1. 1. What are telltale signs that you're working at a "sinking ship" company?
    1. 1.1. Large Company Edition
    2. 1.2. 大公司版本
    3. 1.3. Small Company Edition
    4. 1.4. 小公司版本


文章来自 Quora 的同名问题及 Michael Wolfe 的回答,我接触于扇贝读书

What are telltale signs that you're working at a "sinking ship" company?


Answered by Michael Wolfe, Five startups and counting.

回答来自Michael Wolfe ,有五次创业经历。

Large Company Edition

  • New opportunities are framed in terms of how they impact the existing legacy businesses, not how they impact the customer and the future.
  • Mediocre employees are not fired since you can't recruit better ones anyway.
  • You benchmark against your direct (mediocre) peers instead of the disruptive entrants in your market. Your co-workers roll their eyes at Facebook, Twitter, cloud services, iPhones, about how they are for children and your customers will never trust their business to them.
  • You spend more time talking about how you are going to make the quarter than you do about long-term growth.
  • Cross-functional committees are formed to solve problems that would have been solved already if the people responsible for them were any good.
  • Management consultants are brought in to solve problems that would have been solved already if the people responsible for them were any good.
  • All problems can be solved with more budget (not better people or better decisions).
  • Acquired companies disintegrate after they regress to the mean of the rest of the company.
  • The CFO spends 95% of his time looking for places to spend less money and 5% looking for new investment opportunities.
  • The HR department thinks their job is administration, not leadership.
  • All technology decisions go through a centralized IT bottleneck steering committee.
  • IT sends out a memo that says anyone using unauthorized cloud services will be fired.
  • You have a Chief Strategy Officer.
  • You don't have a recruiting playbook.
  • People argue over offices.
  • When risky, innovative projects are cancelled, the people working on them are laid off, thus getting richly punished for their risk-taking.
  • Spending and hiring decisions are "approved" by an entity outside of your group, even if they are within existing budget.
  • The company shuts down over the holidays just to get vacation off of the books.
  • No one can answer, "why work here?" except to talk about the dental plan.
  • Executives are shuffled around the company to new roles, but outsiders don't ever seem to be brought in to raise the bar.
  • When an exec quits, their next in line is automatically promoted to their bosses' job, even if they weren't that great and there would have been better candidateselsewhere.
  • Each employee has a rationale for why, "I'm glad I don't have to work at Facebook/Twitter/Goldman."


  • 在面临新机遇时首先考虑对现有的遗留业务会造成什么影响,而不是考虑新机遇对客户和未来的影响。
  • 平庸的员工不会被解雇,反正也雇不到更好的员工。
  • 你在工作中总是在与你那些平庸的同事对抗,而不是与试图颠覆市场的公司对抗。你的同事总是关注『Facebook』、『Twitter』、『云服务』、『iPhone』以及他们的孩子,以至于你的客户永远不会放心的将业务交给你们公司。
  • 你总是花更多的时间来说这季度该如何做,而不是为了公司的长远发展去行动。
  • 对于那些由于人为不负责所导致的问题,公司专门设立了跨职能委员会来解决,其实让员工自己负起责任来会更有用。
  • 公司还引进管理顾问来解决问题,而这些问题只要员工负责就不会产生。
  • 所有的问题都可以用投入更多的预算来解决(而不是更好的人或者更好的决策)。
  • 被收购的子公司的业绩倒退到总公司的平均收益以下后会被瓦解掉。
  • 财务总监将他95%的时间用于找地方花更少的钱,只有5%的时间在寻找新的投资机会。
  • 人力资源部认为他们的工作是管理工作,而不是领导工作。
  • 所有的技术决策都要经过一个带有中央集权性质的,并且IT经验不足的指导委员会。
  • IT部门发通知说:使用了未经授权的云服务的人将被解雇。
  • 你有一个首席战略官。
  • 你们没有招募计划。
  • 办公室充满了争吵。
  • 当有风险的,创新性的项目被取消后,从事这个项目工作的人都被解雇,因为需要对他们的冒险进行惩罚。
  • 你们小组的支出和招聘计划是由一个你们小组之外的部门决定的,即使这些计划不超过现有的预算。
  • 公司在节日期间关闭的目的只是为了让大家在假期不看书。
  • 除了牙科保险,没有人能回答上来在这个公司工作的原因。
  • 新的高管总是试图围绕公司进行改组,但由于还并不了解具体的项目所以改组并没有真正的提高效率。
  • 当一个高管辞职后,位于他下面一级的人会自动升级做他的工作,即使这些人并不怎么样,或者即使其他地方有更合适的人选。
  • 每个员工都有一个这样的工作的理由:“我很高兴我没有在Facebook//Twitter/Goldman工作”。

