I love my company but I hate my boss



(a parable )

The principal–agent problem, in political science and economics, (also known as agency dilemma or the agency problem) occurs when one person or entity (the “agent”) is able to make decisions on behalf of, or that impact, another person or entity: the “principal”.[1] This dilemma exists in circumstances where agents are motivated to act in their own best interests, which are contrary to those of their principals, and is an example of moral hazard. (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal%E2%80%93agent_problem)

Why do people join companies and startups but leave bosses? because a BOSS does not have the same ownership or value system as the company has. A project manager is focused on expanding his project not how profitable it is or long term effects.

A Boss is more concerned with his bonus- and will let go of good people to meet his cost /billing ratio targets. By doing so he can say he achieved profit by replacing high quality high cost resources with others.But in truth he may have damaged the company’s image as a potential recruiter 

The real challenge then arises for company founders/ owners to create metrics to avoid agency conflict. or to align individual metrics to global company metrics. This is true because many teams need to work together but they have different goals.

The product team wants to push the  latest release of product to get feedback on bugs, but the client services team wants to resist it and stick to stable builds (an example)

However the sum of a local optima is rarely a global optimum, mathematically speaking. A local optimum is whatever is best for the performance of an individual part, whereas the global optimum is what is best for the performance of the system as a whole.  Hat tip – http://bit.ly/2Iyp3pc for amazing insights and images

many people unknowingly subscribe to a defunct management philosophy: that you can improve the performance of a company as a whole by individually improving the performance of its parts.

from the Boss’s perspective, probably the local optima is their global optima as it keep them safe from being overtaken by people better than them.

the job of founders and senior management to neutralize this very human insecurity

That is why culture eats strategy for lunch. But how do you quantify culture?  (to be continued)

Are algorithms evil?

Google AI + US military . Is it good, is it bad or is it evil


DoD’s Project Maven uses tech firm’s TensorFlow artificial intelligence systems, prompting debate both inside and outside company

Project Maven forms part of the $7.4bn spent on AI and data processing by the DoD, and has seen the Pentagon partner with various academics and experts in the field of AI and data processing. It has reportedly already been put into use against Islamic State.

Google spokesperson said: “This specific project is a pilot with the Department of Defense, to provide open source TensorFlow APIs that can assist in object recognition on unclassified data. The technology flags images for human review, and is for non-offensive uses only.”

  1. Terrorists deserve to die
  2. Civilians should be spared from attacks
  3. Better image classification in drones can lead to better decisions on killing terrorists versus collateral deaths.
  4. Civilian deaths further the cause of terrorism
  5. Terrorists often embed them with civilians as shields to deter airstrikes
  6. What is the definition of evil?


  • A civilian turns to a terrorist because his family was killed in a bad drone strike?
  • A government diverts terrorism funds from terror funds to corruption?
  • A government that keeps killing smaller number of terrorists based on events a decade ago to keep the military industrial complex in good shape for the next war?
  • The computer scientist who created a classification algorithm to detect cancer tumors in MRI?
  • The company that employs him and owns the algorithm , hands it to the government for killing people or any usage in return for money as well as help in anti -trust matters.