Crappy Companies are Crappy

February 22, 2012 by Gabe | [mmd] |

This morning I read through a nice little article by Neven Mrgan about working in a machine shop. Maybe the article resonated with me but the next article I read during my morning coffee fit together as a theme with Neven's article.

GitHub: hosting the Internet's collaborative projects, making money, and being awfully nice about it (BoingBoing)

Circumstances in my life enabled me to work at all types of jobs. I've worked in a machine shop, changed tires on big-rigs, bussed tables, washed dishes, even retail. You name it and I've likely done something related.1 Neven Mrgan's experience is not unique. Many were crappy jobs and I was treated poorly. However, enough were good jobs to teach me a valuable lesson. I learned something about business from these experiences. A business rarely cares more about their customers than they do about their employees. Any business that cheats and mistreats its employees will just as quickly cheat and mistreat its customers (see Zynga).

GitHub (and many others) are examples of the other side of the coin. Empathetic businesses care about their work. They make better products. They have better customer service. They care about employees.

Before I get too much "well actually" emails, I realize there are exceptions. Amazon has amazing service but appears to treat their warehouse workers badly. My local pizza place treats its employees great but serves a side of disdain with every pie. From my experience these are outliers. It's why so many hipsters were up-in-arms over Apple's factories. Because Apple treats it's customers so well, there's a sense of expectation that their kindness runs through all aspects of their business. We want to like them. But few people directed outrage at Microsoft or Sony for the same indiscretions. We assume crappy companies treat their employees crappy.

  1. No, I've never been a rodeo clown or done rodeo related work. You got me.