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Katharine Valentino

Katharine Valentino

7 months ago

A Gun-toting Teacher Is Like a Cook With Rat Poison

Pink or blue AR-15s?

A teacher teaches; a gun kills. Killing isn't teaching. Killing is opposite of teaching.

Without 27 school shootings this year, we wouldn't be talking about arming teachers. Gun makers, distributors, and the NRA cause most school shootings. Gun makers, distributors, and the NRA wouldn't be huge business if weapons weren't profitable.

Guns, ammo, body armor, holsters, concealed carriers, bore sights, cleaner kits, spare magazines and speed loaders, gun safes, and ear protection are sold. And more guns.

And lots more profit.

Guns aren't bread. You eat a loaf of bread in a week or so and then must buy more. Bread makers will make money. Winchester 94.30–30 1899 Lever Action Rifle from 1894 still kills. (For safety, I won't link to the ad.) Gun makers don't object if you collect antique weapons, but they need you to buy the latest, in-style killing machine. The youngster who killed 19 students and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, used an AR-15. Better yet, two.

Salvador Ramos, the Robb Elementary shooter, is a "killing influencer" He pushes consumers to buy items, which benefits manufacturers and distributors. Like every previous AR-15 influencer, he profits Colt, the rifle's manufacturer, and 52,779 gun dealers in the U.S. Ramos and other AR-15 influences make us fear for our safety and our children's. Fearing for our safety, we acquire 20 million firearms a year and live in a gun culture.

So now at school, we want to arm teachers.

Consider. Which of your teachers would you have preferred in body armor with a gun drawn?

Miss Summers? Remember her bringing daisies from her yard to second grade? She handed each student a beautiful flower. Miss Summers loved everyone, even those with AR-15s. She can't shoot.

Frasier? Mr. Frasier turned a youngster over down to explain "invert." Mr. Frasier's hands shook when he wasn't flipping fifth-graders and fractions. He may have shot wrong.

Mrs. Barkley barked in high school English class when anyone started an essay with "But." Mrs. Barkley dubbed Abie a "Jewboy" and gave him terrible grades. Arming Miss Barkley is like poisoning the chef.

Think back. Do you remember a teacher with a gun? No. Arming teachers so the gun industry can make more money is the craziest idea ever.

Or maybe you agree with Ted Cruz, the gun lobby-bought senator, that more guns reduce gun violence. After the next school shooting, you'll undoubtedly talk about arming teachers and pupils. Colt will likely develop a backpack-sized, lighter version of its popular killing machine in pink and blue for kids and boys. The MAR-15? (M for mini).


This post is a summary. Read the full one here.

More on Society & Culture

Sam Warain

Sam Warain

1 month ago

The Brilliant Idea Behind Kim Kardashian's New Private Equity Fund

Source: Jasper AI

Kim Kardashian created Skky Partners. Consumer products, internet & e-commerce, consumer media, hospitality, and luxury are company targets.

Some call this another Kardashian publicity gimmick.

Source: Comment on WSJ Article

This maneuver is brilliance upon closer inspection. Why?

1) Kim has amassed a sizable social media fan base:

Over 320 million Instagram and 70 million Twitter users follow Kim Kardashian.

Source: Wikipedia, Top Instagram Account Followers

Kim Kardashian's Instagram account ranks 8th. Three Kardashians in top 10 is ridiculous.

This gives her access to consumer data. She knows what people are discussing. Investment firms need this data.

Quality, not quantity, of her followers matters. Studies suggest that her following are more engaged than Selena Gomez and Beyonce's.

Kim's followers are worth roughly $500 million to her brand, according to a research. They trust her and buy what she recommends.

2) She has a special aptitude for identifying trends.

Kim Kardashian can sense trends.

She's always ahead of fashion and beauty trends. She's always trying new things, too. She doesn't mind making mistakes when trying anything new. Her desire to experiment makes her a good business prospector.

