The New York Times ran an article today about dot-com layoffs. Like most stories of its ilk, it decried the heartless and clueless actions of inexperienced dot-com managers.

What it neglects to mention, like most stories of its ilk, is that the laid-off employees should have been fired months earlier.

It’s no secret that every organization has its deadwood. What’s remarkable is how reluctant people are to fire. I should know. Firing people was the hardest thing that I had ever done…and now that I’ve done it, I wish I had done so months earlier.

If an employee isn’t a true star, he or she is probably a drag on productivity. That holds doubly true for dot-coms, which provided lucrative employment to an otherwise useless generation of liberal arts majors.

Let me put it this way: my company has eight people. It used to have 37, and we’re getting twice as much done now as we did back when we were a big company.

Deep in your heart, you know it’s true. Every time that you check out, or a porn site, or work on your personal email. Let’s face it, even when you’re reading this weblog.

So the next time you read a story about layoffs, don’t think, “Too bad,” think, “It’s about time.”

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