This is why I work at Rackspace

A few months ago Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, asked me why I work at Rackspace. “Would you still work at Rackspace, even if you won the lottery?” he asked me. “Yes,” I answered.

But it didn’t click WHY I answered that way until I saw this presentation by Dan Pink.

You really must watch it. It points out that a lot of what we think about rewards and getting the best work out of someone in this modern world is all wrong.

Is your job giving you a sense of purpose? Does it give you motivation to do better work? Does your boss get out of your way, or does he/she just give you a list of tasks to do?

I’m very fortunate to work for a company that gives me a purpose and then gets out of my way. The purpose? Help startups. Period. Note that I, and my coworkers, Rocky, Rob, Michelle, help out everyone we can, even those who host on our competitors. If you watch my videos I’d guess that only a small portion are actually of entrepreneurs who host on Rackspace.

Why? Because we have a deeper purpose than to just help ourselves. It’s why I work at Rackspace.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. It's infectious and it shows. Point is though it's not just about the money. Right people. Right reason. Way more satisfying than the cash. Though the cash helps ;)

  2. I think that this video would be a great motivator for public education. This thought pattern would greatly help Administrators, Teachers, Student and Parents.

  3. It made me nauseous. Had the video been less jumpy it might not have been a problem.

  4. Thank you for finding & sharing this video, Robert. A good part of my income comes from an “incentivized” commission structure, which tends to push my passions further from my daily actions and closer to my pocketbook. Can makes for restless nights. I liked your post, as well as Dan Pink's preso…and thought the animation was kick-ass. Thank you again!

  5. I luv’d the video and message- I searched a bit further and found further renditions by Dan Pink leading to theRSA.org and found more fascinating epilogues. Thanks Robert- great stuff as usual

  6. Totally disagree. Maybe it's my ADD, but I have a hard time listening to a talk like this and ingesting the message. The animations kept my brain sufficiently focused and interested that I groked the message far more than if I just closed my eyes and listened.

  7. And it works.
    I have to find a host for our startup and to be honest your site was the tipping point for me.
    There are a few competitors, who are pretty equal in what they offer, some even cheaper.
    Never the less, we will host within the next few weeks on Rackspace.

    From a business point of few, if one was to calculate your salary and the average amount of users you convert I would guess the money would be better spend on an Adwords campaign. The thing is, an Adwords campaign works fine as long as you put money in.
    Creating a business culture that is first and foremost about helping people may not be noticeable in the “conversion metrics”, but it will attract PEOPLE.
    I guess a genuine interest in your customers' needs might turn a few of them into real “fans”. And getting one true fan is better than getting a few hundred customers (in the long run).
    I believe the “1.000 true fans” idea is true for companies as well (although the number might be something like 100.000) http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/03/

  8. Great points. I am not a big believer in research and facts only because today's research and facts will be tomorrows history and wifes tales. However it is good to know that their is a quantifiable and intrinsic desire to do what we do! Nice video from whoever did it!

    http://ReThinkHR.org
    Twitter: @BenjaminMcCall

  9. So, I have the luck of having one of those “self directed” jobs where I get to “invent” stuff. BUT, when I come up with something that is potentially “hot”, my company is unable to recognize it until they see the same stuff in a competitors product. I call it the Xerox PARC effect … it is one way to make a generally productive person very unhappy. (Oh, if you add a health dose of furloughs, pay cuts, kill all bonuses, and starve them of any new hardware or extra staff, you can really break their spirit.)

  10. Loved this video when I saw it recently. Becoming a Purpose Maximizer is what really motivates me. Not just maximizing my own purpose but the purpose in others.

  11. One of the things people ask me, when they're not yelling at me, is why, in my 60s, did I start a bunch of blogs and begin sharing my opinions with the world.

    I just smile and say “you're welcome.” They never get it.

  12. Some over-priced, overpowered marketing, commoditized server/hoster, where downtime is a verb, playing up the cloud-computing hype, playing up their fanatical support, not mentioning the fanatical prices, freebasing on start-ups that might not be here next year, raising prices whilst others lowering, losing high-profile clients and racking up customer-service complaints galore, with ethically hazy “official partnership” kickbacks. Go set the world on fire.

  13. I promise my minions the opportunity to breed in a post apocalyptic world run by cyborgs. Surely, that's better incentive than cash.

    Plus cyborgs are cool.

  14. And whatever you do, don't let your employees get in a hot-air balloon as that seems to inevitably lead to chaos and destruction.

  15. So where do we stand on threats? My office building is surrounded by a moat filled with gators and every week we toss the most useless employee into the moat. The concept seems to work well, although I'm considering upgrading to piranhas…

  16. Absolutely amazing! I have been a manager for several companies and worked with entry level employees as well as middle management and I would have to say this video is point on. What a great video and illustration of how money is NOT the end all, be all motivation. Money definitely helps but at the end of the day, how we feel about ourselves and our personal accomplishments is far more rewarding than a check that will last no more than weeks or at best months. Thanks!

  17. This is why I work at Rackspace @Scobleizer http://ow.ly/1UNxm Animated talk by @DanielPink – autonomy at work helps to generate creativity and encouraging knowledgeable people to find purpose in their spare time by sharing knowledge freely can lead to a better world.

    Robert, don't know how I missed this first time around – Daniel, love the animation which really helps the listening process. However, left hanging as to an example of worsening results when money is the incentive (although as you say there has been much study done in this respect) and also wondering as to how the staff at Atlassian responded the rest of the time when, one assumes, they were not permitted autonomy but were tied to the purpose of the Company.