Kim has also created a lifestyle brand that followers love. Kim is an entrepreneur, mom, and role model, not just a reality TV star or model. She's established a brand around her appearance, so people want to buy her things.

Her fragrance collection has sold over $100 million since its 2009 introduction, and her Sears apparel line did over $200 million in its first year.

SKIMS is her latest $3.2bn brand. She can establish multibillion-dollar firms with her enormous distribution platform.

Early founders would kill for Kim Kardashian's network.

Making great products is hard, but distribution is more difficult. — David Sacks, All-in-Podcast

3) She can delegate the financial choices to Jay Sammons, one of the greatest in the industry.

Jay Sammons is well-suited to develop Kim Kardashian's new private equity fund.

Sammons has 16 years of consumer investing experience at Carlyle. This will help Kardashian invest in consumer-facing enterprises.

Sammons has invested in Supreme and Beats Electronics, both of which have grown significantly. Sammons' track record and competence make him the obvious choice.

Kim Kardashian and Jay Sammons have joined forces to create a new business endeavor. The agreement will increase Kardashian's commercial empire. Sammons can leverage one of the world's most famous celebrities.

“Together we hope to leverage our complementary expertise to build the next generation consumer and media private equity firm” — Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian is a successful businesswoman. She developed an empire by leveraging social media to connect with fans. By developing a global lifestyle brand, she has sold things and experiences that have made her one of the world's richest celebrities.

She's a shrewd entrepreneur who knows how to maximize on herself and her image.

Imagine how much interest Kim K will bring to private equity and venture capital.

I'm curious about the company's growth.

Liz Martin

Liz Martin

3 months ago

What Motivated Amazon to Spend $1 Billion for The Rings of Power?

Amazon's Rings of Power is the most costly TV series ever made. This is merely a down payment towards Amazon's grand goal.

Here's a video:

Amazon bought J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels for $250 million in 2017. This agreement allows Amazon to create a Tolkien series for Prime Video.

The business spent years developing and constructing a Lord of the Rings prequel. Rings of Power premiered on September 2, 2022.

It drew 25 million global viewers in 24 hours. Prime Video's biggest debut.

An Exorbitant Budget

The most expensive. First season cost $750 million to $1 billion, making it the most costly TV show ever.

Jeff Bezos has spent years looking for the next Game of Thrones, a critically and commercially successful original series. Rings of Power could help.

Why would Amazon bet $1 billion on one series?

It's Not Just About the Streaming War

It's simple to assume Amazon just wants to win. Since 2018, the corporation has been fighting Hulu, Netflix, HBO, Apple, Disney, and NBC. Each wants your money, talent, and attention. Amazon's investment goes beyond rivalry.

Subscriptions Are the Bait

Audible, Amazon Music, and Prime Video are subscription services, although the company's fundamental business is retail. Amazon's online stores contribute over 50% of company revenue. Subscription services contribute 6.8%. The company's master plan depends on these subscriptions.

Streaming videos on Prime increases membership renewals. Free trial participants are more likely to join. Members buy twice as much as non-members.

Statista

Amazon Studios doesn't generate original programming to earn from Prime Video subscriptions. It aims to retain and attract clients.

Amazon can track what you watch and buy. Its algorithm recommends items and services. Mckinsey says you'll use more Amazon products, shop at Amazon stores, and watch Amazon entertainment.

In 2015, the firm launched the first season of The Man in the High Castle, a dystopian alternate history TV series depicting a world ruled by Nazi Germany and Japan after World War II.

This $72 million production earned two Emmys. It garnered 1.15 million new Prime users globally.

When asked about his Hollywood investment, Bezos said, "A Golden Globe helps us sell more shoes."

Selling more footwear

Amazon secured a deal with DirecTV to air Thursday Night Football in restaurants and bars. First streaming service to have exclusive NFL games.

