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A very nice read as always. Footnote [4] is a bit off-putting though "[4] What should you do if your true calling is gaming the system? Management consulting."

Management consulting probably has more opportunities for gaming the system than startups do, and I concur. However, my friends who work at management consultants, from what I can tell based on anecdotal evidence, mostly perform value adding work for their clients, including performing managerial duties in for fast grown firms that do not have the talent at hand, performing macroeconomic research and factory floor optimization. My friends are mostly of engineering background, though, so that probably affects the sampling quite a bit.

I would rephrase the dichotomy of not being about adding value vs. gaming the system but about creating something new versus optimizing and tinkering with an established system.

As an example all the protagonists in "The art of profitability" (http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Profitability-Adrian-Slywotzky...), for instance, deal mostly in a similar problem space as described by my friends' professional war stories.

You can add value by gaming the system. Gaming the system is a mean, not a goal.

Good point, I hadn't thought of it in that way but very true. Most systems have pathologies and you just need to work around them somehow. I agree: Gaming for personal profit and gaming for some higher goal are two different things.

thanks for sharing the link to that book - i will be grabbing a copy and reading it this weekend!

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