People often ask questions like that. And from the inside it's clear that things aren't as easy as we wished they'd be. But I've never thought long enough about the issue to figure it out for myself, let alone try to explain it to others.

Luckily Greg Cohn has. Here's just a bit of what he says in Doing Business with the Semi-Permeable Corporation:

Today’s environment is transparent, open, and conversational - meaning almost anyone can get to anyone and communicate with them publicly, semi-publicly, or privately. This is great - when I need to find someone, it tends to be quite easy to reach them directly or with one degree of separation via my network. When someone needs to reach me, I am equally easy to find (and in fact have a public “contact me” email link that’s one click away from a search on my name). As conversations become substantive, companies are increasingly transparent about their objectives, plans, competition, and even finances, all of which materially increase effectiveness.
So much for the good stuff. The challenges are: a) that I’m still under the constraints of a public company, and can not in any way be “conversational” about material inside information; and b) that open doors like mine are magnets for everything from unrelated BU inquiries (from people who should know better) to “the Yahoo! suggestion box”, and the signal-to-noise ratio of inbound items can create a lot of distractions and confusion if I don’t filter aggressively.

I can definitely sympathize with the second bit. I don't know how many random inquiries I get each month, but it can be a lot to deal with. Help me with my research project. Introduce me to someone in My Yahoo! Tell me my Yahoo! password. Fix my email. Buy these pills. The list goes on!

And I digress...

Seriously, go read what Greg wrote. He did a good job of helping people to see the world from the other side.

Posted by jzawodn at May 07, 2008 12:35 PM

Reader Comments
# Philipp Lenssen said:

Why did you make your email address public?

on May 7, 2008 04:07 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Because enough "good" stuff comes in that way to make it worthwhile.

on May 7, 2008 04:29 PM
# Dan Isaacs said:

The thing that bothers me most about working for a public company is that too often decisions are made in the best interest of shareholders, instead of the best interests of the employees, or the company itself.

on May 7, 2008 09:56 PM
# pwb said:

There are all sorts of problems the bigger a company gets:
1) harder to organize, coordinate and communicate with people
2) easier to say "No"
3) easier to shirk responsibilities

on May 8, 2008 08:58 AM
# TechHead said:

The shareholders own the company and decisions must be made in their best interests. 'Too often' had better be 'All the time'.

on May 8, 2008 04:40 PM
# Joe Hunkins said:

Dear Mr. JZ -

I have some great pills for you to buy but I'll need you to fix my email, send me my password, and introduce me to Natalie Portman. And please, hurry!

Thank You.

on May 9, 2008 02:48 PM
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