This isn't just about Thursday night football, says media analyst Ritchie Greenfield. This sells t-shirts. This may be a ticket. Amazon does more than stream games.

The Rings of Power isn't merely a production showcase, either. This sells Tolkien's fantasy novels such Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion.

This tiny commitment keeps you in Amazon's ecosystem.

Scott Galloway

Scott Galloway

3 months ago

Don't underestimate the foolish

ZERO GRACE/ZERO MALICE

Big companies and wealthy people make stupid mistakes too.

Your ancestors kept snakes and drank bad water. You (probably) don't because you've learnt from their failures via instinct+, the ultimate life-lessons streaming network in your head. Instincts foretell the future. If you approach a lion, it'll eat you. Our society's nuanced/complex decisions have surpassed instinct. Human growth depends on how we handle these issues. 80% of people believe they are above-average drivers, yet few believe they make many incorrect mistakes that make them risky. Stupidity hurts others like death. Basic Laws of Human Stupidity by Carlo Cipollas:

  1. Everyone underestimates the prevalence of idiots in our society.

  2. Any other trait a person may have has no bearing on how likely they are to be stupid.

  3. A dumb individual is one who harms someone without benefiting themselves and may even lose money in the process.

  4. Non-dumb people frequently underestimate how destructively powerful stupid people can be.

  5. The most dangerous kind of person is a moron.

Professor Cippola defines stupid as bad for you and others. We underestimate the corporate world's and seemingly successful people's ability to make bad judgments that harm themselves and others. Success is an intoxication that makes you risk-aggressive and blurs your peripheral vision.

Stupid companies and decisions:

Big Dumber

Big-company bad ideas have more bulk and inertia. The world's most valuable company recently showed its board a VR headset. Jony Ive couldn't destroy Apple's terrible idea in 2015. Mr. Ive said that VR cut users off from the outer world, made them seem outdated, and lacked practical uses. Ives' design team doubted users would wear headsets for lengthy periods.

VR has cost tens of billions of dollars over a decade to prove nobody wants it. The next great SaaS startup will likely come from Florence, not Redmond or San Jose.

Apple Watch and Airpods have made the Cupertino company the world's largest jewelry maker. 10.5% of Apple's income, or $38 billion, comes from wearables in 2021. (seven times the revenue of Tiffany & Co.). Jewelry makes you more appealing and useful. Airpods and Apple Watch do both.

Headsets make you less beautiful and useful and promote isolation, loneliness, and unhappiness among American teenagers. My sons pretend they can't hear or see me when on their phones. VR headsets lack charisma.

Coinbase disclosed a plan to generate division and tension within its workplace weeks after Apple was pitched $2,000 smokes. The crypto-trading platform is piloting a program that rates staff after every interaction. If a coworker says anything you don't like, you should tell them how to improve. Everyone gets a 110-point scorecard. Coworkers should evaluate a person's rating while deciding whether to listen to them. It's ridiculous.

Organizations leverage our superpower of cooperation. This encourages non-cooperation, period. Bridgewater's founder Ray Dalio designed the approach to promote extreme transparency. Dalio has 223 billion reasons his managerial style works. There's reason to suppose only a small group of people, largely traders, will endure a granular scorecard. Bridgewater has 20% first-year turnover. Employees cry in bathrooms, and sex scandals are settled by ignoring individuals with poor believability levels. Coinbase might take solace that the stock is 80% below its initial offering price.

Poor Stupid

Fools' ledgers are valuable. More valuable are lists of foolish rich individuals.

Robinhood built a $8 billion corporation on financial ignorance. The firm's median account value is $240, and its stock has dropped 75% since last summer. Investors, customers, and society lose. Stupid. Luna published a comparable list on the blockchain, grew to $41 billion in market cap, then plummeted.

