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Louis Gray
The Burning Drive to Never Settle: Refuse to Compromise - http://blog.louisgray.com/2010...
We know you are still hungry, Louis, and I particularly like the way you do not diminish, or overplay, the effect of parenthood on your need to be the best. I hope you find the team you are looking for, but I think they are more likely to be burning the midnight oil in their home offices than breaking out the sleeping bags at work. I sometimes feel pangs when I have to miss opportunities because of other commitments, but ultimately it makes me more versatile and more questing to find a way to do things well. And now, to sleep :) - WoH: Professor MOTHRA
Sidenote: I went bowling with friends this evening and won the last two games. That I lost the first bugs me, as it was not indicative of how I should have played. :) - Louis Gray
Just wait a few years, when the twins start to have the edge.... - WoH: Professor MOTHRA
WoH, I am sure that this particular experience will be rewarding in its own way. Can't wait to find out. - Louis Gray
I worked overtime. I gave my 100%. Yet I still got involuntarily terminated over some stupid office politics. Henceforth, I burned the midnight oil only for my own projects. - Morton Fox
Morton, you would not be the first, nor the last, to whom this has happened. - Louis Gray
I think this is fine for individuals to set their own expectations, but setting these expectations of your current and future colleagues is pretty unfair. This type of work-addiction is intensely personal and doesn't necessarily guarantee success in others... (I know, I live with a work-a-holic). I hate that this is the overriding doctrine of the valley and tech. For many reasons. But I'll just say a few things: 1) Don't hold Google up on a pedestal. There are more "Work life balance" classes, offerings and seminars you can imagine. Many company outings and sometimes peer-pressure forced vacation time. 2) Just because this works for you, don't put these expectations on others. I can get my work done faster and better in the hours of 7am-10am before anyone is in, and then peace out before 5 to be home to cook dinner and enjoy the few minutes of time I get to spend with my workaholic partner. 3) There is no faster way to burn people out than to have these expectations of them. I had never heard the word "sabbatical" until I started working at Google. Just sayin. - Jenna Bilotta
+ Jenna That sounds like a lot of wisdom and not unlike many of the observations from another...a man called Solomon. - Melanie Reed
"doing your best" is often cancelled out by "working to exhaustion" - m9m, Crone of FriendFeed
Good points, Jenna. There are many ways to measure "drive", with time management (or lack thereof) being among the easiest/weakest. A good example was the bishop/pastor at our church who would intensely work from 7 to 4 every day and always be home by 5 to have dinner with his family, and then afterward, have church work when the kids had gone to bed. Nobody was more driven than this guy, despite his early exits from the office. - Louis Gray
It's interesting. I sit in a strange middle. I'm very driven to win and to meet lofty goals. And I'm often checking email and crunching numbers at night or on the weekends. However, I have *never* upset my work/life balance. Even amid the Web 1.0 madness I told employers up front that if they wanted someone there until 9pm that they should hire someone else. Sorry, but my experience is that most of that extra time is inefficient. It's wasted time and generally more about face time than anything else. Too many times it's because the wrong people are on the team. The lure - for me - of working at startups is to find truly smart people. Driven people, people who *will* put in more from time to time. But people who are smart and efficient! Efficiency is critical IMO. That and Blink like judgment. Too many stay late trying to massage the product from 91% to 92% pre-release. That's just ... not smart. Instead, I ensure that my other interests produce non-linear results in a Burroughs like cut-up style ... you don't make *real* leaps without it. - AJ Kohn
This is interesting when reading the article Derrick linked to about a bachelor trying to understand love: http://friendfeed.com/geekand... - WoH: Professor MOTHRA
+WorldofHiglet for seeing the connective tissue between the two articles - Melanie Reed
I was always first in my class, right on up to graduating valedictorian, because I never wanted to be second best. But at the same time, I don't agree that working crazy hours is the mark of a successful person. For example, I remember a study that showed that after 8 hours of hacking, coders start to create more problems than they solve. - Dawn
