This gent argues jerks have made the tech world much better…
“Like everyone else in the tech world, I’ve been reading Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography. Simultaneously, I’ve been reading the reactions to it. The one that seems to stand out above all others amounts to: “wow, Steve Jobs was a jerk”. Those who have followed Apple closely throughout the years have heard dozens if not hundreds of stories of Jobs berating employees. Isaacson’s book brings a handful of these stories to the masses, and it’s rubbing some people the wrong way.
“Here’s the thing: the tech world could probably use more jerks…
He argues that in the tech world,
“being a “yes” man really isn’t all that helpful. What startups and tech companies need are doses of reality.
“The truth is that it’s a hell of a lot easier to be a ‘yes’ man than to be a jerk. You’re the nice guy, you’re everybody’s friend, you say winning things, you make everyone feel great. Meanwhile, the jerk makes every situation awkward. They tell you the works falls short, that it’s NOT good.
A “yes” man (or woman) provides zero motivation to improve. “What do you think?” “That’s awesome.” Great, done.
“Meanwhile, the jerk tackles the same question. ‘What do you think?’ ‘It’s shit.’ Really? Oh. Hm. What can I do better?”
“Is that helpful? Not on the surface, but the truth is that nothing is perfect.
“Something can always be made better. And people wrapped up in their own idea or product often lose perspective. They may believe what they’ve done is perfect — or at the very least, the best they can do. But it’s often not. They can do better. It’s all about motivation.” More here.
Readers: Is this a boy thing? Are guys more motivated to do better if they’re told what they did is no good? What about women? Does having someone tell you did didn’t do it right motivate you to do it better? Or does it make you fold up your tent and go home?
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Do you agree having a personal jerk would help you get better at doing the business? That person (who’s on our side) who tells us that what we did, wrote or said was not good enough? Or was – gasp – bad. To motivate us to do the thing better and better and maybe, even get great?