A podcast presenter is recruiting dentists and small-business owners to invest in Elon Musk's Twitter takeover. Investors pay a 7% fee and 10% of the upside for the chance to buy Twitter at a 35% premium to the current price. The proposal legitimizes CNBC's Trade Like Chuck advertising (Chuck made $4,600 into $460,000 in two years). This is stupid because it adds to the Twitter deal's desperation. Mr. Musk made an impression when he urged his lawyers to develop a legal rip-cord (There are bots on the platform!) to abandon the share purchase arrangement (for less than they are being marketed by the podcaster). Rolls-Royce may pay for this list of the dumb affluent because it includes potential Cullinan buyers.

Worst company? Flowcarbon, founded by WeWork founder Adam Neumann, operates at the convergence of carbon and crypto to democratize access to offsets and safeguard the earth's natural carbon sinks. Can I get an ayahuasca Big Gulp?

Neumann raised $70 million with their yogababble drink. More than half of the consideration came from selling GNT. Goddess Nature Token. I hope the company gets an S-1. Or I'll start a decentralized AI Meta Renewable NFTs company. My Community Based Ebitda coin will fund the company. Possible.

Stupidity inside oneself

This weekend, I was in NYC with my boys. My 14-year-old disappeared. He's realized I'm not cool and is mad I let the charade continue. When out with his dad, he likes to stroll home alone and depart before me. Friends told me hell would return, but I was surprised by how fast the eye roll came.

Not so with my 11-year-old. We went to The Edge, a Hudson Yards observation platform where you can see the city from 100 storeys up for $38. This is hell's seventh ring. Leaning into your boys' interests is key to engaging them (dad tip). Neither loves Crossfit, WW2 history, or antitrust law.

We take selfies on the Thrilling Glass Floor he spots. Dad, there's a bar! Coke? I nod, he rushes to the bar, stops, runs back for money, and sprints back. Sitting on stone seats, drinking Atlanta Champagne, he turns at me and asks, Isn't this amazing? I'll never reach paradise.

Later that night, the lads are asleep and I've had two Zacapas and Cokes. I SMS some friends about my day and how I feel about sons/fatherhood/etc. How I did. They responded and approached. The next morning, I'm sober, have distance from my son, and feel ashamed by my texts. Less likely to impulsively share my emotions with others. Stupid again.

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Pen Magnet

Pen Magnet

4 months ago

Why Google Staff Doesn't Work

Photo by Rajeshwar Bachu on Unsplash

Sundar Pichai unveiled Simplicity Sprint at Google's latest all-hands conference.

To boost employee efficiency.

Not surprising. Few envisioned Google declaring a productivity drive.

Sunder Pichai's speech:

“There are real concerns that our productivity as a whole is not where it needs to be for the head count we have. Help me create a culture that is more mission-focused, more focused on our products, more customer focused. We should think about how we can minimize distractions and really raise the bar on both product excellence and productivity.”

The primary driver driving Google's efficiency push is:

Google's efficiency push follows 13% quarterly revenue increase. Last year in the same quarter, it was 62%.

Market newcomers may argue that the previous year's figure was fuelled by post-Covid reopening and growing consumer spending. Investors aren't convinced. A promising company like Google can't afford to drop so quickly.

Google’s quarterly revenue growth stood at 13%, against 62% in last year same quarter.

Google isn't alone. In my recent essay regarding 2025 programmers, I warned about the economic downturn's effects on FAAMG's workforce. Facebook had suspended hiring, and Microsoft had promised hefty bonuses for loyal staff.

In the same article, I predicted Google's troubles. Online advertising, especially the way Google and Facebook sell it using user data, is over.

FAAMG and 2nd rung IT companies could be the first to fall without Post-COVID revival and uncertain global geopolitics.

Google has hardly ever discussed effectiveness:

Apparently openly.

Amazon treats its employees like robots, even in software positions. It has significant turnover and a terrible reputation as a result. Because of this, it rarely loses money due to staff productivity.

Amazon trumps Google. In reality, it treats its employees poorly.