The problem with being "always on" is that you don't have a chance to relax and change your perspective. That's the only failing that I've seen in you, Louis. You have one perspective. And it's not helpful for gaining remarkable success. My sincere suggestion to you is to take up a paint brush or SOMEthing to get you out of the 24 hour a day tech bath - before it prunes you. - Dawn
Louis, I agree: don't compromise. But as I sometimes privately meme: "Start a revolution. Re-form the line." There was a line of "best" work before the industrialization age came and instituted a new definition for achievement that is based on a lot of manipulation about what success and one's best really is. Their concern was not for the individual nor one's family but making money for guy in country A more than that of guy in country B. The logic of following that concern lands us all in burn out. It reminds me ever more of this one bit of sage advice: "Whatever you are doing, work at it whole-souled as to God and not to men [humanity inclusive]" - Melanie Reed
Dawn, much of the focus here and on the blog has been around the hours comments. Had I written it more clearly, it would have been more about Apple and Google and Familylink's examples on trying to achieve more. The stories on hours were in line with the story Microserfs, which I encourage everyone to read. As for hobbies... you are my hobby. - Louis Gray
Amen Cristo - I never understood the bosses that would expect us to be involved with work 24 hours a day. It was usually those during those jobs I was conducting a job search during the hours I should have been working due to the stress they caused. - Jesse Stay
It's not about winning or time spent.. it's a "passion for success". When I read the post I knew EXACTLY what Louis was talking about..the book of my generation was "The Soul of the New Machine" (I'm a little older). I guarantee if Louis was playing with his twins success would be measured differently. I want to work with a team that is passionate enough to be willing to sleep under the desk if needed, but efficient and good enough to never need to. My success is usually measured by the success of my team.. If you've ever rowed on a crew team, it's called swing (http://ff.im/dY1u4) - Chris Myles
I'd absolutely agree with 'passion for success' and the idea of reaching for more. Setting big goals is a good thing - too many feel too poorly when they don't reach those goals, and get bogged down in failures instead of recognizing that those failures (and failing fast) is how you truly succeed. (Least, that's how I see it.) - AJ Kohn
I agree with the overall sentiment, but I feel like we're conflating two unrelated things here: "passion to do the best thing possible" is not all that closely related to "working all the time to the exclusion of all else". I've produced some very good (and plenty of not so good) work in my time, and I've had periods where I commonly worked for 48-72 hours at a stretch. I can tell you unequivocally that those two things were inversely corollated. - Joel Webber
I always had trouble being willing to sleep under my desk on things I had no ownership over. I never understood the bosses that wanted that. I'm curious how I'm going to motivate my employees to have that feeling as my business grows. I guess I'm too much an entrepreneur, which may be why. - Jesse Stay
BTW FamilyLink does this well - Jesse Stay
Jesse, that's a tough one. I'm not sure you can *motivate* employees to have that feeling, but you can start with ones who possess it! For me it has always been the individuals who strive to make their customers successful. You almost can't go wrong hiring someone who is passionate about the success of their customer! - Chris Myles
The best companies I've worked for have been those I actually owned and used the stuff they sell. So maybe encouraging employees to use your product is one solution. At Backcountry.com, our mantra was "we use the gear we sell". A lot of people really loved working there because they used the products they were selling on a daily basis. (ironically that was the reason I left there) - Jesse Stay
I also think that using the stuff you sell develops much better products. Friendfeed is a perfect example, they used it daily for developing the tool (in a private group). I guess I don't understand why you left! - Chris Myles
"As for hobbies... you are my hobby." LOL That comment just earned you a sneak preview of my presentation. I'll email it to you. ;) - Dawn
Chris, I don't use outdoor gear much - I did when I was single, but since married I haven't had time! That's the only reason I left - it was a cool company! - Jesse Stay
Jesse, Ah that makes perfect sense, thanks. - Chris Myles