Office Evolution

Work from home. The end of the office. Zoom, zoom, zoom. Quit slackin’ off, I mean, get your Slack on. The great resignation. The great realignment. The death of the downtown and resurgence of the small town.

Yeah. Some of that. Maybe a lot of that.

But here’s something I recently came across regarding office culture vs virtual culture:

  • Offices have limited pools from which to draw talent.
  • Virtual teams can hire from across the planet.

Your 20 person development team, all collected into a big conference room, all working through this quarter’s NCTs—Narratives, Commitments, Tasks (oof, what a load of crap those things are), are here because they live within an hour’s drive of your office. They were hired because they live within driving distance. Sure they have some skills, but consistently showing up on time, getting their assigned work done, not rocking the boat—being a team player, is why your team is composed the way it is.

Now, what if you could hire anyone working from anywhere? Who might now be on your team? You could get some incredibly talented people working for you or with you.

Of course, your office-bound team all get paid roughly the same salary. Maybe 10-50% drift between junior and senior engineers. Paying the best developer three times what the worst developer gets just wouldn’t fly.

But if you could hire anybody… You’d have to pay for the best, right? Maybe the best it worth five times what your Software Engineer Level I is paid. Maybe your architect is worth ten times that.

And pretty soon, with a virtual office, you just don’t settle for poorly performing developers. Those you had to put up with with a brick office constrained by a local, limited talent pool.

And, as I’m writing this, I’m wondering why this company I work for has been on a literal psychotic spending spree when it come to developers. I’m thinking, fill the ranks and then cull the herd after you see who’s worthy, who’s worth it.

This dynamic is not one I’ve considered before. But now that I mull it over, I can see how the all-stars, previously restrained by their location and group-think regarding income, can start to demand much, much higher salaries. And work from anywhere they please.

(Not me of course, I’m the king of mediocre. I’ll be lucky to have a job come summer.)

-Mole

Thoughts? Would you move if you could get paid twice or four times what you make today? Where would you go? Do you see salaries diverging more and more as the skills quotient between employees diverges?

United States Postal Service

The USPS is a service.

A utility really. A vast network of delivery agents, offices, machines and infrastructure. Delivering the mail, packages and such is like delivering water or electricity or natural gas. It’s a Public Utility.

usps

And, as a Public Utility the service of mail and package delivery should be executed, governed and controlled by a public entity.

The USPS should subsume Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and the other delivery services. Hell, just look at the names of those other “corporate” entities: FEDERAL Express? UNITED Parcel Service? They’re practically already government services.

There’s no need for such a service as the delivery of the mail or packages to be a competition. Corporations should not be in charge of such a utility as the delivery of goods from point A to point B. The USPS was created to do exactly this. But today, the USPS is under the gun as its contractual obligations to its employees runs afoul of its ability to compete in what should NOT be a competitive market place.

Next Day Air is just that. Two Day Delivery the same. There should be just the one entity that performs this service, at a publicly decided price. Period.

That glass of water you just poured, or the kilowatt of electricity you just consumed are both delivered, managed and priced by a Public Utility.

And so should mail and package delivery.

 

 

CorpPharma: Evil Incarnate

A while ago I wrote the attached post which explains when
open markets make sense (capitalism) and when social systems make sense (socialism):

https://anonymole.com/2017/01/07/when-open-markets-make-sense/

Subsequently, I was not surprised to find supporting evidence of this theory.

The CorpPharm company Pfizer, recently exhibited the exact behavior outlined in that post: If a life saving, life benefiting drug is not profitable, or about to be released for generic production, thereby reducing or eliminating the profit potential, then said drug will be abandoned.

Embrel is a drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis. An unintended side affect is that it most likely reduces or eliminates Alzheimers in those patients who take it (64% of those showing signs benefited). It’s about to have its 20 year exclusivity (another contentious anti-society factor) expire.

So, of course Pfizer won’t be investigating this drug for alternate use as a dementia reduction drug. It wouldn’t be profitable.

Fuck the millions of elderly who are susceptible.

Pharmaceuticals are the exact industry that should NOT be placed in the hands of capitalists.
“Give us your sick, your needy, your dying — and we will make them sicker and get rich doing it.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/pfizer-had-clues-its-blockbuster-drug-could-prevent-alzheimers-why-didnt-it-tell-the-world/2019/06/04/9092e08a-7a61-11e9-8bb7-0fc796cf2ec0_story.html

The Content Economy

If you’ve only just joined us, let me bring you up to speed on my vision of the “Content Economy.”

