Motivating geeks

This chapter on motivating geeks for me is more than just for geeks it for everyone. Motivation is the key for your success in the world and in your career. A quote that I like is “Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give… it’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.” ― Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa. In life you will probably fail we all probably will but what puts you in front of everyone else is how fast you can come back from the failure. I was once a spectrum employee making a decent wage and I gave it all up for what I thought was a better deal which turned out that the position was not mine and I had given up a good job for no reason. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I went back to school to get my bachelor degree to better myself in the Information Technology industry. In this industry what motivates a non-geek will not motivate a geek. For example for myself I wouldn’t want a party to be thrown because I did something I would rather get something that I could use to make myself better like a new work laptop. I would have to say being a manager of geeks would be hard because you would have to see what motivates all of them and decide how you can do it equally. Sometimes though I think that there just isn’t an easy way to do it fairly because what motivates someone at a low cost could cost more to motivate another person.

A person with an agile mindset craves knowledge and is ok with failure as long they are learning. These are the people that try 10 different algorithms to sort a list to find out which one is best. These are the people that suggest cutting edge technologies because they want to learn it. They know it will be painful to implement but they don’t care. These are the people that want to be the least skilled person in a room because they know the other people in the room have knowledge they can learn. A fixed mindset person is one that believes they are naturally smart. The people in this mindset have been typically told they are really smart. These people tend rely on their natural ability than trying to get better and learn. They are easily frustrated with failure. If possible they would prefer to be the smartest person in the room as it somehow validates what they believe is true. Geeks prefer to not work for fixed mindset businesses. Geeks love to try new things and push themselves to be better and learn. In a fixed mindset business where failure is not an option, trying new things is also not an option. Which leads to geeks getting frustrated and leaving. On the flip side, geeks prefer working for a business with an agile mindset. Companies like GitHub and Netflix are embracing this mindset and attracting highly skilled geeks. GitHub believes in giving their geeks almost unlimited freedom for when and how they work. For them this has worked very well. Their employees are highly motivated and engaged. If you are a geek and want to make awesome stuff and to have an impact on the world in some small way, I would highly suggest seeking out a company that understands how geeks work and function the best. Your utopia exists but it is up to you to find it.