Moogle Corp: Company you might be working for

Google is one of the biggest, the coolest and the most profitable companies in the world. Probably the main reason for being at the top is their ability to innovate continually. According to Gopi Kallayil there are 9 core rules that drive Google’s innovative culture:

  1. Innovation comes from anywhere
  2. Focus on the user
  3. Aim to be ten times better
  4. Bet on technical insights
  5. Ship and iterate
  6. Give employees 20 percent time
  7. Default to open processes
  8. Fail well
  9. Have a mission that matters

Now let’s compare this list with the rules in the company called Moogle (short for “Moogle Corp.”). This company is big. Within its niche, it controls 99% of the market (of course, management decides what its potential market is). It employs thousands of employees, has big clients, has products that are on the market for many years and, in general, thinks it’s the best and the biggest company in the world, even though that opinion is not based on any fact. This company has traditional pyramid structure.

At the lowest level there are workers, auditors, quality control, designers, business analysts and many other profiles. Those are people who actually produce something. For the sake of brevity, we’ll call all of them workers. If something fails, assuming that anyone notices the failure, they start blaming the other group. Employing critical thinking is discouraged because following well established procedures is what provides the greatest productivity. They work using waterfall process because that minimizes the risk. They are divided into so many different departments that sometimes it takes days only to find out who should do something (manager sends it to workers who claim that it should be done by auditors who pass it to quality control, etc).

Workers are supervised. There are many different supervisor positions and roles but, for the sake of brevity, we’ll call all of them managers. No one really knows how many of them company employs. There is a strong suspicion among workers that they are outnumbered two to one (there are two managers for each worker). Most of workers are not even sure what managers do apart from asking for status reports with ever-increasing frequency. Some among more clever workers realized that content of those documents in not really important as long as there are some numbers in it and if text colored in green is prevailing over text colored in red. No one really knows how many levels there are above the first one. For all we know, pyramid has no end. Each time one manages to get in contact with the “person on top”, someone opens a new position with the intent of managing that person.

Lets go through Google rules one more time and compare them with the culture of Moogle:

  1. Innovation comes from anywhere
    Within Moogle innovation is welcome as long as it does not happen within working hours. Schedule of current projects is very aggressive and there is no time or budget to innovate. There is a clear relation between time and money. If there is time, there is no money. If there is money, there is no time. In most cases, there is neither. It’s not that no one wants innovation. It’s just that no one has time nor wants to invest in it.
  2. Focus on the user
    Which user? There is no user. There are clients that purchase Moogle products and later on pay for maintenance of those products. There are probably people using those products but since there is a client between Moogle and that user, it’s up to the client to define requirements. Moogle will do exactly as it is written in requirements.
  3. Aim to be ten times better
    Moogle is already the best so there is no point getting better. More importantly, getting better is a risk. What Moogle has, works. Changing it is not a good idea.
  4. Bet on technical insights
    Technical insights are another risk. Moogle cannot allow itself to try new directions and technologies until they are proven. If sufficient number of years pass and that “new” technology is still around, Moogle will evaluate it and make an adequate decision. There is a board of people who already have a procedure in place and within less than a year of two, evaluation will be done.
  5. Ship and iterate
    Moogle aims for perfection. Nothing is shipped until it passes at least 10 stages, 15 departments, 25 signatures, 3 sign offs and 13 reviews. If it takes a year to ship a simple feature, so be it. Nothing stands in the way of perfection.
  6. Give employees 20 percent time
    Moogle is a business company, not charity. If someone wants 20 percent time to work on what he or she is passionate about, it can be done during weekends. Besides, it’s a well-known fact that only people above 5th pay grade level are capable of creating something new and profitable for the company.
  7. Default to open processes
    This is a clever plot aimed towards stealing Moogle intellectual property. The company has very strict security policy. Even mentioning word “open” can provoke undesirable consequences.
  8. Fail well
    Moogle never failed. It always delivered what is stated in requirements. If project failed, it’s because the customer didn’t know what he wants or requirements were not clear. In either case, it’s not Moogle’s fault.
  9. Have a mission that matters
    Moogle does have a mission and it matters. The fact that almost no one knows what that mission is, does not mean that there is not one.

I worked for Moogle. It took me quite some time to make the decision and change it for something else. Did I make the right choice? I think I did. Time will tell. It looks like a fresh change towards better. I’m happy. Things look good now.

Do you work in Moogle?

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