It started late last week with Jason Calacanis’ post “How to save money running a startup (17 really good tips).” He’s the founder of the search engine Mahalo and a Silicon Valley veteran. Read it. Think about it. The “really good” description in his headline is Calacanis’, not mine. Just so you know, “Fire everybody who isn’t a workaholic,” tip No. 11, doesn’t strike me as a really good tip.
That post set off fireworks. Michael Arrington summarized on TechCrunch. Follow his links for good reading.
He goes on, however, to agree with Calacanis. You should read his post, but read the others, also, and read the comments. Read Duncan Riley’s post on the same TechCrunch blog (interesting that Arrington, founder, owner and head knocker, handles that disagreement disarmingly well, by the way). Read the comments to that one, too.
Read also the related 37 Signals commentary, titled “Fire the Workaholics.”
My own experience argues against what Calacanis, Arrington and others say. I would hate to have a company full of workaholics. I don’t think that works. People burn out. Furthermore, I think that the founders making the big money forget–so easily, and so quickly–that the rest of the company has a few odd shares in options and won’t be making tens of millions of dollars if the company makes it. I think that the best company environments are built with people who have lives that they value, by companies that value their employees as people and respect the rest of their lives.
But that’s just me. You get to decide for yourself. Read about it, think about it, and make it work the way you believe it will work best.