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Where Is The Appetizing Work? October 19, 2005

Posted by theexpert in Business.

A few excerpts from Paul Graham’s, “What I Did This Summer” (emphasis is mine):

People this age [18-28] are commonly seen as lazy. I think in some cases it’s not so much that they lack the appetite for work, but that the work they’re offered is unappetizing.

Too true. Though, I think the not-so-young are also frequently given unappetizing work to the same effect. If you’re young and not working 110%, you’re lazy. If you’re older and not working 110%, you’re jaded.

Some of this summer’s eight startups will probably die eventually; it would be extraordinary if all eight succeeded. But what kills them will not be dramatic, external threats, but a mundane, internal one: not getting enough done.

That is, they will fail to follow a simple recipe for success.

As hard as people will work for money, they’ll work harder for a cause.

Hugh Macleod’s “the market for something to believe in is infinite” applied to employees.

What do all of these say to me? People have an appetite for doing things / being productive. We want to do things in pursuit of a cause we believe in. In fact, we’re listless without such a cause. Listlessness leads to decreased productivity, which, left unchecked, leads to failure.

You’d think employers would be more interested in providing appetizing work.

(I guess Hugh would say the answer is, “build yourself a Global Microbrand,” and I’m not disagreeing. I mean, it’s either that or find an employer that provides appetizing work.)



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