A change in the winds
(Originally posted as a Mastodon thread)
There needs to be a change in the winds of the tech industry. I'm exhausted. Everyone I have worked with in the past 10 or so years is exhausted.
I know a lot of this is just “normal corporate stuff” but we have less and less agency within this industry while facing more demands for infinite growth.
Although I know people are trying—really trying—to make good products, ultimately the goal is “have more monthly active users”. Always. That's top priority. Its exhausting. It means that for any product, the end result is a diluted buggy mess, as the company cycles through heads of product who all think they have “the answer” to make the company turn around.
Somehow, that answer is never “Do the thing that we do, but do it really well“
I often see people bemoaning “needless changes” to products they like. I used to roll my eyes at that and say that's just progress! But increasingly, its really, very much not. Everything is just flatter now. And probably has a custom font. Always has a custom font, really. Because BRAND AWARENESS. Because top of funnel. Because monthly active users.
And then we have an all-hands. And oh! Wonderful! The executive staff takes live questions! Someone will ask a question along the lines of “how do we plan to execute on our new growth strategy without ruining the product?” and the answer will always be a sidestepping placation; because we do not matter. Their numbers and promotions matter.
I'm tired of wrestling with random people's pet projects that they did to score a promotion and brings no actual value to anything. I'm tired of pretending to be excited about upcoming “product strategies” that will win us big this year. And I'm extremely tired of seeing that we fell short of our projected goals, only to learn that we did jaw-droppingly huge numbers, and our goals were just that much more. But triple digit millions is not enough.
Again, I know this is not totally blanket. But it is how it goes at the vast majority of the most known firms. Because its a self-fulfilling prophecy. And individual choice doesn't make much of a difference here, because this isn't a problem with the workers in this industry, its a problem with what is rewarded by our economic system.
But infinite growth is totally a good idea and totally doable. I mean its just the internet, right? It's digital; there's no limits, so its the perfect place to grow infinitely! Right??