.
Third: Y'all need to spend a lot less time speculating on other people's approach to situations that you have very little context on. He posted this, I can only imagine, because it was a very unique thing that he tried and (I can attest to) ultimately found success in. As some in here have commented, "Why are people positively responding to this, is that some kind of cult?" Just shut it. No, seriously. Stop contributing that garbage. People on his blog benefit from his advice, that's why they come back. The question is, why are you over here talking about it? More specifically, why are you talking about it and Sebastian as if you know what's going on, as opposed to using it as a starting point for when something like this might or might not (or is always or never) appropriate?
Forth: To the many civil comments in here, no offense!
Fifth: Ok back to work, HN is for jokers. ;)
My personal thought is that with some relatively minor modifications, this could work as a pretty powerful motivator.
The points of "I'm trusting you completely; you don't have to run your decisions by me; I recognize that I do and will owe you enormously if we all manage to pull off what we said we would" is not bad at all, and would motivate me.
It's not the kind of thing you can pull out every two months -- that would be horrible -- but it sounds like he's asking for a complete commitment for a short burst of time, and also recognizing that this is costly in many ways.
But this blog post was, well, astronomically short sighted...
> on what was supposed to be a very short project that dragged on.
Which ties into my almost instant reaction; "so this is an email he wrote when pissed off things weren't going so well".
You talk about employing the best people, who can get things to work. One of the thoughts I had, especially reading the stuff you mention about purchasing resources and AWS, is that what the project seems to lack is good administration.
One thing I have learned about projects is having a really really good admin person can make them fly. But you seem to have been managing the money and the decisions.
So to be harsh (but only as harsh as you've been :)) it appears you are a fucking Joker too.
The solution to people clearing stuff with you isn't to tell them not to clear stuff with you - long term that has no practical benefit, and isn't in keeping with human nature. Solving the money issue is not entirely solved by giving them a credit card.
The solution is to find a really solid admin person to fix these issues; employ someone who's job it is to address all the nitpicks and the money.
One other thing you probably need to learn; there is a distinct difference between the honest truth and simply being abusive. You're calling them fucking Jokers, and telling them you're not. Ok so there is "nice" stuff wrapped up in there too - but regardless of whether they are employees or partners this is just de-motivating behaviour.
Possibly even deflection.
If you're going to tear them a new one; do it right. Or if you're trying to motivate them; do it right. This was a wierd mix of the two :)
I don't know much about you. I don't know much about the context.So I don't want to jump up and down and make too much criticism (or accusation). But from what I have observed let me offer some advice; when you have a multi-million dollar company with hundreds or thousands of employees then this is the sort of email you can send, where it indicts no one specifically as a Joker, and be lauded for it. I feel like that is what you modelled on :) Till that point - small teams need intense supportive leadership. It requires you to constantly be bothered by the nitpicking.
Saying "just build it, till then I can't sell it" is not leadership :)
But then why make it a point in your argument?
> My staff like me [...] everyone is treated great [...] there's no task management
Nope, sorry, that doesn't make sense.
> I want people to be their best and keep their word. And again, that email was to business partners, not to employees, on what was supposed to be a very short project that dragged on.
Yes, precisely - it was to business partners, not the entire Internet.
> We tend to have fun, too.
Splendid - If you don't mind me asking: How many of your partners (or employees) do you retain for a long time?
Maybe that's why things are now weeks behind?
"I got a top creative designer in there working for a fraction of his normal cost by being very fucking cool with him, and also working out a deal where we refer him business, and he can use our office space to hold client meetings during our off hours.
The designer came with me, working for peanuts compared to his normal rates (he’s a top guy)"
Edit: This was a reply to a post by the author of the blog post before he deleted it.
Your partners would be well advised to cut you out of the project... or perhaps to dump the project entirely since (a) it doesn't seem to be going too well, and (b) you're obviously not that committed to it yourself because you're working on something else right now.
The real problem here is not that you've destroyed your project (or at least your role in it) and alienated your friends by sending one douchey email; it's that you apparently don't realize that this is what you've done.
Howard Schultz's autobiography "Pour Your Heart Into It" is a good read if you want to learn more.
Firstly you're wasting money for no extra value return. And it will leave you with the reputation of "that guy who pays stupid amounts of money" rather than "that guy who hires the best".
Secondly it gives you the expectation of "I am paying them loads more, so they should have more devotion to the project". In reality this doesn't always work out - better to get them enthused in the project and offer rewards in the context of the success of the project (this is why big companies don't pay higher and higher rates to get the best talent - but instead use bonuses and other incentives).
Thirdly it gets the business into the culture of overpaying; I've seen several companies do this, and at some point in the future you will run into the point where it is not possible to keep paying that rate. Reducing a super-high salary to baseline is de-motivating - you'll get employees just losing engagement and thinking "hey, I could just get a 'normal' job". Empirically; I've seen a number of companies fail purely through this factor.
I want top paid people, comprehensive benefits, complete healthcare, and serious investments in quality training.
This, however, is a good way to approach it. Pay the standard levels of salary and shift the rest of the money into value for the employee. If they are getting a couple of weeks training and conference attendance, new equipment, top notch business support etc. from you then they will be much more inclined to stick around.
It is a much more effective way to buy loyalty/support.
This doesn't get with either "if we make $10k in 6 months" or "if you work really hard AND we perform unexpectedly well, you'll be rewarded with a free trip in Asia".
This 'paying 10x' thing is utter bullshit, made up on the spot to make it sound like you're the good guy. If you had that money available, you'd be hiring more staff.
"working for a fraction of his normal cost by being very fucking cool with him"
This is just one of the many contradictions that become very obvious when reading a few of your posts.
> They're partners, not employees.
