Archive for the ‘Startup rants’ Category

As a premise I suggest that you read the following two paragraphs properly. One is about a very well-known management philosophy called “Theory of Constraints” and the second one on a general observation around the pesky species you will find everywhere, not so affectionately called Assholes.

Clubbing these two and further tempered by my experience encountering many of these …I have an oven fresh but a very personal management principle and I call it ” Assholes never die

So here is the precursor to the “Theory of Constraints” . For those who may like to dig deeper , follow the link to the Wikipedia page and those of you who didn’t click , I must applaud your decision not to. The whole thing is an awful read.

Theory of Constraints (TOC) is an overall management philosophy introduced by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt in his 1984 book titled The Goal, that is geared to help organizations continually achieve their goal.[1] The title comes from the contention that any manageable system is limited in achieving more of its goal by a very small number of constraints, and that there is always at least one constraint. The TOC process seeks to identify the constraint and restructure the rest of the organization around it, through the use of the Five Focusing Steps.

I am sure this wouldn’t have made much sense to you or why the hell it should ever make sense. We all know such philosophies are meant to be vague and cryptic . However simplifying it , here’s my interpretation

Every system has a bottleneck and the bottleneck is transient. So if you think you have identified the bottleneck for anything at your work place and eliminated it, be rest assured a new bottleneck will crop up somewhere else. So for better efficiency and effectiveness, we need to continuously identify and weed out the bottlenecks

Now coming to the second part of the story, about Assholes. To illustrate the powers of an asshole read this.

One day, all the human body parts started arguing about who was on top… The mouth said, ”I should be on top because, without me, you wouldn’t be able to eat.” Then the stomach said, ”Ya but if it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t be able to digest and transfer all the minerals and vitamins throughout the body, I should be on top.” Then the heart said, ”I should be on top because I’m the one who takes the blood from point A to point B. Without me, the body would die.” Then the brain said, ” Well, without me, you wouldn’t be able to move, eat, digest or allow circulation of blood, so I should be on top.” Now, the asshole was beginning to get annoyed, ”You know, I should be on top because I can just shut my hole and then shit will accumulate and block the digestive track and screw all of you up.” It was chaos, everyone was yelling and fighting. Finally, the asshole got fed up, ”That’s it, I’m fed up, I’m shutting up my hole.”

So for a few days, the body couldn’t shit and the brain had trouble moving, the stomach digesting, the mouth eating and the blood flow going, everyone was begging the asshole to open up, The brain said, ”Please open up, you made your point, your on top, just open up.” The asshole smiled, ”So everyone agrees that I’m on top?” ”YES” everyone shouted. ”OK!” so the asshole opened up and the body could shit again. The moral of this story is, an asshole will always win…

And now bringing both of these together – You will always come across an asshole , at work , in the form of annoying colleague or maybe a client or maybe one honking incessantly behind your car. For me, I keep running into many as I try hard to prop up my fledgling startup. I manage the business part and trust me , a business guy often gets to meet most of them. Its like being on an accelerated acquaintance process.

To illustrate further , I often make pitches and I meet one guy at a potential client. Have a great meeting and we are rolling. And then all of a sudden our friend develops a cold feet. Maybe because I didn’t give him the amount of respect a thoroughbred asshole deserves. So he acts like one and then my systems are clogged and gasping as an aftermath. So what do I do, I apply, the theory of Constraints. Try bypassing my friend, reach out to a better guy, do the pitch again, but I forget, nothing stops this guy from behaving as an asshole again.

And trust me it happens often, there is abundance of assholes around. If you are a startup these guys can literally choke the life out of your dreams , just for the heck to prove that assholes rule. If the Freemasons were known to have secret ways of identifying a fellow mason, I have a feeling these assholes too have it. Somehow they always operate in bunches. They behave alike and they think alike.

I always thought that, if I run into one , I can somehow bypass or eliminate one and move ahead. But later I realised, they will never die , with the tenacity and the resilience of a cockroach, an asshole morphs and morphs. And yes, can be found at multiple levels of an organization.

Lets accept the fact you cannot eliminate one, the trick is to identify one fast and ensure that he doesn’t waste your time and rape your spirits. And how do you identify one, that experience will teach you. There are no set rules to identify one.

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