Try having 'no filter' in a marriage and most of you would be headed for divorce.
Instead, you need to say things in a manner that your target audience will understand. Sometimes, it takes yelling. Sometimes, you can just be silent and have an even greater impact.
If my kid is throwing a tantrum, I sit down and listen to what he is saying and give him a message in terms that he is likely to understand.
The key is that, if you are dealing with a bunch of headstrong engineers, you might have to push them a lot of get through. If you are dealing with someone who has a bit more sensitivity, this approach can be totally counter-productive.
> Try having 'no filter' in a marriage and most of you would be headed for divorce.
Might be a small point, but people marry those who they like. If you change into someone with no filter, then yeah you'll get that divorce. If you've always been that person with no filter, then your marriage is safe considering that's the man your wife/woman your husband married. If expectations get set at a certain place and then suddenly change, friction will happen, regardless. Even if it's going from "no filter" to "tactful response", that's going to cause interpersonal friction as well.
PG seems to have cultivated a perception of "no filter", and so when a person hears, "Let me get Paul", you generally know what's coming. You don't join YC to get patted on the head.
These are qualitatively different kinds of relationships. PG functions as an advisor for YC startups, someone who can influence the direction of your life greatly for a period of time. The difference between failure and success of an early startup can come down to a few critical days or weeks, and living in a version of reality that your ego has warped to protect itself is usually death for a startup. The most important thing in this case is to break that psychological bubble as fast as possible, and harsh words are one way to do it.
One's relationship with a spouse or a child is different. You will generally have many years to influence their thinking, and they won't usually suffer if you do it slowly.
"Try having 'no filter' in a marriage and most of you would be headed for divorce."
Agree. Most business owners as well would have little success with this unless they have desperate employees where desperate means "can't quit for economic reasons".
Except for celebrities (of who PG is certainly a celebrity with the majority of people who get into YC or are on HN (although not as much)).
Jobs can do this. PG can do this. Others of equivalent stature can because they have what others want. So those "others" will eat all types of shit in order to get their ticket punched.
Most people who aren't desperate for their job (or an investment) will not put up with abusive type behavior. They will walk. For the record I had done that back when I was in college. First time it happened.
Money and tolerance for abuse are closely related.
For the record the thing that bothers me more is the tone and anger as opposed to the words.
It's also worth noting that I believe PG's reputation is mostly even-keeled. The incident described in this post sounds like an outlier. If you're regularly escalating to this level of rhetoric in code reviews or meetings at work, you're probably not using the same criteria for deciding when this kind of talk is justified compared to Mr. Graham. I've seen more virulent language on this site over relatively innocuous comments, which is one example of something I doubt PG would endorse. Who knows if he would even endorse what he said in this conversation, albeit this time it did work.
"The incident described in this post sounds like an outlier."
Would agree that was the impression I had as well.
Strictly for discussion purposes, from my experience, behavior that starts out as an outlier (which works) ends up being the modus operandi if the lack of kickback and inevitable positive reinforcement (in terms of compliance) keep coming.
In the same way that a child not corrected or disciplined will continue acting out especially if they get their way by doing so.
But you can be 'angry because you suck' or you can be 'angry because I believe you are better than that'. It's a world of difference.
PG has the decided advantage of having an audience that knows he believes that they are capable of greatness. That makes it a lot easier to say things like that.
I'd say that, for me, respect and tolerance is closely related.
My point is that you need to consider how your audience will hear what you say which is, by definition, a filter. Some of my employees need constant feedback about how they are doing. Some just need a nudge. Knowing the difference is really important.