Business for idiots.

Recent events in the business world have inspired me to write a primer for those who are, or who may be thinking about going into business for themselves. This is fairly specific to the tech industry, but the same general concepts apply to virtually everything that isn't a government run monopoly. In the vein of George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior: Mr. Lion's Rules of Remaining in Business.

1) If you, like most, are relying on hiring or contracting in talent to build your Next Big Thing, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to be forthright and honest with any of said hapless souls you may be attempting to hire or contract. That, in general, means:

1a) If you do not have the money to pay said talent to build your Next Big Thing, you should tell them upfront. Rather than, say, three to five months after the fact. This will prevent said talent from working up the white hot rage of a thousand suns and directing it towards you.

1b) If you have not been in business before, or have only had misfortune and "learning experiences" in past, you should probably seek the advise and expertise of said talent rather than dictate to them how they ought build something that they have decades of experience doing, and that which you have none. This will prevent said talent from setting your house on fire and plotting intricate machinations involving you, a microwave, and several hundred rolls of aluminum foil.

1c) When you are attempting to recruit, hire, or otherwise interest prospective talent in your Next Big Thing, you should probably not get people who have the IQ of a diced carrot to tech them out. Namely as when the talent in question knows more than the bumbling fool you hired to make them look bad, the net result is that you look like a blithering moron to everyone but yourself. Namely as you are vapid idiot.

1d) As with 1(b), if you lack any and all technical competency in a given discipline, you should avoid telling talent you are trying to hire what methods and apparatus they should use based solely on your collection of search-engine provided buzzwords that have absolutely nothing to do with the project at hand. This will keep said talent from drawing Deadpool-like caricatures of themselves hacking your head off with a sawzall on the white board.

1e) The correct method of dealing with an inability to raise funds to build your Next Big Thing is to inform the talent you are attempting to hire of this, and provide meaningful and frequent updates on the matter. It is not to take a European vacation or buy a new sports car. Namely as said talent are generally not idiots, to the extent they know about your Instagram account, and this behavior will typically result in the general bile and hatred they foist in your general direction being turned up to eleven.

In summary then, when dealing with talent, it is wise to do as your mother and/or grade school teacher and/or parole officer taught you and treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. It is spectacularly effective in reducing the number of burning effigies created in your honor.

2) Communication is one of those things that few do well, and even fewer do perfectly. That said, one should make a passing stab at the concept, because making people chase you for information, assets, documentation or what have you serves only to illustrate that you are, in fact, a massive idiot and your dog’s sweater is more important than your business efforts. This tends to be the wrong message to send to people you are trying to entice to sacrifice long hours on your behalf.

3) Integrity is not just a word on a (de)motivational poster. Doing what you say you will do is a very good idea. At least trying to do what you say you will do is the bare minimum. Having absolutely no intention of doing what you say you will do, because you have figured out that burning bridges is a downright effective way of getting free work out of the highly talented, is right out. Assuming you’d like to avoid a rather unexpected brake warning light in your car while barreling down the freeway at 80 mph.

4) Priorities. These are important things. For example, when you are starting a business, it is more important to return phone calls, speak with talent and logistics people, and in a nutshell “run your damn business” than it is to attend birthday parties and/or go shopping for shoes. That of course assumes you would like to be seen as an upstanding member of the business community, and not the bumbling fucktard everyone who works for you is constantly making fun of on Slack. Which would be one of those tools you know nothing about, incidentally.

In a nutshell, the secret to success in business is to generally act like John Wayne in an old western. Treat people well. Have some class and style. Do what you say you will do. And do not treat people like discarded watermelon rinds. Otherwise, said people will not only take their toys and go home, but they will likely sue you, or at the very least tell everyone else who works in the relatively small community of people you desperately need to build your idiotic collection of suck and fail just how much of a mindless constellation of stupid you are, while stabbing pencils into a crudely drawn likeness of your face.

Thus ends another fine public service announcement, brought to you by one of the guys who builds things you need.

posted by Mr. Lion | 07/01/16 @ 23:39 | comments (0)