You actually think this is a justification? Even WORSE! While as the boss, you might get away with lashing out and being arrogant to your employees because, hey, you are the boss and pay their salaries and employees sometimes let their boss get away with being an idiot. But you got yourself into a business arrangement with people you consider friends (IMHO a major mistake) and they are your partners you might have to work with through some actually really tough times and as soon as the going gets just a little rough, you show your true nature and start being a lecturing a*hole? If you continue like this, this endeavor will not last through the first actual crisis - and if you think what you are facing NOW is a crisis (oh dear a project is off by a few weeks! never happened in IT!!) then oh boy are you in for some surprises.
I am sorry, you strike me as the person and type of leader that is a GREAT leader (in his own mind) as long as things are going great, easy, worry-free and without any trouble but at the first sign of complications, exactly when your leader skills should actually come into play, you snap and start flinging poo and blame.
You do EXACTLY what you call "being a joker". You write and blog and whine but you did NOT do what it takes to get the job done. And by your standards and set goals, you did NOT get it done. Do you honestly think Hannibal only had DEVGRU-quality SEALs in his army and it was no struggle for him? Think about it. You frakked up just as much as they have, likely much more because you knew something wasn't going right and you did nothing until now where you ridicule them.
One one is being publicly shamed. From the article:
Names and details changed, for obvious reasons.
I posted a blog entry about some code I'd inherited from a friend. I posted a problem I'd found (really wasn't even his fault specifically) and my fix. Very matter of fact - I wasn't a joker about it. He still read it, saw himself in it, and saw it as a public shaming, even though the client wasn't mentioned, nor was his name mentioned.
Yeah, I can say it was 'his problem' in how he chose to deal with it, but it strained a friendship if nothing else.
Therefore, most people that are trying to mimic Steve Jobs are just douche bags without taste, without the electrifying personality and without the track record.
First and foremost he seems to be suffering from severe reality distortion with the "we are amongst the 1% and should be multi-millionaires".
Second, this is an outrageous whining and bitching very alike to what little kids do: "but _I_ did all my work on the project, it is allll YOUR fault and none of it is mine!". This is business, if you really put your money where your mouth is on the "make a way" part then you need to STFU and reflect on what YOU did wrong. Obviously a lot, otherwise things wouldn't be so frakked up.
Don't compare yourself to Hannibal ever again or aspire to him unless you put your money where your mouth is. He did not lead his people from half across the world away, he was right there. He knew it is frakking impossible to lead his men unless he was RIGHT THERE.
> All of this shit was supposed to be done weeks ago.
It sounds like he is in some leading position for this project, so it should have never gotten to this point where he is NOW complaining things weren't done weeks ago. It is his fault for letting things slip and not managing it properly so it could finish on time. It is not enough to tell people now "here is my credit card, shut up and use it. but hey I am there for you, come ask me anytime" if you want to manage them - and then blow them out for asking you stuff or talking to you about stuff.
On top of that, I understand he is not with his partners/employees but frakking around in Asia somewhere and sending them emails like that? Well guess which critical human side of a project absolutely severely suffers from not-being-with-your-team? It is communication. Email and skype are great but extremely narrow communication channels; nothing can replace being there and seeing each other every day, having a chat over coffee or sharing lunch and working together. I have made this experience first-handedly when our startup boss frakked off to some other country and barely popped in. Do not under-estimate just how much information and communication is completely lost just because you are not physically there working with those guys every day.
> Look. I love you guys. All 3 of you are dear friends of mine, close friends of mine.
That's why you called them jokers and shifted all the blame on them and made sure to emphasis how awesome work YOU have done and how clearly everything is THEIR fault. Again, no conception or understanding of how to be a LEADER.
> You and I both live in a world where most people we interact with are fucking jokers.
Oh you precious little snowflake... don't fool yourself, you are no better than the majority and so far you haven't done anything remotely close to what your role model(s) have done so back to trenches with you, precious little snowflake and earn your stripes.
The saddest part is that he most likely thinks he is working very hard and being very productive. He is writing all these pages upon pages of stuff repeating the same mantra, relating to his favorite history channel shows, etc. But of course he is wasting his time and the time of the people that will have to read the thing. Although I am sure the readers get some entertainment as a side benefit. If he knew how to write he could have written a tight passage of several paragraphs or so that properly conveys the need for dependability and the urgency of the situation without making a fool of himself or insulting his readers.
Writing is a skill and it matters. This is especially true for people in leadership positions.
...used really badly in this example.
He is using email, of all means of communication... far from effective and one of the narrowest communication channels. We are far from "effective" here - he was just venting his anger.
This is clearly written during a bout of mania. Compare the writing patterns of someone sober to the superfluous writing of that same person on a stimulant binge.
(That said, he is certainly very smart.)
Edit: You're right, on consideration. If Yegge used writing discipline, it would not be as fun to read but have a higher signal to noise.
Then he tells me to take more initiative, and I do. Then I get an email like this that says why isn't things getting done, and I say.. because I'm doing things like setting up stupid accounts that he could be doing rather than writing stupid blog rants like this. Or why are we using x service instead of y service, "well you told me to do what I thought was best". He responds "Well its not what I had in mind". DOUCHE.
He promised me trips to asia, bonuses, and days off when the product is a success. He hasn't told me how much equity I have or vested, because he said that another thing we will deal will when we are successful, but its been over two years, and I'm still having to listen to his stupid rants and fake motivational emails. DOUCHE.
People like this are poison, and working for people like this will kill you inside because slowly as an engineer you'll dream, why can't I work with a real engineering team that can just write code, solve tough problems, work with cool tech and why do I have to deal with this bullshit.. when this douche needs me more than I need him. But because people like this have money, and there are always people willing to sell their services.. he may get a product out and may bullshit enough people that he has is something useful, but thats the way the world works.
