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Ness Labs: Make the most of your mind
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A Summary of
Discourses on Big Tech
Machiavellian views on business…
Many people read Machiavelli for its insights on how to climb “The Corporate Ladder”
is “…a selfish person’s guide to achieving maximum power”
But his later work,
Discourses on Livy
, is “…a selfish person’s guide to creating sustainable institutions…”
What exactly did Machiavelli believe? It’s very controversial.
Are his writings relevant?
We have been looking at them since 1510 and the interest of so many scholars can’t be misguided
Also, he wrote about many major world empires so the works probably have relevance today
It’s wise to learn from history. Otherwise you are at risk of repeating the past
Machiavelli followed power, which meant getting into government
Today, that means “learn[ing] to code”.
Machiavelli on startups…
Modernizing his writings, there is a major question: is it better to start off with a thriving company or one that will struggle to make it?
In other words, is it better to be Google (no doubt it will be profitable) or Amazon (was predicted to tank in 2000’s)
Machiavelli concludes it’s better to start off thriving, but with an attitude geared towards offense (always be looking to solve inside issues – which can be erosive if not controlled).
Machiavelli on company culture…
“…culture starts at the top”
All company rules should be those the CEO would also follow
Bigger companies are less open to conspiracies (or takeovers)
Some bad employees that have high power and influence can “get away with things that would otherwise get them fired”
Often companies with successful founders are “surprisingly fragile internally”
Machiavelli on “founders and succession problems”…
Succession is important to an institute (reference “Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great”)
But Founder/CEO turnover is sometimes inevitable. So what do you do?
Machiavelli’s advice is “ambiguous” although he admits the importance of a having someone strong in charge during crisis.
Regardless, with founder/CEO turnover, the ensuing struggle can make the company stronger (like Rome after the invasion by the Veientes)
Machiavelli on a company’s “end state”…
Machiavelli basically founded realism
This is summarized as having good systems for picking and “incentivizing” the right leaders
His advice for cities is once survival has been secured, one should be concerned with “maximizing human flourishing”
So, once a big tech company has won a market, their goal should be fighting to deserve their “quasi-monopolies”.
The percentage of workers in unions with inflation provisions has decreased by 38% between 1976 and 1995.
Without this automatic adjustment, inflation will hit wages a lot differently in this cycle
Coal companies are currently experiencing a growth in profits due to “short-term energy demand”.
Even though these profits are “transient” it’s still good for the worth of the company.
Startups are finding ways to offer loans to people who own cars (have collateral, but perhaps bad credit for other loan types).
“Apple is working on adding more car controls to CarPlay”
The car business is increasingly becoming a “data business” in which Apple (with “tightly integrate[d]..products”) has the advantage
It was a “…great first week with Diff Jobs”
A contact form is available to get reviewed and see where is your best fit
New roles/companies are being added (in case the current list available is not in your wheelhouse)
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