Google was the founding father of the modern-day open culture.

Larry and Sergey Google founded the IT industry's Open Culture. Silicon Valley called Google's internal democracy and transparency near anarchy. Management rarely slammed decisions on employees. Surveys and internal polls ensured everyone knew the company's direction and had a vote.

20% project allotment (weekly free time to build own project) was Google's open-secret innovation component.

After Larry and Sergey's exit in 2019, this is Google's first profitability hurdle. Only Google insiders can answer these questions.

  • Would Google's investors compel the company's management to adopt an Amazon-style culture where the developers are treated like circus performers?

  • If so, would Google follow suit?

  • If so, how does Google go about doing it?

Before discussing Google's likely plan, let's examine programming productivity.

What determines a programmer's productivity is simple:

How would we answer Google's questions?

As a programmer, I'm more concerned about Simplicity Sprint's aftermath than its economic catalysts.

Large organizations don't care much about quarterly and annual productivity metrics. They have 10-year product-launch plans. If something seems horrible today, it's likely due to someone's lousy judgment 5 years ago who is no longer in the blame game.

Deconstruct our main question.

  • How exactly do you change the culture of the firm so that productivity increases?

  • How can you accomplish that without affecting your capacity to profit? There are countless ways to increase output without decreasing profit.

  • How can you accomplish this with little to no effect on employee motivation? (While not all employers care about it, in this case we are discussing the father of the open company culture.)

  • How do you do it for a 10-developer IT firm that is losing money versus a 1,70,000-developer organization with a trillion-dollar valuation?

When implementing a large-scale organizational change, success must be carefully measured.

The fastest way to do something is to do it right, no matter how long it takes.

You require clearly-defined group/team/role segregation and solid pass/fail matrices to:

  • You can give performers rewards.

  • Ones that are average can be inspired to improve

  • Underachievers may receive assistance or, in the worst-case scenario, rehabilitation

As a 20-year programmer, I associate productivity with greatness.

Doing something well, no matter how long it takes, is the fastest way to do it.

Let's discuss a programmer's productivity.

Why productivity is a strange term in programming:

Productivity is work per unit of time.

Money=time This is an economic proverb. More hours worked, more pay. Longer projects cost more.

As a buyer, you desire a quick supply. As a business owner, you want employees who perform at full capacity, creating more products to transport and boosting your profits.

All economic matrices encourage production because of our obsession with it. Productivity is the only organic way a nation may increase its GDP.

Time is money — is not just a proverb, but an economical fact.

Applying the same productivity theory to programming gets problematic. An automating computer. Its capacity depends on the software its master writes.

Today, a sophisticated program can process a billion records in a few hours. Creating one takes a competent coder and the necessary infrastructure. Learning, designing, coding, testing, and iterations take time.

Programming productivity isn't linear, unlike manufacturing and maintenance.

Average programmers produce code every day yet miss deadlines. Expert programmers go days without coding. End of sprint, they often surprise themselves by delivering fully working solutions.

Reversing the programming duties has no effect. Experts aren't needed for productivity.

These patterns remind me of an XKCD comic.

Source: XKCD

Programming productivity depends on two factors:

  • The capacity of the programmer and his or her command of the principles of computer science

  • His or her productive bursts, how often they occur, and how long they last as they engineer the answer

At some point, productivity measurement becomes Schrödinger’s cat.

Product companies measure productivity using use cases, classes, functions, or LOCs (lines of code). In days of data-rich source control systems, programmers' merge requests and/or commits are the most preferred yardstick. Companies assess productivity by tickets closed.

Every organization eventually has trouble measuring productivity. Finer measurements create more chaos. Every measure compares apples to oranges (or worse, apples with aircraft.) On top of the measuring overhead, the endeavor causes tremendous and unnecessary stress on teams, lowering their productivity and defeating its purpose.