Do not wait for that mythical moment in the future when all will be great and you are flying first class around Asia for him. Forget that distant future, it is not there, not now. You need to make this situation work for you RIGHT NOW. Promising future prospects can be a (smaller) part of that but what else is in it for YOU right NOW? Not all compensation is monetary, some of the most valuable ones aren't monetary. So, understand your situation and what are you getting out of it right now until you have first class seats in Asia?
Well, the "top designer" is an adult, we assume, and can make his/her own decisions, but I stopped falling for that kind of bull shit 25 years ago. A good designer is worth paying good rates. Despite lavish praise as they walked out the door with "my miracle", I never once had any of those "big shots" ever show up again, much less provide me with any kind of value in return.
(Now on a side note, I've done spec work and/or above the call of duty rush jobs for customers who've done well by me _in the past_. Or on very rare occasions, I've pulled rabbits out of hat for new customers who were _refered_ to me by very good customers. Maybe that's what's inexpertly being alluded to here. But I doubt it.)
I've gone to the HN profile and the About page of his blog and anything else I could find for Sebastian and can find no enlightenment as to what he actually does for a living. I can't find that information in spite of spending some time trying, which is one reason I typically do not read his blog posts. Again, it is not intended as a personal attack. If he's for real, this is an opportunity to enlighten us all and self-promote in a positive way. It's only an ugly thing to ask if he is essentially full of hot air.
His 'About' page has this: "I worked as an entrepreneur from 2004 to 2008". That's it.
From 2009 onwards, there appears to be a lot of stuff about travel, and sleeping less, and "purifying my diet".
I have some friends with bios/resumes like this; these also happen to be my "rich kid" friends.
I've clawed my way from poverty to lower middle class, helped out as many people along the way as I could, done some amazing things, written a lot of brilliant code that's running the guts of a couple businesses and maybe even an East Bay school district still.
But, I've never written about any of it, I don't talk about it much, and honestly, I'd rather do just about anything other than write or talk much about it.
I have some really fantastic clients that are the same way, too.
There are a lot of incredible people in the world whose name you don't know. Just because they don't do PR for themselves the way that, presumably, you do, doesn't mean they should be dismissed out-of-hand.
I suspect this because of the fact that you are using a sentence containing the phrase "Just because they don't do PR for themselves ..." in a discussion of Sebastian Marshall, of all people.
I'm a huge fan of the quiet achiever, but you are barking up the wrong tree, here.
The problem is that this guy does a lot of PR for himself. His site is basically about how awesome he is. Yet there is no outside evidence of anything he's done.
Even without revealing your identity or violating your privacy, this is more substantive information about your career accomplishments than I can find about Sebastian. Maybe it's there and I'm just too stupid to figure it out. In which case there is a simple solution: You (or anyone else) can simply point out the obvious and make me look like a fool. I'm pretty comfortable playing the fool. He's your chance to get your licks in on me and fight the good fight and all that.
I just wanted to point out that dismissing someone because you don't know about their accomplishments (or lack of) is probably going to mean that you're going to miss out on some pretty great people.
(For clarity: generic "you" in this case, not specifically you; and I'm not lumping myself in with "great" people.)
The problem with keeping everything quiet about your accomplishments is that HR departments and company owners won't know anything about you and you may get passed up on jobs as a result.
As a result, the people that lie or don't actually have good accomplishments get better jobs because they have better self PR.
You can fight it all you want, but if someone doesn't know anything about you, they most likely won't want to hire you either. Being connected on linkedin and through old co-workers and people that know all about my accomplishments has helped me find many great jobs.
And so has this Sebastian, in fact, if anything, volume is certainly not the problem when it comes to his writing.
I'm similar to you. As in I don't write blogs or do much formal "PR" or online networking with my real name. I don't have a linkedin account, I don't use google+ and I don't have a website with my real name. I however write comments on reddit, hn and a ton of other lists and forums.
By the way, whenever somebody describes their own work as "brilliant", my alarm bells go off.
I've clawed my way from poverty to lower middle class, helped out as many people along the way as I could
I'm doing the same, not online. The people I'm helping know my achievements and listen. Doing it online won't help much, since there are lot of more credible and talented people than me.
Coincidentally, a LOT of people who have accomplished pretty much nothing do brag and write and blog a LOT about it... often to great success. So, it is just fair to ask what references, credits and medals this big-mouthed blogger has to show for all his very big words of "making a way" and being better than 99% of the population.
If you found out that he had been behind some kind of huge success, would you agree with him more? Or, if you found out that he was born into money, would that make him more wrong? If he could fill a paper with things that he's done for people you've never heard of, would that make him more credible?
I could understand calling for someone's credentials if they were trying to argue from experience: "I'm a manager and I can tell you that scheduling isn't a difficult problem." "Oh? What do you manage?" "...uhm, a yard cleanup business with my friend." That would be a fair and useful criticism then.
But I didn't get that kind of a vibe from this rant. I just went back and re-read it. (Thanks for that...) Nowhere in this rant can I find anything that even smells like, "Follow me because I have been successful." The closest I can get to that is, "Follow me because I want to be successful", as in things like, "I'm trying. I seem to be getting there. I want you guys to get there." etc. etc.
Maybe it's somewhere else on his site? "Command Flows to the Worthy" sounds like a good candidate, but no, that one's just a short opinion piece and, again, doesn't make the claim that, "I'm right because I'm successful."
You specifically mention being "better than" 99% of the population. OK. Maybe you're referring to, "99% of people you interact with in life are fucking jokers." Well, I don't agree with that -- because I don't want to -- but is it objectively wrong? Given all the posts on HN about how hard it is to find good candidates and how many developers can't pass FizzBuzz and on and on and on, that air of superiority is certainly ubiquitous here. And, if HN represents the cream of the crop of developers and startups and stuff, like it collectively seems to think it does, then is that 99% statement actually wrong? And, even if it is, does it really make any sense to take it literally? Does taking it literally and then brow-beating the literal interpretation of it really change his overall point? I don't think so.
