Sometimes the task in front of me seems to be so large and neverending that I get despondent. And then I read something like this and I just tell myself to shut up and get on with it.

John Steinbeck

I wouldn’t normally link to something like this – at least not on this blog – but this morning I also happened to catch Rob Long’s Martini Shot Podcast … a ‘shot’ in the arm over a few minutes. It’s the one dated August 21st that I want you to listen to. Sage advice and not far off from what I was writing about in this week’s newsletter and then seeing this … well ‘put up or shut up’ as they say.

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At Booming Toptal, No Stock for Employees or Investors

I mean none – 100% owned by Taso Du Val and I assume none by all the rest on this page.

As Toptal’s Chief Executive Officer, Taso manages Toptal’s core team of hundreds of team members distributed throughout the world, with a focus on innovation. Since Toptal was founded in 2010, Taso has led it to become the largest high-skilled, on-demand talent network in the world. Taso serves on the board of multiple organizations, advising on talent strategy and innovation for Fortune 100s and nonprofits. Taso has guest lectured at Harvard Business School, Wharton, and Oxford on talent management and entrepreneurship.

Toptal’s Web Site

Anyway, what he does and how he runs his business is – well – his business. But it got me to wondering … what he is advising those other companies to do when it comes to employee engagement? Employee motivation?

From where I sit, these words resonate;

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Leading US bosses drop shareholder-first principle.

As the article opens …

“The real test will be in deeds not words.”

Have to say until action – and I mean real action – this jury is out!

Read the opinion by Larry Elliott in The Guardian

Watching. I don’t think People First has won just yet!


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To be strictly accurate – we should be talking about Blocking Trackers

… I came across this article (note if you are using an ‘ad blocker’ … then guess what – they tell you that you have an ‘ad blocker’ on …. actually I don’t use an ‘ad blocker‘ – I use a ‘tracking blocker’.

That aside, I thought I would extract some pertinent quotes from the piece and add my comments. The piece appeared in Adage and was written by Jason Jercinovic – and so all the quotes below I attribute to him. Adage says that “Jason Jercinovic is global head of marketing innovation and global brand director at Havas.”

Havas is a pretty good agency that has produced some great campaigns for Air New Zealand, Global Mental Health and Canal+ – so I kind of feel that they (should at least) know what they are doing. I’ll go further. They do – but it is clear that they remain bought into the narrative of ‘poor us – we have to do this 1 for it to work’. They don’t.

So – let’s get too it …

and no one can blame the advertising industry for rapidly adopting them.

I can!

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Paul Krugman writing in the NYT today.

There was a message in the latest jobs report that is consistent with what these reports have been telling us for at least the past year or two. Namely, the workers are alright.

Paul Krugman

Well who am I to disagree with Paul Krugman?

John Philpin – that’s who. And I completely disagree.

As always, its what’s not being said that matters. The elephant 1 in the room cannot be ignored, and I am disappointed that someone like Krugman should waste his time on this kind of ‘opinion’. Yes, we have ‘great’ employment figures. But that’s because as usual, we measure and comment on the wrong things. ‘Everybody’ having a job is not the point (if a large chunk of the workforce is excluded from the count of ‘everybody’). It is everybody (not just 25 to 54-year-olds) having one job, that is paid fairly, so doesn’t need to work a second job to make ends meet. That is what we should be looking at.

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Moby and The Void Pacific Choir – ‘Are You Lost In The World Like Me’? With animation by Steve Cutts.

ReleasedOctober 18, 2016

Its a couple of years since this was released – but still relevant today – and definitely relevant to People First, so capturing it in the archives.


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There’s some fucking guy, scientist or something. Real sick bastard. Says he measured out the remains, the cremated remains of a dead man. Measured out the, uh, minerals left behind, you know? The iron phosphates, the … whatever it is we’re made up of. Says he added it all up to the cost of $4.40.

$4.40. Burnt down man’s worth less than a fucking Big Mac.

Michael Grey played by Liam Cunningham in The Numbers Station

I caught The Numbers Station over the weekend, and that is the opening dialogue. It resonated. I know nought of the truth – but it does seem about right.

After last week’s newsletter, and the responses, I have thought about it more and more. How we as a society spend so much … too much … time reducing anything … everything … to a value based on the component parts.

We know that the click bait mongers of the internet write stuff like this – to save you the click through it’s all about adding together the cost of the sum of the parts of an iPhone – and thus by extrapolation conclude that Apple is – as we might say in England … ‘Aving A Larf’. Total BS and nonsense but there are still people who argue that SApple are riping us off.

No – this is not a defence of Apple – but to ask a question.

Isn’t this exactly what businesses do every day week, month and year to people. You earn a salary or wage based on what they consider is your worth to them while they rent you for the 40, 50, 60 hours each week that you are in their service?

But it’s worse. The value is not just for the sum of your component parts, but actually for the sum of your component parts that they think they need, and everything else is ignored. Your component parts are what they have defined are needed to do the job that they have defined needs to be done. Everything else is of zero value.

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All that is needed … just three minutes of your time. A little more ‘political’ than the usual People First posts … George Carlin – Life Is Worth Losing.

Released January 10, 2006
Recorded November 5, 2005, Beacon Theater, New York City, New York

Thirteen Years Ago … needless to say – nothing has changed, other than more people are aware … hoping that this will make even more people aware … and then we do something about it.