The Content Economy will be a system of monetary exchange made through micro-payments. But not that micro. A penny or pence or whatever 1/100th of a euro or yuan is.

You will have your content account which you can top-off with $ or, if you’re good at creating content, said account will be your repository for the oodles of AddCents clicks that you will receive.

AddCents is the concept I came up with years ago that I wanted Google to build. Imagine seeing a little G$ next to an article or youtube video. You read or watch — enjoy the content SO MUCH that you want to pay the creator directly — so you click the AddCents button. Ding! A transfer from your account to the creator’s account. (Kind of the opposite of Google’s current adsense.)

Anyway, the idea seems sound. But, Google refused it. And, recently, so did Medium (instead they implemented that silly clap meme). So, what about other, hint hint, content platforms?

If you had a WordPress account that you deposited, oh, $25 into and then instead of clicking that contentious “Like” button you clicked these instead:

AddCents

And you PAY the author of the content, whatever you think it is worth.

You can AddCents to articles, to posts, to comments!!!, to anything attached to a piece of content. But think of this. An author could offer their larger works, self-published novels vimeo or youtube videos, and build a page that hosted them. And then let content consumers pay them DIRECTLY!

Additionally, if you give a great review of a novel — why shouldn’t you be able to earn money for that too?

Effectively, this paradigm becomes a self serving, self propagating economy where everyone can pay for content or earn money for content. Everyone can participate in the Content Economy.

If you like this — send me a penny. (I wish!) Or petition WordPress to implement this concept.

Cite:
https://goo.gl/PaEPKg
https://anonymole.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/google-addcents/

Calorie Commute Cost

What is your commute worth?

Don’t ask me. I work from home. My commute is about 10 feet. But, if I had to commute what would it be worth?

Why are we doing this? Primarily, I wanted to figure out what would be a reasonable value to charge to drive someone to and from work, say, if you had a fully automated vehicle and wanted to share it with everyone who could afford it – like Uber but without a driver. What could you charge? And, also, I wanted to know, if I have to get a on-site job, what would be the cost I’d have to add to my paycheck to take such a job.

Let’s start with a few numbers.

  • 20 miles to work site, 40 miles round trip.
  • 100 calories burned by the average human body walking one mile.
  • 500 calories that can be purchased (on average) for one dollar.
  • 40 mph average speed of a “commute” vehicle.
  • $40 dollars per hour cost equivalent lost while driving.

[Now, I know I’m mixing my metaphors here – human calories and vehicle speed – but I’m just looking for ballpark here. I could got with gas + maintenance + vehicle cost, but that would vary just as much.]

Energy:
It would take 4000 calories for a human to walk that far (round trip).
At 500 calories per dollar (see cite below) that’s 8 dollars round trip.
Time:
At 40 miles total at 40 miles per hour that would be $40 per day wasted in traffic.

So we have:

  • $8 * 250 days = $2,000 / year (energy)
  • $40 * 250 days = $10,000 / year in time (time)

If we double the dollars per calorie cost (more reasonable given today’s food costs) then the price per year for energy goes up twice to $16 / day or $4,000 / year. Just for energy.

At this point we have $14,000 per year cost to commute.

Now, the time would still be a factor in using a fully automated car, but the $16/hour cost to pay for the travel (energy + rent the vehicle) is really low. There is no way to rent a car out (and pay for fuel) at that price. And even twice that at $32/hour — during rush hour — would be inadequate — regardless of time considerations.

[What does Uber cost? Apparently about $2/mile which would push the cost up to $80/day to use Uber as a commute solution. Which oddly enough is pretty close to the $32 + $40 that we’d spend in travel+time. But sheesh, who wants to pay that?]

So, realistically, by NOT commuting, I’m saving between $14,000 and $18,000 per year.

How do you feel knowing your commute costs you over $15k per year? Imagine telling your boss that having to sit in that little beige cubicle, within shouting distance of her, costs you personally, fifteen thousand dollars a year! Bloody hell! Let me work from home!

What about the investment concept? If a fleet of automated vehicles could operate efficiently at a cost between about $30-$50/hour  then such a solution “could” possibly be an economic winner. ‘Course, you could try and ride the bus…

~~~

Cite: http://efficiencyiseverything.com/calorie-per-dollar-list/