Zombie Syndrome

26 Dec 2011

Zombie Syndrome

Today I would like to write about the zombie syndrome. The idea has been thrown around for a long time, I believe. I have found the explanation of this syndrome in a book about startups.

I believe this syndrome is more ubiquitous. It can happen to your relationship, your job, and your personality. It's even more ubiquitous in Thailand, where even little risks are unacceptable.

Zombie syndrome is a syndrome where the situation is ok. It's not good and not totally bad. Since you have some patience, you can stand it. And, then, you stand it for 10 years… That's just sad.

The concrete example of this syndrome can be many things from:

  • You work full-time for a company. The salary is ok. The commune is like an hour for a single trip
  • Your relationship is ok, and it will be totally devastating if you try to break up
  • Your personality is already ok. For example, you don't like to learn new stuffs, so you stay that way

That's probably the reason why I tried to start my own company without earning any money. Earning small money means you can keep doing this forever. I do not want that.

I want to either go big or go under. I don't want to be a zombie.

This is a very difficult concept for some people. I can tell you that there is hope that maybe our 7th website might be a big hit. But we build and manage a website the same way. The chance is the result is not gonna be different.

The problem that I have in my startup is that nobody knows how to run a website. And it seems we cannot find anyone who can do that.

I know what the problem is, but I cannot fix it.

My dream is still to build a successful product. Now it's time to make a radical change.

Instead of leading a team, I'll join a startup, which is successful to a certain degree.

This should give me an opportunity to work with other great engineers, and San Francisco is a better city to live in. Besides, the traffic in San Francisco is not as bad as the one in Bangkok.

I remember, some months, I'd go to office at 11am (take like 40 mins). Then around 1pm, I'd be the one by default to order some food or go out to pick up the food. (happens like 50% of the time). Then, at 4pm or 5pm, I'd have to drive back home (this one can take up to an hour).

(I had to go to and back from the office at certain time because there are others that I had to take to the office)

That was a very inefficient situation. We have totally collapsed on management. We don't assign who is gonna do admin jobs. We was so lost.

We have fixed this problem though by working at home instead. It works to some degree, but then it's just like working alone.

As Stephen Covey said, a quick-fix does not really fix the problem. You have to change what is underneath. The real problem is that we have no management skill.

And that's why I seek for management by joining a mid-size startup…

Give it a kudos