I wrote a draft for this post a few months back (original title “Dealing With Assholes”), but decided against posting it as the incident was too fresh. Now that time has passed I think it is important to write.
The good news, there aren’t that many jerks in the startup world (at least in the NY tech scene and on the entrepreneur side). There are many people who don’t have time for you or what you are interested in talking to them about, but that is different than being a jerk. Being a jerk is when you are purposefully mean-spirited or inappropriate to a sincere interaction.
I once had an experience with a founder who was a complete jerk. The details aren’t important but there was miscommunication on both ends and while I was trying to reconcile, the founder went the other way and became hostile.
The end result is that we stopped communicating.
A few things I learned:
1) The startup industry is small. You will see everyone again and again. Be nice, courteous, respectful. Even if you hate someone’s guts, go out of your way to do good.
2) Kill people with kindess. If someone goes hostile on you, take the extreme opposite approach and be as nice as you can be.
3) Life is too short to continually deal with jerks. If your boss, co-worker, acquaintance, investor, is a jerk. Move past them and find better people to surround yourself with.
Bottom line: It is not easy to deal with jerks. Try to take the approach of being nice to everyone. If you can’t, try to remove yourself from the situation and work with good people.
- leetucksing said: Very true. Thanks for sharing. The startup space is really small. It’s even smaller in Singapore. And my guide to having a wonderful startup time is “why make enemies when you can make friends” :) Looking forward to more posts about your startuplife.
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