Chris and I spent an hour on Tom Ashbrook’s NPR show “OnPoint” yesterday, discussing the New Employer-Employee Compact. Smart host, smart callers from around the country, a fine conversation overall.
We also were in conversation recently with our editor Justin Fox for the HBR Ideacast about the themes of the article. 20 minutes; hits the high level themes.
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I’m sure the demons of hell danced in a conga line when anti-teachers’ union zealot Chris Yeh brought Ben Casnocha into the fold; now the Juntos do Vulcan mind-melds for the Harvard Business Review and sacrifice little children to Moloch on the weekends.
And here’s Reid “It’s the Start-ups, Stupid” Hoffman pushing this Big Idea.
Just as science-fiction writers of the ’40s and ‘5os imagined the future world in 2000 as a sleek, shiny place curiously devoid of all the infrastructure previously built (New York City now doesn’t look all that different from what it looked like then), evangelists of the cult of entreprenurialism pretend human nature has shifted radically in the last twenty years, Organization Man is dead, and every member of the new iteration of homo sapiens potentially has the next Facebook encoded in his genes, or something.
Global professional services company Towers Watson did a survey, the Global Workforce Study, that found the long recession and jobless recovery have indeed soured workers on the concept of the “free-agent nation”:
“The 2010 results indicate that U.S. employees have dramatically lowered their career and retirement expectations… On-the-job advancement now takes a back seat to a growing desire for workplace security and stability.”
I think a Paul Krugman quote is in order:
“[T]he really big story about America these past three decades… [is] about the rewriting of the social contract, with income shifted away from ordinary workers and toward the Masters of the Universe.”
And Dave Winer nails it:
“There isn’t room for every college undergrad to drop out and start a new company. VCs that encourage this, and it seems they all do, are no better than mortgage brokers that put immigrants who couldn’t speak English into McMansions.
All these fake startups need us to let them have our personal data, the same way the mortgage arbitrageurs needed all those junk mortgages to bundle up into AAA securities. The companies the VCs are starting now are garbage too.
The kids who are jumping out of college to get rich are screwing themselves.
And the universities that are shoveling their kids out of the door, some even saying openly they want to make money off the next Zuck or Gates, a lot of them are going to go the way of Lehman Brothers. And I don’t think there’s going to be much in the way of bailouts coming for them.
All you need for a bubble is a steady stream of suckers.”