May 2008

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For a person who understands the difference between causality and correlation, your post is boring.


... but if you make the workers too sad, they end up killing themselves, and I can't think how that can be good for productivity...

K Venkatesh

What about middle managers like me? CEOs and workers contrast is what is witnessed in organizations. This mostly happens during reviews and annual appraisal.


I have been reading your posts for a while now and up till now I have managed to ignore some of your more 'Stupid' comments, but this one bites the big one... Once again you have only half read the article, found something that tickles your fancy and acted without thinking. The study states that unhappy workers are more productive to get thier minds off of whatever is bugging them... now if the issue that is bugging them is related to the company they are working for then I doubt that they will concentrate on making the company more profitable by being more productive.... It also states that if a task is likely to make a worker feel good then they are more likely to devote more attention to the task.

In my opinion most psychologists need a psychologist so why believe anything they say.


Please Please Please stop advertising your new book in your blog.It is driving me nuts.The same thing everyday in the LAST paragraph!! ugh!!


Dude, your conclusion is based on logic, but you didn't quite look at the evidence though. Home Depot pays signifigantly higher than minimum wage, and it gives good benifits and 401k/stock options to even the lowest worker on the food chain.

Happy workers -> Home Depot is #1 business

I think you should throw out your conclusion.


Wow, Second Life is terrible.
-Bigshot Wingtips


Scott, great double-whammy on this post. I really enjoy seeing the monkeys dance in oh so many lovely ways.

First whammy: The topic of this post is to take two unrelated studies and link them in a clever way. Does it not occur to people that you aren't serious about relating these two studies, but are actually trying to point out that two different studies on, essentially, the same psychological aspect of employees can come to two quite different conclusions?

The fundamental lesson is that even though our moist robot brains geared toward pattern recognition, the whole issue of beliefs and emotions can skew the results of the research. This can have the effect of biasing the results of the resarch, whether intentional or not. So two different studies can have completely opposite conclusions, depending on the inherant bias.

So now you have alleged authorities coming up with opposing viewpoints on the same phoneomenon. These results are then published through whatever media and consumed by the masses of sheeple. The sheeple will then take those results and use them to either confirm their own viewpoints or assume that said results are just a load of crap. How do you decide what sources information are legitimate when forming your views on a particular topic?

The lesson to be learned is simple enough, take the results of any study with a grain of salt. You can dig up diametrically opposed viewpoints on just about any topic from proported experts. What makes any researcher more correct than another? Don't take the viewpoint of any particular study as fact. Instead, look at the data, research the data for yourself, then try to come up with a conclusion on your own (i.e. think for yourself, damn it, instead of blindly assuming that what you are reading/viewing is correct).

Second whammy: Plugging the new book. Please stop giving Scott a hard time about this. It is his blog and his right to plug his new book. If you were trying to make some product or service successful, you would be plugging shamelessly as well. Don't even try to deny it! If you don't like it, then don't read it and don't prove that you are a dancing monkey by complaining.

Rita Mae, I can only imagine the evil/sexy/delightful twinkle in your eyes when you are posting. Add me to the list of people in the love you column. Now if only the ex-marine wasn't still delivering the goods, so to speak, hmm... Who am I kidding, my brother-in-law is an ex-marine and I wouldn't want to get on his bad side. Make sure your ex-marine knows how lucky he is.



Scott you may wish to try to make that book plugging link a little more platable.

D. Mented

If you ever start a company, you can hire me - I have the ability to depress anyone.
Permanently, unless they get away quickly.
I can give anecdotal evidence that the sad=productive formula doesn't always work, though. In construction, the most work always gets done where the foremen get the tools and materials out on the site before they're needed, keep the customers off the working hands' asses, and stay out of their way themselves. Both quality and productivity go down when there is micromanagement, bad conditions, constant fault-finding, lack of tools, materials, blueprints, and other problems.
Wait, all of those are irritants.
No data on sad vs.happy productivity.
Sociable workers are certainly less productive than anti-social ones (with few exceptions, all of them top-notch multitaskers) but you can't tell them that.
D. Mented

jerry w.

".....and therefore their success, which lifts all boats. And by “all boats,” I mean the boats of everyone but the workers, who need to remain sad or the whole system breaks down."

It's true that sucess lifts all boats, but that would cover

only those who were able to skim off enough to buy a boat

(or steal one).

Sadly, most of those who are usually known as "workers"

(perhaps because they actually perform some sort of work)

end up in the deep water, where they often drown.

Breathing H2O is often the outcome of not enough income.


If you had majored in management you would have learned that happy workers are not productive but a productive worker is a happy worker.


Unless you're the former CEO of Computer Associates!
"What amounted to a $670 million payday for Wang had come on the heels of four consecutive years as America's highest-paid CEO. Eyebrows were really raised when, a month later, CA's stock plunged from $58 to $30"


Hah! Brilliant!


My blog is about the wines I happen to enjoy. I gave you some advice about how to improve your list in your two restaurants. So here's the question. Would you stop placing an amazon link in every friggin' post of yours if I add it on the sidebar of my blog? I could even add some stacy's advertising, so if any swiss people get by, they will happily try some of your menus (they sound good). I already bought the book and since that stupid Euro is so damn expensive, I just bought it from the US. Most of your readers I trust have done the same. Could we just move on to some more general nonsense?


Your theory works only if money has a significant impact on happiness. Unfortunately, beyond the first $50,000 it doesn't seem to have much effect.

What you WANT is a functional heroin addict running the show.


I think the plugs are for non-regular readers. I for one am too cheap to buy the book. But I bet it is good.

rita mae

It's time to go home. Let's shut down for the night.
Everyone show up bright and early in the a.m.

Rita Mae


You need to find some research on your assumption that money correlates with happyness.
I have heard that stupidity does, though.
So I only buy stocks in companies with a really stupid CEO, and highly intelluctually developed workers.

Mukund Mohan

You are a very funny man. I cannot comprehend or fathom how your brain thinks of these things.


If this blog had a "Dogbert points" system, I'd give this post a 10.


...unless the overpaid ceo's are spending money on large houses...:

say: I heard of some new book you wrote? I wonder where I could get one?


Ummmmm, Scott, have you by any chance just become a CEO?


Scott, you are a major asshole! Stick to writing comics you monkey brain!

my two-penn'orth

[I am not able to take you shamelessly plugging you book in every blog. Please stop the torture. 99% of your blog readers must have read your book already via your blog ]

Yeah, exactly - don't you rather think you are preaching to the converted?? Overexposure only works in the very short term... people who were gonna buy it cos of this blog already did, the borderliners (like me) are now so fucked off with the constant harping on that they now are not going too. As someone said yesterday, put a link in on the side/top bar and let people follow it if they are interested. People are far more likely to buy something if they had to exert any effort at all already just to look at it... something to do with having made a mental commitment just by looking. If it's in your face like that, you just learn to close your eyes/stop reading the last paragraph or two of the blog... seriously, Scott, it feels like being shouted at everyday or something - like when someone emails you in a large font or all caps....

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