Or, maybe you're talking about the part where he says, "You're all highly skilled, top 1% at your craft." All the same questions apply there, too. Or, "You're all highly intelligent, top 1% of the population." That, actually, I wouldn't be surprised by. Top 1% in terms of intelligence -- assuming IQ as a reasonable measure -- isn't really all that difficult.
So, I just don't get why, in this particular case, it really makes a difference whether or not he's done anything yet. Even if this is worth anyone's time arguing about, which it isn't.
There's a truly awesome amount of meanness in this thread. I don't know why I clicked on the comments here in the first place; might've just been because there were a lot of them. But I've been really surprised at the viciousness here. There's often a mean comment or two in a thread, and half of the time, I'm the one making it. But, in this case, the sheer density and froth of the criticisms and psychoanalysis and everything else is just really breathtaking. And out of all of that, the "Well, what's he done that makes him Mr. Big Shot?" criticism just seems ... silliest, for lack of a better word.
Honestly, yes. Because we have a thirtyish guy talking about "success" in the abstract, and promising that he knows how to achieve it, and yet he doesn't seem to have much in the way of concrete achievements to back it up.
"If you're so smart, how come you ain't rich" is usually a dickish sort of question, but when you're posing it to someone who is sitting there actively claiming "I'm gonna make us all rich by my awesome smarts" then it's a fair one. At one point he claims that the project will become profitable just because he wills it to, and therefore it will; if his force of will is truly that powerful then one wonders why he didn't will himself out of being not-rich way back in 2004.
It's only because he insists on talking about how awesome he is that we ask him to back that up with actual achievements.
Of course even if he were rich and successful, his attitude would still be dickish (you'll note that the truly rich and successful people who post here generally don't go on egotistical rants about their own awesomeness) but I'd have a little more tolerance of it under those circumstances.
In my own experience the people you can actually learn something valuable from are the more quiet ones, especially the ones who have actually achieved something. They can share something much more valuable than mere thoughts and ideas on strategy - they can share experience because they have done it. There is a saying that all strategies and battle plans hold up well until first enemy contact. I can relate to this - so in this understanding, if he had done and achieved something worthy of that "1%" mantra with his ideas and theories then it would be extremely interesting and valuable to read about it.
All I see now on his blog are personal thoughts, meandering, theoretical ideas and a TON of self-applauding and getting psyched on success which is all fine for a personal blog and probably has great therapeutic value for him but in a lot of those posts he does take the position of teaching, educating or even preaching. And he does not just present it as "hey I have an idea" and then follows up with "and that's how it worked in the end". He just presents ideas and how awesome they are and how right he is. And then it takes but 2 minutes to find an incredible amount of contradictions - he is contradicting himself and his own ideas, guidelines and mantras from one post to the next.
These two facts plus the personal impression and gut feeling together are more than enough for me to seriously question his legitimacy. He doesn't feel very authentic, honest and driven by "positive energy"... he feels very driven, fragmented and unfocused, however.
And the question for references or actual success is not only for me, as you pointed out it doesn't make that much sense. It is actually a question directed at him and I honestly think he should apply some critical thought, take a step back and look at what he is doing and saying. Asking him to compare his words, writings and theories to actual outcome and hard facts should provide one way of taking a shot at that. And regarding this specific post, it is very clear to me he deserve all the flak because he seriously needs to reflect on his attitude and how he deals with projects and sharing responsibilities.
But I doubt he will take that step back and honestly reflect and instead go all nuts about how the 99% of lazy people are just trying to hold him back.
Maybe it is just me, I generally don't feel too crazy about the whole "blogosphere" so drenched and drowning in exactly this sensationalist lower-than-mediocrity and low-value noise-floor postings, so maybe I am biased.
To give you the other extreme: I cannot help but shake my head at (a lot of) things that PG has written and while I might disagree with the ideas, I can see and understand that they have obviously provided him with at least the right state of mind (paired with lots of luck) to accomplish something. And he can and does share experiences and lessons learned, not just personal theories and road maps like 1. Collect underpants. 2. ... 3. success!
Play Guess Who said it (answers at ):
Unshakable. Unbreakable. Unvincible like a sword. I know who I am.
Strategy, Philosophy, Self-Discipline, Science. Victory.
Time and place, that sort of thing. But why not just say it, man?
If you flat out lie to me, you’d better be prepared to go to war.
 Quote 1 & 4 are from Coach, 2 & 3 are from Sebastian.
You worked 20 hours straight. Congratulations, want a biscuit? That's about 20 hours less than what most people here have done trying to meet a deadline, or squash a stubborn bug. And that's not counting the guys who do that for kicks on Minecraft (I kid ...).
Hannibal nearly got his troops to Rome. Presumably, he knew where Rome was, and so did his men. If you want people to MARCH, they need a destination. In web apps, this is a wireframe.
So, break out a HTML editor, and get the wireframe up. Then tell the devs to push it live, put the database behind it, and get it to scale. If not, it's because you don't have a product in mind, and simply MARCHING is not going to get you to Rome, or anywhere. When people are lost, or lack a compass, they generally walk around in circles. Does that seem familiar? Of course, good engineers use the time to check out options, so they know what to do when there's actually a clear goal.
Most engineers live to fix problems. A creaky prototype that won't work is a problem that needs to be fixed. A blank page is just a chance to make scribbly notes.
Yeah. Keep your money. Fuck your business cards. You sound like sales guys scum trying to leverage the real makers in this project.
Also, I can't do it, because I'm otherwise engaged.
In a nutshell, the CEO is saying, "Hey guys, listen, I'm really this one kind of person who gets shit done, except for right now I can't be because I have to take care of some other self-interests (no this isn't the same as being a joker), so I need you to meet my crazy standards."
