Global Constant
Steve Nay's ramblings

Hacker-centric culture

Paul Graham’s essay on “What Happened to Yahoo” is very thought-provoking.

Google and Facebook, Paul says, still have this hacker-centric culture, and that’s why they’re so successful. He sums it up nicely:

While I won’t mention where, I’ve also seen the flip-side of this, at a place where collared shirts are required, shorts forbidden, and normal business hours expected. The atmosphere feels more like a corporation than a software development shop. And it shows in the quality of the software they create and the time it takes to deliver it. Because that culture (read: not hacker-centric) has become so engrained in the organization, its chances of matching the innovation and success of companies like Facebook, Google, and Kynetx are significantly reduced. And its chances of attracting the brilliant talent a software shop absolutely needs to survive are also significantly reduced.

Anecdotally, this reminds me of “Simon the IT Dummy." The whole series is hilarious, by the way–a great parody of the corporate culture so despised by brilliant hackers.