Macro productivity measurements make sense. Amazon's factory-era management has done it, but at great cost.

Google can pull it off if it wants to.

What Google meant in reality when it said that employee productivity has decreased:

When Google considers its employees unproductive, it doesn't mean they don't complete enough work in the allotted period.

They can't multiply their work's influence over time.

  • Programmers who produce excellent modules or products are unsure on how to use them.

  • The best data scientists are unable to add the proper parameters in their models.

  • Despite having a great product backlog, managers struggle to recruit resources with the necessary skills.

  • Product designers who frequently develop and A/B test newer designs are unaware of why measures are inaccurate or whether they have already reached the saturation point.

  • Most ignorant: All of the aforementioned positions are aware of what to do with their deliverables, but neither their supervisors nor Google itself have given them sufficient authority.

So, Google employees aren't productive.

How to fix it?

  • Business analysis: White suits introducing novel items can interact with customers from all regions. Track analytics events proactively, especially the infrequent ones.

  • SOLID, DRY, TEST, and AUTOMATION: Do less + reuse. Use boilerplate code creation. If something already exists, don't implement it yourself.

  • Build features-building capabilities: N features are created by average programmers in N hours. An endless number of features can be built by average programmers thanks to the fact that expert programmers can produce 1 capability in N hours.

  • Work on projects that will have a positive impact: Use the same algorithm to search for images on YouTube rather than the Mars surface.

  • Avoid tasks that can only be measured in terms of time linearity at all costs (if a task can be completed in N minutes, then M copies of the same task would cost M*N minutes).

In conclusion:

Software development isn't linear. Why should the makers be measured?

Notation for The Big O

I'm discussing a new way to quantify programmer productivity. (It applies to other professions, but that's another subject)

The Big O notation expresses the paradigm (the algorithmic performance concept programmers rot to ace their Google interview)

Google (or any large corporation) can do this.

  1. Sort organizational roles into categories and specify their impact vs. time objectives. A CXO role's time vs. effect function, for instance, has a complexity of O(log N), meaning that if a CEO raises his or her work time by 8x, the result only increases by 3x.

  2. Plot the influence of each employee over time using the X and Y axes, respectively.

  3. Add a multiplier for Y-axis values to the productivity equation to make business objectives matter. (Example values: Support = 5, Utility = 7, and Innovation = 10).

  4. Compare employee scores in comparable categories (developers vs. devs, CXOs vs. CXOs, etc.) and reward or help employees based on whether they are ahead of or behind the pack.

After measuring every employee's inventiveness, it's straightforward to help underachievers and praise achievers.

Example of a Big(O) Category:

If I ran Google (God forbid, its worst days are far off), here's how I'd classify it. You can categorize Google employees whichever you choose.

The Google interview truth:

O(1) < O(log n) < O(n) < O(n log n) < O(n^x) where all logarithmic bases are < n.

O(1): Customer service workers' hours have no impact on firm profitability or customer pleasure.

CXOs Most of their time is spent on travel, strategic meetings, parties, and/or meetings with minimal floor-level influence. They're good at launching new products but bad at pivoting without disaster. Their directions are being followed.

Devops, UX designers, testers Agile projects revolve around deployment. DevOps controls the levers. Their automation secures results in subsequent cycles.

UX/UI Designers must still prototype UI elements despite improved design tools.

All test cases are proportional to use cases/functional units, hence testers' work is O(N).

Architects Their effort improves code quality. Their right/wrong interference affects product quality and rollout decisions even after the design is set.

Core Developers Only core developers can write code and own requirements. When people understand and own their labor, the output improves dramatically. A single character error can spread undetected throughout the SDLC and cost millions.

Core devs introduce/eliminate 1000x bugs, refactoring attempts, and regression. Following our earlier hypothesis.

The fastest way to do something is to do it right, no matter how long it takes.