So he's unable to actually live up to the work ethic he espouses and purports to be a paragon of and as a result wants his staff to fill in the blanks while he works on "something else"; to just "get it fucking done" and not be "jokers". This is contrived and manipulative. If I were working for this guy that would be the last professional exchange we ever had. Horrible leadership.
If you don't consider "commitments" to be real things, then you run round and round the what-are-we-doing-and-why-didn't-you-do-it circle... And then you write a blog post.
Update: freeloaders/non-fulfillers are a real thing. I'm one of them. Generally, I perform at a very high level, but I'll dial it back if I'm under the gun and a client unintentionally indicates that they're not one to assess slippages accurately. Unlike most freeloaders, I wake up at 3AM and think about how to fulfill against a late commitment.
The letter had an interesting voice and was well written; however, it immediately set off unconscious alarms in my mind. It was trying to influence the reader too coarsely on too emotional a level; I do not like that sort of thing very much.
Well written indeed, but Hannibal crossing the Alps to manage his AWS setup was a bit too silly a juxtaposition.
That said, it really depends on the culture of the employees on which motivational techniques to use.
Also, as a college student, I would be really suspicious of somebody telling me not to go to class--I'm perfectly happy to do that of my own violation, but anybody suggesting it immediately comes out as against my best interests.
That's simplified analogy, and the author would angrily call them "jokers".
I know it seems douchey and shallow to a lot of you, but when you work remote with a team of friends, things tend to get far too casual and eventually everything falls apart altogether. Suddenly everyone has an opinion on design decisions, or a meeting needs to be held on whether we should use Mongo or MySQL, and we should just think about it on our own time and get back together next week for more discussion.
Complacency is really the biggest enemy of the side project / remote team. And so making excuses becomes easier and easier as time progresses.
Someone has to step up and lead, so maybe a motivational speech is just what the team needs. The points about partying and making money might matter to his team, maybe its why they're working on the project in the first place. (And none of us can say that the excitement of making money doesn't motivate us).
So the man makes it clear where he stands; step up and get shit done, or leave and be a joker. Do you want to sell sugared-water for the rest of your life? Or do you want a chance to change the world?
Maybe, but if this was intended as a motivational speech (and motivational speeches work a lot better than motivational emails) then it's a terrible one.
He's not telling someone not to go to their classes, he's illustrating the sort of behaviour change necessary between "I tried" and "I did it".
He doesn't "want a cookie" for working 20 hours on a Sunday night, he's illustrating the attitude shift between "I tried" and "I said I'd do it, so I did it".
The outcome may appear no different - success or failure - but the mental state is different, and the path to the outcome may be.
Just pick something and go with it.
Except it doesn't. The post clearly and repeatedly says "if you can get a goal done, do so. If you can get a good enough substitute, you don't need to ask me, I trust your judgment. If you could do it but you need money, here are my card details, I trust you to spend money carefully. And if you are doing the above and get stuck tell me and we'll fix it together.
If that's all he was asking, he could have written a far less self absorbed paragraph and most of us would have said "duh". Instead, I don't know what the hell I just read, or why I read it for as long as I did.
check out the REAL JOKER:
In the comments section of this post, he mentions that he's going to finish the editing process of his book by 30 september
Now check this post:
He's a fucking joker!
I was going to edit, but I didn’t really. I was kind of flat. I played a lot of Conquer Club online, surfed around, didn’t really get anything done. Then I was traveling around and I wasn’t really working on the book.
He was paid $65k in advance...
> -What’s wrong with it?
Well, it's 17,000 words a day of this . . .
> it was kind of something on the back of my periphery of my mind.
EDIT: they asked for 50,000 - 60,000 words, and he's written nearly 180,000.
Spending 20 hours over a weekend to bang out marketing materials is supposed to be impressive? How about planning ahead and using something like Crowdspring and VistaPrint to get these distractions completed.
Promising to make $10K in the first six months is supposed to motivate? You didn't share how you plan on doing that except, "I will make it happen." Have you demonstrated in any way in the past six months that you can deliver on this promise? Promises, wishing, wanting, pleading are hollow gestures.
A grand vision and clear plan on how to achieve it, a track record accomplishments and successes: these are the things that make a good leader. They are the qualities that inspire others to do great things.
Sebastian: please seek professional help before you hurt yourself or someone else.
Sebastian: please seek professional help before you hurt yourself or someone else.
Not too many people would put up with even a fraction of his bile in real life, so Sebastian may be very very lonely or surrounded by other mal-adjusted people.
So yes, Sebastian if you're reading this, please seek counseling ASAP, the world is not how you imagine it and you are in dire risk of going mad.
We like to think that having money fixes things and we can just throw cash wildly into the air while making definitive exhortations and all will be well. We will be Gods or something! But unfortunately, it doesn't, not usually. What's pretty broke without cash doesn't typically get fixed when you shove its gullet full of coinage. Every once in awhile, throwing money into a whirlpool works, and when it does, you should totally record that shit. Put it on YouTube. But not what preceded it, no way.
The guy who's work ethic is directly proportional to how much money you throw at me.
Made me think of the 'Screw you, pay me' guy.
A better analogy would be that the OP is more like the client of the 'f you, pay me' guy.
That may or may not be accurate but the point of it was he was upset, took it out on someone and then did not send the letter, and the advice was to take things like this and put them in your drafts and sleep on it.
This may have been in the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People".
Effective immediately, I started refraining from sending annoyed or angry emails. I'd file them in drafts and sleep on it.
I can't recall ever sending an email of this sort since. In hindsight there was always a better and more effective way to deal with the situation.
I think some people just love the sound of their own voice (and the sight of their own words) that they feel compelled to 'ship' after they've produced something like this. Some things just shouldn't ever be sent.
