Envy (Defmacro, 2020-11-02)

Slava is back!

  • Silicon Valley runs on envy – every major (and not so major) event runs on envy. Anything can be a source of envy: you’ve got funding – I haven’t; your investor is Tier B and mine is a nobody; your valuation is 10x mine.

  • It’s not a realm of just startups: in VC funds associates envy jr partners; they envy senior partners. Within companies there’s a pecking order of envy, too.

  • is omnipresent. But some people call it “status” (Alex Danco). Not the same thing, but close enough to talk about status without the stigma of envy.

  • Envy feels like an abusive relationship, lower your barrier – and then everything adds up to it: press, gossip, exclusive events, etc. Sticking around people who can control envy soothes the wound a bit.

  • Emotionally strong people avoid the envy signs – they mostly noise, not worth pursuing. Envy is a huge drain on emotions (and the ability to function) and the time (not necessarily office hours).

  • Conviction is a better choice of trait as working towards a good goal is infinitely more rewarding than chasing shadows (you can never grab one). Overcoming challenges produces the strongest bonds, usually of a respectable nature.

  • One can still get the status and the recognition – the trick is not actively wanting that. It doesn’t mean not being aspired; it simply means that achieving status for the sake of status is a trait of an empty person. Igniting envy in others is a tool, and it’s hardly a good idea to be someone’s tool.


The white-collar gig economy could be the secret to faster innovation (Sifted, 2020-10-27)

  • Many companies are faced with a choice of either closing their doors or cutting innovation budgets (i.e. mostly people). These people, however, are not all from the grey list – some of them are actually very good, it’s just the company can’t afford them.

  • Logically, these people may still be useful, but in a different capacity – as white-collar gig workers. Sure, it’s not full employment, but read on.

The way to help people made redundant you’d love to keep

  • Encourage them to make their startups and the firm becomes their first client. They know the way the company operates, so they can jump through the hoops faster.

  • Since the company doesn’t tell people what to do, they can suggest a range of problems to solve for the company. (quite sad that they weren’t allowed to do it while in the company)

Some changes will be required

  • It’s not a time-and-material project; companies need to treat the initiatives by ex-staff as an investment case.

  • The team on the company side should be managing, not doing. This is a portfolio game, and nothing is worse than the investor trying to be useful to the invested company to the point of doing said company’s work.