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What kind of place I want to work at?

April 9th, 2017

As my position at PurpleTalk as VP of Technology has ended, I got the opportunity to think what kind of place I want to work at. It is not an easy question for most of the people. We normally don’t think of it too much. When we join a new job, we see what the company is doing, if it fits our career path, then join else don’t join. That is how we normally decide.

As I have not worked in any company other than my own for major part of my professional life, I thought I am flexible and I can adjust. In fact I did. I did adjust a lot. But does adjusting means compromising your principles? I don’t think so. So I tried not to compromise on them, with say about 60% success rate.

Last month I was listening to a great podcast of Naval Ravikant and he said some thing related to honesty.

“I think honesty is a core, core, core value. To give you examples of what I mean by honesty is I want to be able to just be me. I never want to be in an environment or around people where I have to watch what I say.”

I absolutely recommend his podcast for any one who reads my blog. There will be some thing to learn for sure.

Immediately when I heard it, it went straight into my head. I thought about it and immediately decided that I need to act on it very soon. When you can not be what you are, and you are forced to act, is that worth it? I am sure you all agree that it is not.

But the question is we all do that every day. We all go to jobs, and at least some part of our job, we do act. We dont tell what we think, and we tell what other people like to hear, and we get uncomfortable(or get habituated) and come back. At the end of the day we get our salary, and we feel happy about it.

So how much of acting is worth. For most of us life is not a path of roses. We can not choose all our places of working, we all have to make compromises. If we want money, we need to settle of less than ideal working conditions. If some one else is paying, you got to do what they say. I understand it completely and agree with it.

But the major question remains, how much acting should we tolerate? Well, that depends on how lucky you are, and what your requirements are. Some how I got this question after 15 to 16 years of my professional life. I did not do acting while I am my own boss. And tried to do same even with my investors. I did make them agree too. But it is better to make them angry then cheat them with false hope/belief.

I think now I need to put an end to this acting once for all. And I think I can afford that price. Principles are free to take, but costly to maintain. Depending on where you are on your journey in life, you need to decide if that cost of the principles is good enough to keep or lose.

Thanks to one of my friend who referred me to “Ray Dalio“. Just watch couple of videos of  his. It is an extra ordinary organization which he runs. BridgeWater is a worlds largest hedge fund with 1500 employees. They operate based on “Radical Truth, and Radical Transparency”. Every meeting in the company is transparent(video recorded) and any one else in the company can see and question any decision and discuss about what is discussed. No one will talk about any person behind their back. So it is the proof that an organization can be built on truth and transparency.

Either I want to build such an organization, or I want to help other companies build it. Because I inherently believe in openness and truthfulness.

To summarize, here are couple of points that I want in my next place of work.

  1. Transparency
  2. Honesty
  3. Meritocracy
  4. More intimate relations with the people I work with
  5. Place where my skills can be put to best use, rather than waste my time in making a power point beautiful which most non-tech persons can do much better than me.
  6. Data driven decision making
  7. Where I can make difference to people’s lives. (Employees, or customers)

 

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