Conclusion:

Google is at the liberal extreme of the employee-handling spectrum

Microsoft faced an existential crisis after 2000. It didn't choose Amazon's data-driven people management to revitalize itself.

Instead, it entrusted developers. It welcomed emerging technologies and opened up to open source, something it previously opposed.

Google is too lax in its employee-handling practices. With that foundation, it can only follow Amazon, no matter how carefully.

Any attempt to redefine people's measurements will affect the organization emotionally.

The more Google compares apples to apples, the higher its chances for future rebirth.

Tim Denning

Tim Denning

3 months ago

I gave up climbing the corporate ladder once I realized how deeply unhappy everyone at the top was.

Restructuring and layoffs cause career reevaluation. Your career can benefit.

Photo by Humberto Chavez on Unsplash

Once you become institutionalized, the corporate ladder is all you know.

You're bubbled. Extremists term it the corporate Matrix. I'm not so severe because the business world brainwashed me, too.

This boosted my corporate career.

Until I hit bottom.

15 months later, I view my corporate life differently. You may wish to advance professionally. Read this before you do.

Your happiness in the workplace may be deceptive.

I've been fortunate to spend time with corporate aces.

Working for 2.5 years in banking social media gave me some of these experiences. Earlier in my career, I recorded interviews with business leaders.

These people have titles like Chief General Manager and Head Of. New titles brought life-changing salaries.

They seemed happy.

I’d pass them in the hallway and they’d smile or shake my hand. I dreamt of having their life.

The ominous pattern

Unfiltered talks with some of them revealed a different world.

They acted well. They were skilled at smiling and saying the correct things. All had the same dark pattern, though.

Something felt off.

I found my conversations with them were generally for their benefit. They hoped my online antics as a writer/coach would shed light on their dilemma.

They'd tell me they wanted more. When you're one position away from CEO, it's hard not to wonder if this next move will matter.

What really displeased corporate ladder chasers

Before ascending further, consider these.

Zero autonomy

As you rise in a company, your days get busier.

Many people and initiatives need supervision. Everyone expects you to know business details. Weak when you don't. A poor leader is fired during the next restructuring and left to pursue their corporate ambition.

Full calendars leave no time for reflection. You can't have a coffee with a friend or waste a day.

You’re always on call. It’s a roll call kinda life.

Unable to express oneself freely

My 8 years of LinkedIn writing helped me meet these leaders.

I didn't think they'd care. Mistake.

Corporate leaders envied me because they wanted to talk freely again without corporate comms or a PR firm directing them what to say.

They couldn't share their flaws or inspiring experiences.

They wanted to.

Every day they were muzzled eroded by their business dream.

Limited family time

Top leaders had families.

They've climbed the corporate ladder. Nothing excellent happens overnight.

Corporate dreamers rarely saw their families.

Late meetings, customer functions, expos, training, leadership days, team days, town halls, and product demos regularly occurred after work.

Or they had to travel interstate or internationally for work events. They used bags and motel showers.

Initially, they said business class flights and hotels were nice. They'd get bored. 5-star hotels become monotonous.

No hotel beats home.

One leader said he hadn't seen his daughter much. They used to Facetime, but now that he's been gone so long, she rarely wants to talk to him.

So they iPad-parented.

You're miserable without your family.

Held captive by other job titles

Going up the business ladder seems like a battle.

Leaders compete for business gains and corporate advancement.

I saw shocking filthy tricks. Leaders would lie to seem nice.

Captives included top officials.

A different section every week. If they ran technology, the Head of Sales would argue their CRM cost millions. Or an Operations chief would battle a product team over support requests.

After one conflict, another began.

Corporate echelons are antagonistic. Huge pay and bonuses guarantee bad behavior.

Overly centered on revenue

As you rise, revenue becomes more prevalent. Most days, you'd believe revenue was everything. Here’s the problem…

Numbers drain us.

Unless you're a closet math nerd, contemplating and talking about numbers drains your creativity.

