A couple of ridiculous tech stories caught my eye this week, so I thought I’d offer some perspective and commentary.
Two Cars Didn’t Crash: Why Is This News?
According to Reuters, an employee of Delphi Automotive claims the self-driving car in which he was a passenger was nearly hit by an automated Google vehicle.
Nearly. But there was no actual contact, no damage, and no harm to any passengers or other motorists. The vehicles avoided an accident.
I knew Google was working on automated cars. I didn’t know Delphi Automotive even existed. Now I do. So I guess from a marketing standpoint, this near-miss was actually a hit for Delphi.
Satya Nadella Vs. Shia LeBeouf
This week, Geekwire got an exclusive copy of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s corporate-wide email that outlines a broad strategic vision for the company. Overall, the document seems pretty sensible.
Unfortunately, the mission statement the company concocted is a prime example of the anodyne, conscience-salving pap that many tech corporations feel obligated to smear onto official pronouncements:
“Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. … We have unique capability in harmonizing the needs of both individuals and organizations. This is in our DNA. We also deeply care about taking things global and making a difference in lives and organizations in all corners of the planet.”
Companies talk about ’empowerment’ and ‘making a difference’ in hope of convincing employees that their work has merit beyond simply increasing shareholder value and enabling obscene executive pay packages. If employees feel like they’re serving a greater good, they’ll be motivated to work harder and with a better will.
But you don’t need to trick employees with a lot of grandiose nonsense. If you really want to motivate people, just send them to this guy: