Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Sorry for the long layoff--

I'm proud to announce a new addition to the family: my new puppy, Kobe.

Unfortunately, Kobe takes after her namesake's hyperactivity and headstrong nature, so I haven't had the time to write it.

Nevertheless, I'm back on the job, and ready to bring you more of the articles that you crave.

Are Capitalists Evil?

Not a question that you'd expect from this raging capitalist, but a good one nonetheless.

Over the past couple of years, Silicon Valley in particular and business in general lost two of the great business titans: David Packard and Bill Hewlett. Not only did Dave and Bill start the company (in a garage no less) that laid the foundation for Silicon Valley, they also pioneered the startup mode of management, with their HP Way.

The HP Way marked the zenith of humanistic management, with its concepts of "management by walking around," and trusting employees. Moreover, Dave and Bill were themselves great humanitarians. Not only did they donate more money (on an absolute and inflation-adjusted basis) to Stanford University and Leland Stanford's founding bequest, they found ways to help thousands with the Lucille Salter Packard Children's Hospital and their respective foundations.

Plus, all HP employees knew them as plain old Dave and Bill. Nice guys do finish first sometimes.

However, as I mourned their passing, I started thinking about our current crop of business titans....and found them sorely lacking. Let's consider:

Bill Gates: Evil.
Larry Ellison: Evil.
Steve Jobs: Evil.
Jeff Bezos: Probably evil, but definitely toast.

There may be a few exceptions, but they're mostly old-school (Warren Buffet), or live in outlandish places like Texas (Michael Dell) or South Dakota (Ted Waitt).

Yep, by and large, capitalists these days are evil. The question is, why?

To be continued...


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