One of the complaints of social media is that it never lets you forget. What you commit to it has a way of staying around to serve as a reminder or to totally contradict what you have to say today (just ask the president). The weirdest social media of all though is LinkedIn. Everyone is there, but I no one uses it. The only people I ever hear from there are recruiters, usually pitching some totally irrelevant job.
And every once in awhile, you get some totally ridiculous network request from the distant past. The other day it was from the former owner of a company that I worked for just before I got married, just five months. It seemed like a good opportunity because it had a dev org that was in chaos. I remember telling them to let me run a new project my way, agile, and if it went south, they could fire me. I brought in a contractor that I worked with before and just nailed it, on time, on budget and what they actually wanted (not what they thought they wanted). When I got back from my honeymoon, I was ambushed with the news that they couldn't afford to pay me, because they failed to score a new client.
I can't understand why this guy would think that I would want to have any contact with him. He followed one of the best weeks of my life (an expensive week) with nothing to show for great work. That was how he operated, as the company was like a revolving door of disposable workers. I'm not bitter or angry about something that happened eight years ago, but I certainly have no interest in reliving it either.
This got me to thinking about my overall work experience. As much as I'm proud to talk about my successful endeavors, man, I've seen a lot of train wrecks. I can't generalize about the size of companies that have been host to these messes. The only real difference between the big companies and small companies is that the big ones can afford to keep perpetuating the mess for a long time. I think if I were to really generalize about success versus failure, it would usually come down to self-awareness. Companies that are self-aware have a better shot at getting it right. They don't always, but it definitely makes a huge difference.
Thank you for the perspective, LinkedIn.