How to piss off, demoralize, and demotivate your team

You wouldn’t think that it would be necessary to write a blog post about this, but I’ve found that when people are looking for ways to demotivate, demoralize, and otherwise just piss off their coworkers, they sometimes need that extra little oomf. You know, a way to kick things to another level, to push it […]

Accident Prone

Some people just can’t catch a break. It’s never their fault, but things just seem to go wrong around them. Projects spin out of control, bug counts skyrocket, hardware breaks, people quit. Whenever you look at a specific problem, there’s always a good reason – the scope was increased, the agreed-upon technology turned out to […]

Top Down and Bottom Up

My wife and I were recently┬átalking about one of our mutual friends, a researcher in a “soft money” position. This means that instead of getting paid by the university from general funds, she’s responsible for bringing in the money for her salary, research team, facilities, etc., through writing grants. This has become increasingly difficult over […]

The Curse of the Golden Child

You’ve seen this before, perhaps even lived it. A new person starts at the company, and from day one, she’s on fire. Everything she touches turns to gold: her projects magically complete ahead of schedule, she’s able to pull the thread on long-standing intractable problems until they’re worked out, everyone enjoys working with her, and […]