Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Small company, big company, midsize company

During my career I've worked at companies of all sizes from small startup to global. And I've come to the conclusion that for the sake of my sanity I should avoid midsize. At a small company you can get things done yourself. At a big company there are people and systems to do them for you. At a midsize company... well, consider what happens when the 'B' key breaks on your keyboard:

Small company: You tell your boss, "I'm just going down to Fry's/Circuit City/Best Buy for a new keyboard." Your boss says, "OK, while you're out could you pick up a terabyte of SATA drives for the server, and bring back Chinese food for everybody." After lunch, you are up and running again.

Large company: You call the support hotline to request a new keyboard. The next day a technician hand-delivers it to your cubicle, installs it, and upgrades your keyboard driver. He manually tests all 104 keys before leaving. A week later you get an email asking you to rate your satisfaction with the support service provided.

Medium company: Your oss tells you that you aren't allowed to uy your own keyoard as it violates the security policy on ringing employee-owned equipment into the workplace. He has heard of "keylogger" trojans and is worried your keyoard might e infected. ut the company has no process to order a replacement keyoard. You can only order a complete replacement PC, and there's no udget for that. For the next two years, until your computer is due for replacement, you avoid typing messages that require the letter ''... the letter ''... Damn.

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