I was discussing this kind of scenario with a
friend. Note, that the situation concerning
technical innovations was hypothetical.
I told him that I would never sell my
for the silly ~ 2000 USD one-time price which
is the policy in Corporation I work as a part of.
You get some more money if the idea really is big
and ends up as a product. The total amount of money
in question lies somewhere near the 4000 USD mark,
perhaps even more.
That kind of money is peanuts for a
multi-million dollar business. I think that such
a deal is extremely bad from the employee's (my)
point of view. What to do, then? I told my friend
I'll stay quiet. I will not give someone,
who doesn't deserve it,
big bonuses because of my idea, while receiving
some pocket change in exchange. And that's it.
Also, I do not do my own projects on company
time, using company computers. Doing so
would be the first cardinal sin. Second, I do
not discuss my ideas with the people who I work
for. That's the 2nd cardinal sin. I told my friend
that since Corporations demand full separation
from your other daily activity (such as sleeping
during the day) and hobbies or other such activity,
such as walking outside to clear your thoughts, it
is only fair that you take the separation to
the extreme: when you're at work, do only the
work, and nothing more. Do not exceed yourself,
as you will not get rewarded for doing so.
My business-oriented friend then had the opinion
that my ideas belong to the Corporation almost
always, and that it is very difficult if not
impossible to show that I had done
everything on my own time. My friend then gave me
a presentation about the theory
of economy. My friend had a point, and we
concluded the discussion to that.
But I quietly thought onward. I saw
the entire thing as a game, and there are some
rules in the game. The best way to beat the game
is to not play at all! Once you
play, you have lost, unless
you've millions of money and a lot of power to
back yourself up. I don't.
So, I came to a sort of revelation about the
whole issue. I realized, that the
way to play the twisted game and to at least
get even is to do your work and
nothing more, get the salary you're paid for
and that's it. No overtime, no innovations,
no "sacrifices" for the Corporation.
Don't be rude or anything to the people who
you work with regardless of their position,
just be businesslike. Be businesslike, but nothing
more. Honor the NDAs. Don't take
calls outside working
hours, unless you get paid for it, and the amount
of payment suits you.
The Corporation is not made for me, I do not
benefit from it anything more than what I get
to my account monthly. There's nothing more in
the Corporation for me. I do not get bonuses,
I do not own parts of the company, there is no
incentive to do anything more. However, the
Corporation needs many people like me in order to
survive. Other Corporations need me, too, because
I am a consumer. They need my money. I need the
Corporation to pay rent
and buy food. But that doesn't mean I have to
If the system you're in doesn't work for your
advantage, then step out of the system. Be the
system social pressure, the Society,
a Corporation, or whatever, if you stop playing
the game, you can't lose in the game. That was my
revelation. Yes, I've read my Ayn Rands but she
wrote from the point of view of the people
who own the business, who are at the top,
not the guy crawling in the trenches. But why not
take her excellent ideology there, to the
Walk freely, undisturbed.