Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bezos' Bootcamp for Survival of the Fittest

On one end of the scale, places like ISRO have their own famous approach to nurturing and cultivating talent - but on the other end of the scale, Amazon has their data-driven darwinistic bootcamp approach:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html

4 comments:

Pagan said...

From one of the comments:

Midway through this article, after reading stories of how employees going through devastating personal losses were treated, I cancelled my Audible membership, deleted my Kindle app, and will no longer be shopping from Amazon. I cannot support a company that so purposefully creates a negative environment for its employees.

Unfortunately, such employee abuse is not uncommon in India today. A relative of mine works as a Chief Engineer in a Marwadi owned firm. Amazon pales in comparison to how they treat employees.

non-carborundum said...

Why not have plain and simple Darwinism then? Why constrain it to business to be done within the framework of law? At some point there is going to be a backlash - either violence (simple Darwinism) or maybe a new brand of Marxism for white collar workers.

san said...

That's why you need an overall economic climate healthy enough to allow people the choices to flee their existing workplace for other options, should that workplace become bad enough. To not be able to opt out of the slave-wager -- that's real slavery. But the more there are other fish in the sea available to interact with, the better off you are. During the original Dotcom Bubble, there was a huge profusion of employers to choose from, and thus probably the highest employee satisfaction levels ever, overall. Unfortunately, Indian socialists don't see the benefit in creating the conditions for more employers rather than fewer employers. They are not used to thinking along the lines of choice-based approaches.

non-carborundum said...

San

I agree. The best situation is the free market providing a way out rather than any appeals for fairness or justice. But it is only a free market for goods and services and not for capital itself. A company like Amazon is as much a rent seeker in this regard as say the Reliance groups are. The irony is that all of these companies are beneficiaries of Keynesian economics as far as raising capital goes but then tout free markets and Darwinism when it comes to treating employees. Companies like google and apple have even entered into agreements to not poach each other's employees.

In India companies are in violation of multiple laws when it comes to dealing with staff. Examples are non-compete agreements, grounds for termination, payment of bonuses or variable pay, provident fund, anti-poaching agreements, officially declared working hours etc. The worst offenders are the big conglomerates that have captured natural resources or exclusive permits from the government.