Bombay se aaya mera post

As some of you already know, I'm in Bombay setting up some offices for a new product division of my company.
This is exciting stuff.
The primary fun factor is that the products we will be working on here are going to be developed in India and are in an area that my company does not participate in right now.
The next yay factor is we have some tremendously smart people over here and everybody is really pumped about this move. Its terribly enriching to have motivated intelligent people focused on how to solve some problems that will have an exciting impact on the future of many people inside the company and outside.
And last but not the least, this city is pretty awesome. It smells like ass in some places, but it's pretty awesome nonetheless.
That probably explains why I have not been ranting for so long. I was actually happy-busy instead of being stupid-busy.
I should've known this was all too good to be true.

Have you seen what happens when a giant well-fed heifer wants to take a steaming dump? The bull continues to walk nonchalantly down the path it is going, merely twitches it's tail and a warm pile of shit exits the dark hole at its rear and sploshes on to the floor. The bull keeps on going as if nothing as happened, and if you're an ant caught under this green glob of goo your world has changed for ever. And if you're an ant actually trying to help the bull in some way (I know the analogy is breaking down here, but bear with me...), then your soul has probably taken a severe beating as well.

Well yesterday I was the ant, my company was the bull, the corporate real estate team was the tail, and corporate finance was the dark hole.

The mistake we are making is taking a fledging operation and applying the full might of corporate standards to it. We can (should) not burden a startup organization with rigid rules. Growing a startup requires freedom. It almost requires a bit of anarchy (although that may be too strong of a word). I really can not think of a major startup that was successful in spite of being watched over by corporate hawks to ensure that they bought the right color chairs, had the right sized cubicles and used company standard desktops and corporate approved courier services. I can think of startups that succeeded despite having very little money, but not under the watchful scrutiny of spreadsheet mongers and fucking trolls who only know how to read something written in a corporate policy document and enforce it without any consideration of context.

This may be different for hardware products, but in software, one more thing I have learnt by working for a major company is that if you have a new product idea, select the right people, put one clear leader at the top, give them 20% less than the money they asked for, ask for 20% more market share than you think is reasonable for your business, and let them learn how to fly.
And as they're getting ready to leap off the precipice without killing themselves, dont put a lead cylinder of corporate standards and unnecessary nonsense like executive reviews on their backs.