Friday, October 19, 2012

Apple and the arrogance of emails

Received an email from Apple today for an offer to apply for a position related to Supply Demand Management:

"...connecting with you with regards to a career opportunity with Apple for the one of the roles we have within Supply Demand Management..."

I received the email at 12:42 PM on 18-Oct-12, and the sender added the following sentence to her email:

"Look forward to hear from you by 19 Oct 12, 9am. Thanks!"

What the hell is this? She's giving me less than 24 hours to send:
  1. Updated CV.
  2. Cover letter [obviously not a generic one].
  3. A Word document with my "insights" on eight long questions asked by her [separate from cover letter].
Are you serious? You believe that I don't have any other work? Am I supposed to leave every other work on my schedule and devote all my time to her email? Arrogance at its finest.

I replied to her declining my interest in the offer.

Such a coincidence that I read a high-profile story today about Apple firing a legendary iPhone-hacker because he forgot to reply to an email offering him a job extension. Apple HR folks are mired in arrogance and clearly are disconnected to the mindset of hackers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

MBA destroys the engineer in you

When one is an engineer, there is usually only one correct answer. The best answer. And it can be proven that that answer is correct, and the best. An engineer usually emphatically and vigorously puts forward his answer, his solution. Not so when you do MBA.

MBA teaches, rather forces, you to use vague, uncertain words and phrases such as "might be", "could be", "it is possible", "perhaps better", "likely to be", "uncertain business environment", "perhaps more important", "it depends", and other useless bullshit. Not only that, MBA forces you to use fancy concepts [the sandwich approach, for example] to put forward your thoughts or criticism or feedback. It also forces doublespeak and euphemisms deep down your throats ["your stupid mistakes" turns into "areas of improvement for you"] ["reduced profits" becomes "compressed profits"]. Finally, it makes you use crappy jargon such as "kickoff meeting", "leverage", "basis points", "opportunities", "synergies", "deep dive", and so on.

Frankly, MBA destroys the engineer in you. Or at least it tries. It's up to you to make sure that you only let in good stuff, and keep the bad stuff away from you.

That being said, and to be fair, it's important to remember that all of these fake words, fake tones, doublespeak, etc., that I've mentioned above are not only useful in the real world, but also necessary. It's important in real life, for example, to "manage all your stakeholders" and "to set expectations", so to say.

I have always been clear in my mind that I will not let my MBA make my language vague. I have always believed in and exercised straight talk and clear thoughts, and I will continue to do so [unless, of course, MBA-like language is absolutely necessary to get a particular work done]. I have used direct, un-MBA-like language in this post too :)

I am Rishabh Singla and I approve this message.

Rishabh Singla
MBA: National University of Singapore
MBA: Korea University Business School
B.E.: Delhi College of Engineering [University of Delhi]

Update [Nov'12]: I laughed when I read the press release of Monitor Group, clearly written by MBAs, stating that Monitor had "agreed to join forces with Deloitte". Wow. MBAs painted a fatal bankruptcy as joining forces.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Flightfox is ripping off its so-called "hackers"

Look at this contest. Flightfox's hackers gave the contest-owner seven highly-competitive flight options. Many hackers devoted many human hours to find, post and tweak these flight options. And the owner, after having looked at all the options he got, acted clever - he got his money refunded saying "The results weren't impressive.".

Not only should such losers be banned from Flightfox, but the website itself should have a policy whereby such greedy contest-owners are not given their money back. Otherwise, Flightfox itself is a ripoff.