Thursday, February 22, 2007

the aging boxer

so i've finally found the words to express how it feels to be in the driver's seat at a big company. prior to this, feeling was always "this is frustrating" without a proper analogy to express it until i stumbled across this thought yesterday while chatting to a colleague. it goes sort of like this:

leading a team in a big company is like being an aging boxer. you know where you need the land the next punch to beat your competition. in fact, you know where the whole next couple round of blows need to go. you're not stupid. but the muscles required to obey the commands to hurl a couple shots at your opponent just simply move too slowly to have the desired impact. they land with a dull thud rather than a cartoon "ka-pow!" same thing with your opponent's punches: i can tell you almost exactly where they will hit us and how they will do it. think i can muster the organizational reflexes to duck and avoid the blow? nope. the smaller, agile company can ably move from side to side but the lumbering big company simply does not possess the reflexes of its younger brethren. you can see it coming, you just can move to miss it. this is not to glorify the start-up experience, which is chock full of its own issues, but only to call out the frustration that many people must feel in a big company when they know what they need to do to beat the competition, but just can't make the creaking limbs of the senior citizen obey their pleading commands...

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