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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thevogues
Nobody told The Vogues to retire.

Up every morning just to keep a job,

I gotta fight my way through the hustling mob,

Sounds of the city pounding in my brain,

While another day goes down the drain (Yeah, yeah, yeah).

but it’s a five o’clock world when the whistle blows,

No-one owns a piece of my time,

And there’s a five o’clock me inside my clothes,

Thinking that the world looks fine, yeah,

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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.


If you want to keep abreast with People First developments, share your best email with us and it will be done.

“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.


If you want to keep abreast with People First developments, share your best email with us and it will be done.

Our sixth newsletter explores the value of a person to a corporation.

In understanding how organizations search for ‘talent’ these days, candidates know that their first two or three hurdles will have nothing to do with people and everything to do with machines and as a result valuable time is spent in tuning their resume and cover letter with SEO like terms, so that they bubble to the top.

Do you find that as sad, bad and depressing as I do?

  • It’s like outsourcing your customer support team to a call center, full of untrained people … oh wait!
  • I mean it’s like putting junior people into sales training on their inside sales team … oh wait!
  • I mean it’s like putting a temp on your front desk, so that anyone who comes into your offices is greeted by someone who knows nothing about your organization …

Read the whole of the 6th issue here.


If you want to keep abreast with People First developments, share your best email with us and it will be done.

No, not Cyndi … Neil.

They say that life imitates art. In this particular case I would argue art is imitating life.

When the working day is through
And you’re waiting in the rain
For another overdue
Overcrowded railway train
And the movie poster screams
“It’s the best film ever seen!”
But it’s all a different world
To which you have never been
And you’re bored out of your mind
So you keep yourself amused
Reading the Financial Times
Of the fellow next to you
Then something in you snaps
And you shout with all your lungs
“We give and get nothing back!”
When the working day is done.”

Neil Hannon – Divine Comedy

Unfair – possibly, but Hannon / Divine Comedy has a history of social observation. In this particular case and entire double album on Office Politics. Wont it be grand when we no longer have to deal with them?

European tour in the autumn of this year.