Issue #29
#29 - (Work) Things That Make You Go Hmmm
August 05, 2022


#TalentShortage #Recession #FoodForThought

Yishan Wong was an early Facebook leader who went on to CEO Reddit, and now runs a climate startup. He is not an economist, and we do not, necessarily, agree with his take here. But we share it because we found his thesis -- that labor shortages brought on by Covid, not monetary policy, are chiefly to blame for any recession we might be in -- darn thought-provoking.

Last week in issue #28 we shared that work absences due to Covid were up more than 100% in 2022, over 2021. In this thread, Yishan lays out some conservative back-of-the-envelope math on how these absences -- and the 1 million deaths due to Covid -- can't help but impact the country's productivity and economic output. His (very US-centric) analysis doesn't even factor in, btw, the millions of people who have dropped out of the workforce altogether, the aging boomers retiring from the workforce, or the fact that new immigration into the US has come to a near halt.


#RadicalCulture #Empowerment #🤯

We stumbled onto this post from a wonky blog about -- wait for it -- microchips. That the company being profiled was called "DISCO", and had the corporate motto: "Cut, Grind and Polish". was a surefire sign that we were on to something intriguing. 🕺

But then DISCO, a Japanese firm which grinds the "wafers" upon which semiconductors are manufactured, does 2 billion in revenue a year, and the details of how its culture works blew us away.

The company uses an internal currency, "Will" to allocate budget, bid on jobs to be done, and determine bonuses and salaries. There's a penalty system for inefficient work, and essentially, a wholesale transfer of the work and resources which a manager typically allocates -- to an internal marketplace.

We're so curious -- ok, skeptical -- as to what it would be like to work there. But it's awfully hard to argue with the results: since the Will program was put in place, operating margins are up from 16% to 36%.

Check it out. ☝️



Bret Devereaux is a military historian at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. So when he weighs in here on how diversity leads to strength, he does so through a very unique, non-corporate lens.

"You want leadership that is united by the institution, but diverse in their thinking" is just one of many gems that he drops; the entire thread -- on group think, how to harvest talent, and how and why "big tribes are safe tribes" -- is an absolute banger. We highly recommend it.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week. 🙏🏻

Work moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Join over 1,000 subscribers — sign up today for free.
© 2021 TalentStories, Inc. All rights reserved.