Nonsense of entitlement

January 28, 2007 —

There’s something about being part of a large company that drives feelings of entitlement. You feel entitled to your lunch break, entitled to cheap health insurance, entitled to an annual raise. At a higher level, large companies feel entitled to certain treatment by the community, their vendors, even their clients.

It’s one of the big reasons I like small. Small, aggressive companies are constantly working to prove themselves and gain the conditions the larger companies feel they’ve already earned.

Small companies feel entitled to very little. It’s an advantage.

Whether you’re a blogger feeling entitled to a link or a developer feeling that an outside partner owes you any amount of ongoing work (outside of existing agreements,) it should serve as a warning that you’re going soft.

Feeling entitled to just about anything (your opinion and a fair trial in the US excluded) is bad. It means you’ve given up trying to earn it.

3 Responses to “Nonsense of entitlement”

  1. Nicholas Schlueter

    This is a great post, I work for a large company and I can completely understand what you are saying. It is a little generalized, but for the most part I agree that hunger is what drives innovation. And innovation is the holy grail in tech.


  2. Aaron Mentele

    Hey Nicholas. Thanks for the comment.
    If I started getting specific, I’d probably out myself. I try to schedule a screw up or two every few months, though. It helps to keep my ego (and sense of entitlement) in check.

  3. Deane

    I remember being buried in the org chart. You get so disconnected from the business. At a smaller company, things you do have a much bigger impact on the business — you’re “close to the metal,” so to speak.

    The fact is, the further down the org chart you are, the more insulated your every move is. Not only do your individual successes do very little for the bottom line, but your individual failures usually get absorbed as well. You end up in this padded room where I’ve watched people bang around for years without doing much damage or benefit.

    It’s not very conducive for peak performance. It’d be like driving via a broomstick duct-taped to the steering wheel.