I think he'll regret doing this this in time. I certainly would.
>I’m cyclothymic too. Like Nieztsche and Byron and those guys. Albeit, much less talented; I’m just saying I got the same affliction. [...] What’s a cyclothymic? It appears that we feel emotions more strongly than other people, and cycle through them. I’m fucking awesome when I’m manic, I can rapidly invent, experiment, implement, advance science, build systems, recruit and hire people, and just massively do unhumanly large amounts of stuff. Cyclothymic mania is when the SPIRIT OF GOD is within you.
The guy seems to be a bit of a self styled guru selling his lifestyle brand which is abstractly focused on 'victory'.
Advice for the inexperienced doer: Don't listen to this guy. Pace yourself. Do what you need to and make time for yourself. This guy wants to smoke a cigar in his office while you kill yourself. This is his attempt at being 'the boss man' and it's transparent. You will never be happy making people like this happy. If this kind of verbal abuse makes you feel bad then seek therapy don't work late every night. Stand up for yourself.
This Sebastien Marshall guy really sounds exactly like him.
The whole "just get it done" thing sounds impressive, but it doesn't hold up in reality. Just cure AIDS. What are you waiting for? People are dying! Get that cure finished by Monday.
Also note that there's a large border zone where things are possible but require sacrifice. They could get it done by sacrificing their leisure, their health, their social status, their unrelated duties, their morals.... It's up to them to decide how much of that is worth it. This is not a decision to take lightly.
Yes it does, you're just not reading it properly. Assume you're being attacked by a wild animal, which attitude is more helpful out of the following?
1) I will do anything to overpower it and kill it, or any acceptable substitute such as distracting or trapping it, or escaping in any other fashion.
2) Well, it might be too powerful for me, and maybe I'm too tired, and if it's getting dark I can't see it as well, and I guess I'll try, but it's unreasonable to think I can win, and in this situation having precisely accurate beliefs is my highest priority, so I'll start off by assessing how energetic it looks and estimating how powerful it is before I start doing anything, if it's too big I won't bother.
It's "duh" obvious that in a survival situation, the former might get you out, the latter might not. It's "duh" obvious that you might not win, whatever you do, but that's not relevent because you don't get points for trying, you either survive, or you die.
Now, comparing a survival situation to a project, or a company, or any everyday life situation, isn't really a fair comparison. But comparing the attitude you hold can be a fair comparison.
By your reply you are implying the OP is so dense they don't understand that some things can't be done. Do you honestly think that's true? You're giving zero credit to their intelligence at all.
The "just do it" attitude is not supposed to be telling you that "you can do anything rah rah just will it and it will happen, laws of physics and human limits be damned".
It's supposed to be telling you that hurdles are OK, you will meet them, and you can jump them, or go round them, or plough straight through them, or move them, or pay someone else to move them, or rent a car and drive through them, or burn them down, or argue the race to different track with different hurdles, or setup your own athletics federation and recruit athletes and viewers for races without hurdles, they're all fine, but doing nothing won't help, nor will giving up. If you want to solve a problem, getting points for trying won't get the problem solved.
"Just get it done - you can" isn't meant as a literally true fact you have to agree with, it's a helpful attitude to hold and act on even while knowing it's not literally true.
Some problems are easy. Some are hard. Some are too hard to be worth solving. Some are essentially unsolvable. When someone argues problems are in category 2 by ignoring categories 3 and 4, they lose credibility.
As for trusting the OP's intelligence, he appears to be a marketer ranting at engineers. Even if he's extremely intelligent, he doesn't have the knowledge to judge if what he wants is possible or not.
Problems involved in curing AIDS: Needs a biotechnology background, a medical background, a chemistry background, an understanding of disease processes and treatment processes, FDA approval trials, pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Problems mentioned in the article: two people disagreeing on how Amazon S3 should be setup because they aren't happy which account to use or who should pay. Asking the leader to make "stupid nitpicky decisions" which they could make, but don't. Not deciding which email/newsletter program to buy. Not proceeding with what they agreed and instead generating ideas for other kinds of possible business model.
I haven't cured AIDS because I literally can't. They haven't registered an Amazon S3 account because ... what?.
As for trusting the OP's intelligence, he appears to be a marketer ranting at engineers.
And if he was saying "I asked you to have this facebook killer done by last week. Lee, where's that scalable S3 backed website I ordered you to write? Sam, your friend with the content industry connection, I need a film licensing agreement for streaming, come on, I expected better of you. Jon, I told you to sign up some people, Google Plus had millions of users in its first weeks, how many have you cold-called?
Then I'd be right behind you calling him a clueless PHB and a pox on all right-thinking people.
But he isn't doing that. These people agreed a project on a rushed timescale that they voluntarily comitted to - presumably they were all confident it was a solvable problem.
I see it like this. If you make a timeline yourself and find you won't be able to keep it then you have 2 options. 1) Let the person you promised know right away or 2) "find a way. Or make one" - do what you got to do to get it done.
Sebastian is highlighting the second option because it's already passed deadlines and shit sounds like it's getting serious.
If you want to be respected, loved and an effective leader. Keep your promises. Every single one of them. (Or, in true Machiavellian form, at least make sure it's perceived that way.)
Just an all around neurotic. Generally miserable to be around and incapable of enjoying life.
He doesn't need non-jokers he needs a therapist.
What is sad is that guys like this have NO CONCEPT of how other people view the world. They do not realize that we can all sit calmly and enjoy life, that we can enjoy smalltalk, that we can relax with our family and not stress over the fact that we're "not wealthy".
He takes his business so seriously because he is mentally ill and he must excel at business (not just excel, but conquer) to appease his neuroticism.
Personally, I would feel that HN can do without this tone-deaf self-importance.
Our language, our culture has "self-importance" as a negative attribute. It's ridiculous.
