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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I have had versions of the following post on a number of different blogs and publications for the longest time. The time has come to formalize it, since content, its ownership and how we think about it  is critical to the principles of People First. 

A recent question from someone in one of my many groups …

“Why is it so difficult to find a freelance writing gig?

My reply …

Because the people who pay for writing have no clue of the value, which is why they call it ‘content’ which we know has no value and is homogenous ‘filler’ that can be swapped out at a moments notice.

Here’s my basic rule …

Please – Do Not Call ‘It’ Content!

…. book, novel, short story, article, white paper, promotional piece, advert, painting, sculpture, song, opera, photograph, image, graphic art, poster, fine art … anything … anything but ‘content’.

Why?

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John Mayall's First Album arrived nine years after forming his first band.
John Mayall’s First Album arrived nine years after forming his first band.

Trading my time for the pay I get (up!)
Living on money that I ain’t made yet (up!)
Gotta keep goin’ gotta make my way (up!) 
But I live for the end of the day (up!)

The Vogues

Written in 1965 – and nothing has changed. This newsletter introduced you to the 4P model of People First … Pay, Purpose, Play and Passion.

With a more open, enlightened recruiting process there is so much more that people could do in any company if they were given the chance. The answer is to stop job filling and start fulfilling.

You can read the whole of Issue Number 8 here.


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“Look at gender. We used to think of it as a binary, male or female, and now we understand it’s a spectrum. It is high time to ditch the old-young binary, too.”

Ashton Applewhite

Says it all really. Ageism is alive and well. In fact the same day, Paul Krugman wrote a piece on the job market that I totally disagreed with – so of course I had to write something.

You can read the whole of Issue Number 7 here.


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Our fourth Newsletter just dropped. The focus this week .. People!

Hamid Ulukaya – founder and CEO of ‘Chobani Yoghurt’ presents his plan – ‘the anti-CEO playbook’. A fascinating journey through the early days of the company – and how it’s success can be reduced to …. people!

Secondly, A reminder that when you build systems and make changes in your organization, it’s

Finally, for a while now, I have been writing about why we should stop using the word ‘Content’ to describe our ”book, novel, short story, article, white paper, promotional piece, advert, painting, sculpture, song, opera, photograph …. you get the point.

This week Om Malik and Khoi Vinh have both written about that very topic. Personally delighted if finally this message is catching on and gettingg through.

As long as ‘we the creators’ fall into the trap of using ‘their’ words to describe our work, our soul, our passion, our beliefs as ‘content’, then our work will continue to be viewed as ’free – to – cheap – to – low – cost, homogenized, non differentiated, interchangeable fodder’.

John Philpin – People First

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Newsletter Three from People First just launched. The theme for this week’s edition is ‘Humanity’ including me spotting this in a clothing store recently. I didn’t buy it – but I sure was tempted, as I ready myself for October’s IIW. (more)


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