Small Company Edition

  • You "rehearse" for board meetings.
  • When pressured on the business by employees, CEO always starts with, "I need you to stay focused on..."
  • You have more than one MBA on the team.
  • You have a Chief Strategy Officer.
  • Your CTO just came out of a Phd program.
  • Your CEO sells instead of listens.
  • You have a launch party, and no customers attend.
  • Customers hate the product and vision, so the sales guy is fired.
  • You are not told the terms of the last funding round (5x liquidation preference?)
  • You never hear how much cash you have in the bank or see board meeting notes.
  • You complain about how the customers "just don't get it" and aren't "visionary."
  • Your CEO says revenue is coming in in two weeks, just after he gets a meeting with the buyer, negotiates price, gets it approved, agrees on terms, writes up up contracts, negotiates them, signs them, and invoices the customer on net 30 terms.
  • You add features because board members want them.
  • Your CEO calls himself a "visionary" in his bio.
  • The CEO keeps everything secret because, "that is how Apple does it."
  • The CEO approves all of the design decisions because, "that is how Apple does it."
  • You are selling a platform.
  • Co-founder agrees to bring in experienced execs but thinks they will report to him.
  • You are selling to schools, hospitals, or non-profits.
  • You are commercializing a technology.
  • Your value proposition is that you help workers break down organizational barriers and work cross-functionally.
  • Your business model assume you will become one of the 7 websites that the average user visits every day.
  • Your site is going to be ad-supported, and you have 1500 users.
  • CEO avoids eye contact.
  • It gets really quiet.
  • You get free lunch but have no customers.
  • Your free lunch is taken away.
  • You get asked, "how much do you really need to live on?"
  • You get a pay cut.
  • Your co-worker disappears.
  • Your CEO still doesn't make eye contact.
  • You get laid off and become a creditor to the company because they didn't reimburse your last 5 expense reports.
  • The company declines to buy your unvested shares back.
  • The liquidation yields 5 Aeron chairs and an espresso machine, and Ashton Kutcher's stock is senior to yours.


  • 你为董事会会议不断排练。
  • 当员工的行为使公司的业务压力增大时,CEO总是说到,“我需要你专心投入......”
  • 在你的队伍里有一个以上的MBA成员
  • 你有一个首席战略官。
  • 您的CTO刚刚博士学位毕业。
  • 你的CEO总是在推销而不是倾听。
  • 你有一个发布会,但并没有客户参加。
  • 客户讨厌产品和UI展示,所以销售被炒了。
  • 你没有被告诉最后一轮的融资条款细则(有5X清算优先权?)
  • 你从来没有听说过你银行账户里有多少钱或阅读到过董事会会议记录。
  • 你抱怨客户“为什么总是不明白这一点”,而不是“富有远见”。
  • 你的CEO称公司将在两周内开始营收,只要他和买家会面,协商完价格,获得了核准,同意了条款,撰写完合同,讨论了具体细则,签署了合同,并开具含有30个条款的发票就可以了。
  • 你为产品增加了新的功能是因为董事会成员需要他们。
  • 你的CEO自称他是“有远见”的。
  • 你的CEO把每件事都当做秘密来处理,并说“因为苹果公司就是这么做的。”
  • 你的CEO批准了所有的设计决策,并说“因为苹果公司就是这么做的。”
  • 你在销售一个平台。
  • 联合创始人同意引进有经验的高管,却认为他们需要向他汇报。
  • 你在向学校,医院,以及非营利性组织销售产品。
  • 你在将技术商业化处理。
  • 你的价值主张是你来帮助工人打破编制障碍来跨职能进行工作。
  • 你的商业模式假定为将成为普通用户每天访问的7个网站中的一个。
  • 您的网站将要开始投放广告,但你只有1500个用户。
  • CEO总是避免眼神接触。
  • 公司逐渐变得很安静。
  • 你得到了免费的午餐,但开始没有客户。
  • 你免费的午餐权利也被剥削了。
  • 你被问到,“究竟你需要多少薪水来生活呢?”
  • 你被降薪。
  • 你的同事开始逐渐消失。
  • 你的CEO仍然没有眼神接触。
  • 你被解雇而成为公司的债权人,因为他们没有偿还你的最后5次开支报告。
  • 公司拒绝购买你拥有的股权协议。
  • 清算收益后你只有第5代Aeron椅子和一台咖啡机,以及Ashton Kutcher的股票比你更多的消息。

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