Like yourself. Feel that you are important! What are you living and fighting and dieing for, if you feel unimportant and think everyone else should too? That's no way to be. :(
What happens with their requests? People find it easier to bend to the will of the determined than convince them otherwise. It gets stuff done. It also wrecks havoc on the 'balance of things' which may or may not have an inflated importance. This is why people hate sales reps.
Conversely - customers generally love this. Customers love making demands, feeling like they're the only customer, and having faith they'll get the best they can get.
The balance is burning those cycles, because there are limits; hell or no hell. If business cards are worth destroying your sleep and weekend to have them by Monday, so be it.
Did he just have an "idea" and hire a bunch of engineers "find a way or make one?"
“A joker is someone who says they’re going to do something, and then doesn’t. A joker always has excuses.”
Hannibal you’re back! Did you conquer Rome?
Erm no. Had no siege weapons and my men would… Oh well, I tried…
No, I don’t give a fuck that you tried. Did you do it or not?
DID YOU DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU’D DO OR NOT?
Hannibal you’re a fucking joker and we’ve got problems.
"I’d do it myself, but I can’t, because I’m doing something else that takes all my time."
On the other hand: Maybe this posting is his understanding of making a way. Could that be possible?
When it got to him and a designer in a print shop at 2:30am, I was expecting the punchline to involve crystal meth or something.
The whole, if you want to be rich is really strange too. How about being successful, I think that is a better goal. Success is not having a ton of money, no life, and being a slave driving prick, its about being good in all areas of your life. Believe it or not there are many people out there that would pass up the chance to be rich if it meant they would be absolutely miserable at work everyday.
And finally, no matter how hard you work, how many hours you put in, you can still fail. Its tough to realize that but it happens every single day in the tech world. Once you realize being overly consumed, frantic, and obsessive doesn't guarantee success, you may discover a different way of working, a better way. Be happy with your life dude, that's something you can bank on no matter how much money you make. Otherwise the joke is really on you.
Though I can sympathize with trying to avoid distractions and delays with simple problems. Micro-managing horrors.
And I also hate excuses. As someone who is on the verge of failing, I absolutely loved the Hannibal quote. Do anything to succeed mentality is good if applied to being self-critical. I believe that increasing work ethic, knowledge and skills with overall hardcore discipline is the only thing I have to logically and spiritually continue to use to fight the constant failure I've experienced.
In other words, as I was often told growing up "don't be sorry, be correct". Stop making excuses and do it. There's some chance, some method, some concerted effort that will yield an eventual probability of actual success which is only achieved by being self-critical and then improving.
EDIT - I didn't write this very well. Valid excuses are actually very good and effective. Logical reasons why something can't be done lead to ways it can. I've worked with too many people who avoid "negativity" out of some law of attraction thing. So I like when people say, "I'm stupid, your stupid, we're all being stupid but we can and should be smarter by doing X, Y and Z".
I know that when I commit to get something important done by a time X, I get it done or have put in all the time I could on it. So do other people on the team. My manager doesn't ask me or other members of the team to stay late unless it's important. We keep the pressure on and keep working away every weekday all day.
My manager never written anything like this to the team while I've been there. And for that, I am pretty glad.
Generally it sounds like he needs a hug or something.
Why do I feel like I'm missing a punch line?
If I were Sam, I'd wonder why he's decided to dick me about without apology, explanation or reward, then spend the next three paragraphs apologising to Lee and promising to "do something cool" for him.
His biggest accomplishment known to folks at HN is...getting a lot of karma at HN.
And, sometimes the joker gets lucky.
After moving to SF I now realize maybe its unnecessary. People get burnt out working at such high intensity. If your a really effective manager then you can ensure success by figuring out what is important and asking your engineers to deliver that instead of them slaving away on shit that might not be useful later.
If not, you’re a fucking joker and we’ve got problems."
To summarize: don't talk about it, be about it.
Ironically, said catchphrase was created by one Larry the Cable Guy — a noted comedian, or professional "joker."
I also dislike that kind of speeches because it sets up a power hierarchy from the start. Not a good basis for cooperation.
As distinct from "think about it, then ask me, then try it, then ask me, then get stuck"
"You’re all highly highly skilled, top 1% at your craft. You’re all highly highly intelligent, top 1% of the population. You’ve all got excellent social skills, top 1% communication skills. And yet, you’re middle class. Have you reflected on that? You’re the top 1% IN EVERY CATEGORY THAT MATTERS, and yet, you’re relatively poor.
Do you know why? Because you haven’t stopped being a fucking joker like the rest of society."
There is no comparison.
not to self : never drink and post.
He usually doesn't sound so bug-nuts, though; maybe this was an early draft he hadn't cleaned up.
Having said that, I'd rather get myself strung up in a Judas cradle than work for or with him :D
I thought this with absolute certainty through the first 3/4 of the post. What a strange feeling as it dawns that this guy is serious.
This made my morning much more surreal. Its like long-form xkcd.
We had the same situation come up this week for us. A job went sideways that was worth a month of expenses and then some. The client gave us a deadline to fix it, and if it wasn't they weren't paying.
I told my partners I would do whatever it took to fix this issue because that's too much money to lose. Long story short, our team had it fixed in two days; including contingency plans B, C, and D lined up if our first solution didn't work.
Complete trust has to exist in a partnership, otherwise it doesn't work. And this means sticking to our commitments.
The Romans thought Hannibal had the FORCES OF HELL ON HIS SIDE. Why?
Because of that quote: “We will find a way. Or make one.”
> Get a coffee and some popcorn ready before you read this one. Love it or hate it, either way you’ll be wildly entertained. Names and details changed, for obvious reasons.
In other words, the whole article is not meant seriously.
