Expecting People to Work for Free

Business literature is filled with myths and legends about famous entrepreneurs building empires from scratch. What those same books don’t say is that those empires are often built on top of free labor.

I know of lots of very well-known entrepreneurs in the local Swiss market (don’t sweat it out, won’t name names) whose “empires” were built that way. I know it because I was often asked to provide free work to those same mavericks.

Let’s enumerate some anecdotes:

Thankfully I wasn’t active on the blockchain or AI galaxies. I’m pretty sure I would have had quite a few more anecdotes of their kind to share here.

In retrospect, few of the systems I enumerated above ever saw the light of day, and none exist today. What remains is the bitter taste in your mouth of having to deal with a very toxic group of people, half-assed “entrepreneurs” who try to squeeze as much juice from workers to try to build some meaningless useless thing during a gold rush.

I’m not saying that all entrepreneurs are like this, and thankfully I’ve also met a lot that have had seriously good ideas, were brilliant at execution, and they are still thriving after all of these years. But I met too many of those in the larger section of the Gauss curve, useless opportunists, unbearable to deal with.