Startup Culture Observations

A regular question of my students at UC Berkeley is “How do I select my first/next job? How do I know the culture is right for me?”

Paraphrasing Jordan B. Peterson

When a society is corrupt, then the powerful rule. When a society isn’t corrupt, then the great have authority. What is greatness? When the instinct of admiration is the instinct of imitation. What is admirable: (1) The ability to pay attention. Because attention is infectious. (2) The ability to speak magic words; entrancement.

How can you detect abuse:

(1) When the talent pursues power, not greatness.

(2) When greatness is the thing they fear most– their fear of meritocracy.

People who set goals for life always beat people who set goals for the company. That means that if your company is structured properly, then you want people in it who have a life. You need their loyalty to the company nested inside that: If you can see how the less intrinsically interesting things that you’re required to do are related in some directly intelligent way to goals that you regard as valuable, then that tags those activities with the dopamine kick.

Thoughts? Opinions? Comments? Corrections?