I understand that you kickass at Guitar Hero and you play a ninja in World of Warcraft, but seriously… can you stop calling yourself a rockstar and a ninja in real life? These hacker terms for “awesome coder” have gotten way out of control.[UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for pointing out that WoW has no ninja class. Sorry...I'm a Starcraft guy. ]
A rockstar is an heroin addicted egotistical maniac who rakes up enormous hotel bills by throwing TVs out the window and has clauses in their employment contract like “my poodle requires a foot massage by a 6’2″ Russian model.”
You want to know why your favorite band broke up? ’cause one of the band members suddenly noticed “I’m a rockstar” and they didn’t need anyone else.
Why would you want to hire one in your company let alone choose one as a co-founder?
Know who I want in my company? Tony Levin.
That guy doesn’t play one more note than necessary and he ROCKS. He’s what I’d call a lean bass player of the highest caliber.
Check out his discography if you don’t believe me or just take Peter Gabriel’s word for it. Listen to the bass line on Sledgehammer.
Is he a rockstar? You probably wouldn’t recognise him walking down the street.
Do you want him in your garage band? You can’t afford him.
Let’s see, why wouldn’t I want to hire a ninja?
Wow…that sounds awesome! Let’s hire a backstabbing assassin for our company!
Wait…is he assassinating us or infiltrating us?
The ninja, using covert methods of waging war, were contrasted with the samurai, who had strict rules about honor and combat
Even better! I can start a company with someone who has no sense of honor! That should be great when it comes to protecting our intellectual property!
[UPDATE: John Metta has the best picture showing how overused the word ninja is here. Also embedded on the right.]
Seriously guys…I’m sure we can think of some ego flattering terms for a good programmer that don’t immediately imply that hiring them would be an act of blatant stupidity. I’m open to suggestions.[UPDATE: As many have correctly pointed out, I had to hurriedly strip out these terms from our own site! Yes, this was a tongue in cheek late night post, but that is how ubiquitous these terms are. I actually annoyed myself while trying to write a web site copy without using them. It will take dedication to kill off these evil evil memes.]
Summary of Lessons Learned
- A company is a team.
- Teams are built from strong individuals
- “Strong individual” is not a synonym for “raging egomaniac”
- When looking for a co-founder look for a partner, not a rockstar
So…what should I post next? Tweet to tell me what to write:Show me how to test product market fit!
orHow can I do lean startup in my friggin' huge company?