I have a feeling that I’m going to be asked the following question a lot in the next couple of years:
“How do I execute my EVIL PLAN within the limits of my current job at a big company?”
I’m probably the wrong person to ask– I’ve never fitted into corporate culture very well. But I did write few initial thoughts below, just to get the gears turning. Feel free to add your own in the comments. I’m going to be thinking about this for a while, Thanks.
1. An EVIL PLAN’S success is 90% the people around you. This so true whether we’re talking small business or large, salaried or freelance, boss or employee. So if you have smart, nice, dynamic, successful people around you– both colleagues and customers– I don’t see why you can’t execute it from anywhere. It all depends how aligned your EVIL PLAN with the people you work with and sell to.
2. If your EVIL PLAN is not aligned with what your company is doing, you have two choices. Quit and go do something else, or give up your EVIL PLAN.
3. Patience is a virtue. Things tend to happen more slowly at big companies, especially the more edgy stuff. A lot more time and effort is needed to corral your allies into critical mass. That’s just reality.
4. Risk. I always liked Robert Scoble’s line, “If what you’re doing doesn’t risk getting you fired, it probably isn’t that interesting.” People who are very risk averse don’t get to play in the EVIL PLANS sandbox. That, too is just reality, and no crazy-ass cartoonist’s blog post will change that.
5. Create your own luck. Create your own job description. None of the best jobs in large corporation are ever created by your boss. They’re created by you taking the initiative. And there’s a definite art to that.
6. Practice. Fail. Practice some more. Fail some more. Keep practicing and failing. Eventually you’ll get there.
[UPDATE:] Ian Wallace left a comment below. Samuel Beckett’s advice to anyone who dares to follow their own EVIL PLAN:
‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.
Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’