Revenue will never substitute impact.

Incapable of taking risks

Corporate success requires taking fewer risks.

Risks can cause dismissal. Risks can interrupt business. Keep things moving so you may keep getting paid your enormous salary and bonus.

Restructuring or layoffs are inevitable. All corporate climbers experience it.

On this fateful day, a small few realize the game they’ve been trapped in and escape. Most return to play for a new company, but it takes time.

Addiction keeps them trapped. You know nothing else. The rest is strange.

You start to think “I’m getting old” or “it’s nearly retirement.” So you settle yet again for the trappings of the corporate ladder game to nowhere.

Should you climb the corporate ladder?

Let me end on a surprising note.

Young people should ascend the corporate ladder. It teaches you business skills and helps support your side gig and (potential) online business.

Don't get trapped, shackled, or muzzled.

Your ideas and creativity become stifled after too much gaming play.

Corporate success won't bring happiness.

Find fulfilling employment that matters. That's it.

Matthew Royse

Matthew Royse

6 months ago

5 Tips for Concise Writing

Here's how to be clear.

I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” — French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, and writer Blaise Pascal

Concise.

People want this. We tend to repeat ourselves and use unnecessary words.

Being vague frustrates readers. It focuses their limited attention span on figuring out what you're saying rather than your message.

Edit carefully.

Examine every word you put on paper. You’ll find a surprising number that don’t serve any purpose.” — American writer, editor, literary critic, and teacher William Zinsser

How do you write succinctly?

Here are three ways to polish your writing.

1. Delete

Your readers will appreciate it if you delete unnecessary words. If a word or phrase is essential, keep it. Don't force it.

Many readers dislike bloated sentences. Ask yourself if cutting a word or phrase will change the meaning or dilute your message.

For example, you could say, “It’s absolutely essential that I attend this meeting today, so I know the final outcome.” It’s better to say, “It’s critical I attend the meeting today, so I know the results.”

Key takeaway

Delete actually, completely, just, full, kind of, really, and totally. Keep the necessary words, cut the rest.

2. Just Do It

Don't tell readers your plans. Your readers don't need to know your plans. Who are you?

Don't say, "I want to highlight our marketing's problems." Our marketing issues are A, B, and C. This cuts 5–7 words per sentence.

Keep your reader's attention on the essentials, not the fluff. What are you doing? You won't lose readers because you get to the point quickly and don't build up.

Key takeaway

Delete words that don't add to your message. Do something, don't tell readers you will.

3. Cut Overlap

You probably repeat yourself unintentionally. You may add redundant sentences when brainstorming. Read aloud to detect overlap.

Remove repetition from your writing. It's important to edit our writing and thinking to avoid repetition.

Key Takeaway

If you're repeating yourself, combine sentences to avoid overlap.

4. Simplify

Write as you would to family or friends. Communicate clearly. Don't use jargon. These words confuse readers.

Readers want specifics, not jargon. Write simply. Done.

Most adults read at 8th-grade level. Jargon and buzzwords make speech fluffy. This confuses readers who want simple language.

Key takeaway

Ensure all audiences can understand you. USA Today's 5th-grade reading level is intentional. They want everyone to understand.

5. Active voice

Subjects perform actions in active voice. When you write in passive voice, the subject receives the action.

For example, “the board of directors decided to vote on the topic” is an active voice, while “a decision to vote on the topic was made by the board of directors” is a passive voice.

Key takeaway

Active voice clarifies sentences. Active voice is simple and concise.

Bringing It All Together

Five tips help you write clearly. Delete, just do it, cut overlap, use simple language, and write in an active voice.

Clear writing is effective. It's okay to occasionally use unnecessary words or phrases. Realizing it is key. Check your writing.

Adding words costs.

Write more concisely. People will appreciate it and read your future articles, emails, and messages. Spending extra time will increase trust and influence.

Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” — Naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher Henry David Thoreau