Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Caine Mutiny

Growing a company isn't easy, you need a team and you need leaders. Sounds simple right? Sometimes I can't really believe how easy and at the same time how difficult it is. I just read a quote from Herman Wouk's Caine Mutiny that seems to sum it up (although he's talking about the Navy and not a startup):

"The Navy is a master plan designed by geniuses for execution by idiots".

This logic starts to break down with people who are neither idiots nor geniuses - not smart enough to make a plan but smart enough to think that they can. Unfortunately human personalities aren't binary like ants or bees so the social dynamics are equally complex when you try to build a hive out of humans. Then again, if it was easy everybody would be doing it.

1 comment:

sanj said...

No, I didn't call employees idiots and managers geniuses. That navy quote was a strawman concept to demonstrate that to scale a company/team you need to have a plan that is easy to follow and replicate. That's the difference between a boutique craft shop and an assembly line factory.