Greed is Good?

I was looking at this Crooks and Liars post, and had a few thoughts on it.

First of all, greed (in the abstract) can be good. It gets people to work harder and be more creative. The problem is when that greed leads someone to short-change (or outright cheat or injure) other people. And that's where it goes to sh*t for everyone. As this post demonstrates, that happens a lot.

Second, Steve Jobs is a horrible example of what he's trying to show. One, the evidence is that Steve, despite being non-technical, is intimately involved in design at Apple, so it's actually possible that he is worth an outsized pay package. (For further example, look what he managed to create at Pixar. And then look how he managed to buy the parts of Disney that most people think ARE Disney, and he got Disney to pay for it.) Two, look at the size of Steve Jobs salary (hint: I make more in an hour than he has made in salary over the 13-14 years since he returned to Apple as CEO. After taxes). I think we can all agree that he earns that salary.

Is his point generally spot on? Yes, I believe it is.

Hmm... finally read the second point in that article. There's definitely some truth there, and I think it hints at why an awful lot of lottery winners go broke or otherwise ruin their (and their family's, usually) lives. The only point I want to make about that section is the theory about CEOs investing in their business; I think that only happens when the CEO is also the founder. I really don't think it does happen, outside of that. And probably not nearly always with founders, at least of founders whose company has grown big enough to have an IPO.

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