The whole letter/blog simultaneously reeks of desperation, egotism, conceit and condescension. He clearly craves validation and doesn't hesitate to dole it out to himself. "I picked you guys because you're the best! Now quit sucking and start being awesome like me! Money money money!"
"A joker is someone who does not complete something, and has excuses. Don't be a fucking joker."
...Hannibal is his greatest hero, the guy who ALMOST conquered rome, but had a great excuse for not doing so.
"Now, here’s the score. I had a very fast, but totally possible timetable. At first, we were on it, and killing it. Then, one of us slipped. I don’t know who slipped first, it’s irrelevant. Now, we’re all slipping. "
Right, so the timetable doesn't include any latitude for delays.
"I can do marketing campaigns, but I need product and tech set up first. I mean, it’s not optional, it’s a core dependency. All of this shit was supposed to be done weeks ago."
Sounds like an excuse, sounds like he should stop being a joker and just GET IT DONE. No excuses.
This guy is deluded, lives in a separate version of reality where he has excuses but no one else can. Excuses can also be reasons why something is not going to work.
I'm at a complete loss for words.
Sounds like something a joker would say!
"Whenever I compared myself to people similar to me, it wasn’t even close. I worked more, accomplished more, produced more, did more meaningful things, was traveling the world. I read more books, did more writing, was generally healthier and more disciplined, spent my time well. I was the top 1% for my age, and even better than that if you measured me against people from similar backgrounds."
Wow, he's really on a roll with his Nov 17th post too:
His ambition is all about being better than others.
Healthy ambition is an ambition to create something beautiful, to help people, to deliver the total solution, to live up to your own standards and values.
Unhealthy ambition is to dominate other, to be superior, to make the most money, to look the best, to constantly compare yourself to others.
People who constantly compare themselves to others usually do have inferiority complexes.
In this case, I just got the feeling from reading his posts that OP has a very VERY strong bias towards comparing and measuring up to other people; and he is extremely focused on success and achievements in what feels to me like an unnaturally extreme way. Quite a few of his posts focus on nothing but that and all together just feels unhealthy and un-natural to me. That's the distinction I see to "just" being VERY motivated vs. being "driven". Being a work-a-holic by definition is an unhealthy behavior and there could be a whole bunch of reasons why people slip into that.
Like I said, it is nothing but armchair psychology - but the possibility that certain psychological issues could actually end up benefitting your career or success (or even success with women) is pretty much undisputed. Not all flight mechanisms or addictions have to be to very obvious substances. Work and success and being praised can be very powerful and toxic.
I think this guy could be on his way to the Fortune 400!
But as an email it just looks insane.
Its VERY easy for the sense of urgency to just go away. Its very hard to get people highly motivated about time. It's easy to kill an entire day with BS, and let things just stretch out. Especially when you're an employee, and you're working for options. Options are so intangible. You're theoretically motivated, but on a day to day basis, do stock options get you doing 6 things in an hour instead of 3 or 4? Especially if your boss isn't there? (And if your boss is there then you're likely to be inhibited.) It's really easy to kill time by running everything thru your boss too... it lets you cover your butt, and you can read HN while you wait for him to make a decision.
I don't know how you teach initiative... but this is a good attempt.
Find a way or make one. Good advice.
Its a shame most of the comments on this seem to be reddit quality. Almost as if the people making them have never been in this situation. (and this was the situation I found myself in at my very first startup-- when we all felt we had no clue what we were doing, and tended to wait for direction, rather than take initiative.)
I think the problem is, anyone that's worked in the startup world for a while has been in this situation. But most of them have seen it from the other side.
Where you've got maybe 2% equity in a company if you're lucky, and a salary that's about half what you'd be making flipping Java-burgers at a bank. Where you, the sysadmin-at-large (amongst other hats that you wear) see first-hand that traffic levels are a couple orders of magnitude less than you were supposed to set up the system to scale to. Where you're asked to put in 55 hours this week instead of the usual "lazy" 50 because the killer hail-mary-feature that's going to save the company (and is suspiciously similar re: customer visibility to the killer hail-mary-feature of last week) has to be pushed out by Monday or else, ...what, all 20 of the people that bothered to sign up to the mailing list will be disappointed at the missed deadline...? Blech.
Sure, sometimes the situation is different, sometimes it really is a matter of a few people with equal stakes in the outcome not equally pulling weight, and that can be a real problem worth worrying about. But I'm always skeptical when I see CEOs complaining about lazy drones, quite often these complaints are more indicative of top-down scope-creep, bad time estimates, or a failing business model than any actual problem with the workers.
I was really not a fan of the part where he told his guys not to make excuses, but then made a very large excuse for himself.
If I would have read only the first few paragraphs I would have been a huge fan of this article.
* If you are always running your business with a sense of urgency, you are going to burn out. You are going to burn out your employees. You've might have bitten more than you can chew. Some things are not possible and you need to have realistic expectations. It is fine to have stretches of busy time, but that can't last forever.
* > Its very hard to get people highly motivated about time. -- Ok so it is crunch time. Try communication & openness. Put up a whiteboard, show how many days left, how much money is left, the list of unfixed bugs, and whose name is next to it. Update frequently. Detect problems and slips early and try to fix. Don't yell at them or talk about fucking Hannibal, because you know what? You look like a Joker then.
That's not really true. If you're always running your life with a sense of urgency, you're going to burn out. But your life doesn't have to be your business.
I'm a big fan of the "give me six good hours a day" school of thought. You're not at work your whole life (or maybe you are, but you're not doing urgent stuff your whole day). You don't expect your employees to be at work their whole lives. But when you are at work, you focus on the tasks that need to get done, and you finish them. If problems come up, you figure out a way around them, redo your plans, and adjust your schedule accordingly.
EDIT: The answer to your question is sentiment of my above sentence. I don't really want a Ferrari personally. I'd prefer a Nissan GTR R35.