I hate that this is true, but instrumentally useful: if you ever experience the symptom “I tried to get in contact with a firm but no human will talk to me” your best bet is stop following the obvious process and start cold emailing people arbitrarily high up ladder (tech) or…
… groups which by their nature need to have an open inbox and who are failing if they optimize for resolution speed over resolution accuracy (Legal, Compliance, Investor Relations, etc).
This is a) downstream of a business decision to fob certain customers off at scale and b) functions as a class competence check because firm institutionally assumes that if you’re important enough to talk to you know this w/o needing it explained to you.
This is also true of every company which is a platform, broadly defined.

Of course there are named people who make and execute decisions. If you don’t know their names, that is indicative of where you sit in their business priorities, but they very much exist and have email.
One more sociological observation:

A lot of people who report “No human will talk to me” have actually talked to a human multiple times. What they really mean is they want a professional with decisionmaking authority, but, interesting and remarkable word choice.
I have sometimes noted that to fellow PMC members and received a non-apology apology where they acknowledge that dehumanizing someone would be bad but deny doing it on the basis of not believing the human in question passed their imagined Turing test.

Which, words fail me.

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More from @patio11

25 Nov
In central Tokyo unexpectedly (the pandemic has cut down on seeing the city, sadly) and was struck by two beautiful things so I thought I’d share:
I passed the HQ of my friendly neighborhood logistics firm. It is in very, very expensive real estate.

The first floor has a public accessible customer service counter in case you want to e.g. give them a package.
This is operationally inefficient, but I love it as a statement piece:

All the execs, salesmen, accountants, etc pass drivers and customers on the way up to work every day, and they’re reminded that nothing elsewhere in the building is more important than accepting packages.
Read 7 tweets
23 Nov
The piece about the startup working environment currently making the rounds includes several anecdotes of good startup management, e.g. clearly communicating expectations and management intervention with employees who were clearly pushing themselves in an unsustainable fashion.
I’m not linking to it because it’s a non-story. You get all the signal from the phrase “Startups can sometimes be intense work environments. Here’s a startup.”
In the middle there are some anecdotes to support the indictment the author is attempting to make of the culture, e.g. someone was working during their wife’s labor until senior execs stepped in and told them to please log off.
Read 4 tweets
19 Nov
We're approaching tax season for regular employees in Japan and I'm updating my Slack dingwords to include all of my weird but suddenly acutely relevant hobbies.
"Ah yes you would think that iDECO is 個人年金 since it is, after all, a pension (年金)which you pay for for yourself(個人), but you'll copy that information into the 小規模企業共済 box instead. Why is a fascinating story; do you want to hear it?"
It's probably not my most leveraged way to make a dent in geeks' financial futures but the salaryman in me does think that I owe junior coworkers literally up to the legal limit of Not Investment Advice so they can scoop up the sweet sweet ~$400 of tax benefit available.
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
I feel unreasonably proud as a Chicagoan interested in credit cards that when I got the email about Reserved by Sapphire I said “Chase did Tock? No. Chase must be white labeling Tock.”

(They are.)

Tock is an amazingly brilliant business by the way, by the sort of restauranteur who also posts on HN for fun.

High end restaurants have an inventory management problem and the relevant inventory is seatings not food. Tock suggests they sell pre-paid reservations like shows do.
This way they don’t have to eat no-shows or parties which reserve a table for 8 but only show up (and pay for) 5.
Read 5 tweets
17 Nov
Stripe Tax is chugging along. We wrote a brief roadmap of what problems we can solve for users today and which ones we hope to be able to solve soon:

Some people think that taxes are complex because the people who write or enforce the rules are perverse. I think it’s mostly because a) taxes are used to express society’s preferences and b) society’s preferences are complex.
For example, consider sales/use taxes around food. A key goal of most tax regimes is “progressive taxation”; you generally want to take more as a percentage from “richer” people and less from less well-off people. (Definition of “richer” also complex when you try to encode it.)
Read 17 tweets
5 Nov
If you enjoy my writing and enjoy e.g. Money Stuff you would likely enjoy Net Interest, which is @MarcRuby's newsletter on banking topics.


Let me illustrate with a single paragraph why this is obviously the future of e.g. equities research:
Substack has made it incentive compatible for the world's various obsessed experts on various topics to hire themselves out to the Internet rather than hiring themselves out to e.g. financial intermediaries, and then they do the sort of deep work that experts do.
Also: holy me do I not want to be the investment banker who let a math error work its way into an IPO prospectus.
Read 6 tweets

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