February 16, 2010


Here's an email from a Protégé, just as I received it, including the typos, errors, etc:

Hi mike - How are you? i hope is well....I have been thinking alot lately of your 10 commandments to entrepreneurship and realized that I have to freaking tattoo it to my forehead in order not to forget things like DONT TAKE TOO MANY PEOPLE BOARD OR THE SHIP WILL SINK amongst others...

i have been going freaking crazy lately. I have come to realization that MOST people are lazy, make excuses and just bottom line to have what it takes to become successful. I hate to say this and hope that life proves me wrong soon....Its just Im tired of working on projects, working my ass off, and because I have to rely on others executing the technology, I end up getting screwed after working my tail off on what I can control....

It seems like the only way to get around this is to learn how to write code myself and do everything alone; which just doesn't seem like a winning strategy either? Or convince an investor to give me money and simply pay people to get things done?

Sorry Mike - I was hoping that you had some advice :)

My reply:

Yeah, people!
The problem with people is that they are human!!
Just like you.

Many of the problems are because we hire too quickly, without proper screening, references, testing, etc. And, we hire for all the wrong reasons...

And then even more problems are because we fire too slowly. We tend to not want to face the difficult job of telling someone they are not doing the job and have to go. So we keep the bad ones, hoping that they will turn around (as if by magic).

And even more problems are because they don't get the proper training in the way things need to be done.

Yes, all these "people" problems can be traced back to hiring, training, and firing, all of which is a management problem (another people problem).

It's simple, but it ain't easy.

What you are going through is what is called an education. It takes time, but you'll catch on...

All the best,


Sound bite to take away: "Hire slow. Fire fast."