Thursday, April 03, 2008

Lions In The Wild

Shamefully stolen post from Alex Epstein

''Paul Graham has another insightful essay entitled You Weren't Meant to Have a Boss. It's about the difference he's observed between programmers who work for Google and Microsoft, and programmers who work for their own startups.

He compares them to lions in the wild versus lions in the zoo. The lions in the zoo seem "both more worried and happier."I think that's why I like show people. The ones who don't seem happier are executives. They have big salaries and regular paychecks, and here in Canada, they're not in constant danger of being fired. (Though, I suspect, they also don't have absurdly lucrative "golden parachute" clauses.) But they have to work within a structure and a specific mandate. My network executive friends may like my show, but they already have one in the same territory, or it's not in their mandate, or they can't sell it to their boss. And they're always in meetings. Ack.

I don't know anyone who's left a network job who didn't seem happier afterwards. My producer and writer friends are worried all the time. They don't know where their next paycheck is coming from. They don't know if the industry will collapse due to moralistic Conservative government intervention. They have no idea what they'd do for a living if people stopped hiring them, or paying them. But their frustrations are the frustrations of lions in the wild. They are always stalking the next antelope, or trying to keep the hyenas off of one they've already caught.

They all seem so alive.''

Kinda says it all. A writer can never be a zoo lion, unless it is for research and even then they'll probably fuck a zebra and eat a keeper.

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