Greedy Goblin

Friday, November 23, 2012

The secret of middle management (dino)

Why would someone pay 3x20B to join an alliance which accepts 1-days old Rifter pilots unless he is a spy? "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is." Yes, I joined TEST to spy. No, not on their fleets, not to steal their forum content, their plans, to record FC rage, neither to steal from their hangars, bump out titans nor to drop their Sov. I was after their recipe of success. How could a bunch of "rifter retards" steamroll the oldest and "most elite" alliances? The red zone on the map is HBC/CFC land (I included Esoteria as their owners don't even resist the invasion). The black is NPC land. The rest is everyone else:

The 60B was well spent. It allowed me not just to be there (clean account would be enough for that), but draw attention to my posts, let me actively poke every hole, stirring the hornets. To know someone, you must fight him. So I went to the forums and fought.

What I found is great. The recipe not only apply to Goons (CFC), but it's completely technical. I mean "be welcoming to newbies" is a philosophical advice. You can believe that you are welcoming while the newbies disagree. The "anchor a can to newbie systems advertising" is a technical advice, leaves no place for opinions, you either anchored cans or you didn't.

The recipe permeates the TEST culture. They are clearly aware of it, even if just at an unconscious level. They named their logo (Middle Management Dino) after it. Their most often recited running joke tells how to fully implement it. If they'd take that joke seriously, they'd win EVE defeating/assimilating everyone else including CFC in a few months. The members (not just the leaders) vehemently fight everyone in the forum who'd try to break it. It's clearly dear to them, they love it, they live it, they just can't put into words. They went as far as a feeling, loving social person can go. To put it into cold, mean, heartless words, it needs an anti-social, 47%-hating guy who kicked people from his WoW-guild for saying "lol", who dislikes Ayn Rand for shunning initiating force, who gathered downvotes in TEST forum faster than anyone else in its history.

Type "middle management" into google and you get countless of economy articles how to get rid of them. Middle Management is considered a fat to the company, nothing but a dead weight sitting between those who make the decisions and those who do the work. They are the "boss" figures of comedies who are being bossy, abusing their power and make the life (and performance) of their subordinates worse just for their own amusement. Modern organizations try to empower even the lowest level of white collar workers and the foreman of the blue-collars, letting them use their own creativity, letting their ideas reach the decision makers.

In EVE the fleets operate on coalition levels. More than ten thousand of pilots are acting for the same goal. They win together or lose together. Their job is technical and while they might need experts to guide them (FCs, wiki writers), they don't need to be checked, disciplined, enforced, in a video game they play for fun and can quit any time. Even worse, in a video game where they can go back to highsec and be more rich.

Yet EVE Online has probably the biggest amount of middle management: the corporation CEOs and their trusted staff. An average EVE corporation is around 100 members. If we assume 3-4 directors, that means that there are about a middle manager for every 20 members. What do they do? Absolutely nothing useful. They don't make strategic plans, alliance or rather coalition military directorate does that. They don't lead fleets, fleet commanders do that. They don't gather reimbursement wallet, the alliance does that. What they do is living on corp tax and hazing the members like mean seniors the new students. They are supported by their inner circle and by the already "initiated" members who made themselves believe that their tribulations had any other purpose than amusing a bunch of nerds.

It's not that they are evil or even "mean". If a corporation is not part of a larger entity (like a WH or pirate corp), then its leaders are top managers and obviously useful and busy. But in nullsec coalitions all this work is done in alliance/coalition level, leaving them no responsibilities. Power corrupts, boredom makes one mean and we now have a full class that cannot do anything, but they have power to kick a player from the coalition.

When I got in TEST, I got in a random corp. Due to my 60B immunity I could mostly ignore it (and by doing so, almost ignored the recipe itself), but I seen its complete uselessness. The corp members contributed to the coalition goals, some of the leaders were coalition experts, but the corp as an organization contributed nothing. I won't name and shame them exactly because not the particular guys were especially bad, it was the corp itself being completely without function. What I almost ignored is the stream of eve-mails "suggesting" members to participate in a financially horrible plan that would provide "the corp" income that they openly planned to use on a "corp capital cache", meaning a bunch of dreads for the inner circle. What I couldn't ignore is that they started demanding Full API keys even for my highsec characters which would make my complete business easy target. So (with some drama), I left them and moved to Dreddit.

Dreddit is the core corporation of TEST. It has 4200 members, manages the towers, (obviously) provides the most PvP kills. And I've seen zero middle managers in Dreddit. No one asked for full api (not just from me, from no one), no one bossed around, no one demanded "to be a team player" (give resources to the leaders), no one wanted to include anyone into any social activity they didn't want. I unironically believe that Dreddit is the best corp of EVE (I can't talk about Goonwaffe as I haven't seen it from inside). As a member of Dreddit, you can mind your business and no one notices you as long as you don't do something harmful. The management of Dreddit is completely done by automatized software. You add your limited API key to the auth system, you apply to groups, you check if your skills are OK for capitals, you apply for reimbursement only interacting with a software.

Are Dreddit leaders and experts who get your applications and requests via the software are superhumans? Are they without flaws or malice? Far from it, some of them are horrible forum haters. It's unlikely that their average "goodness" is higher than the same quality of an average corp leader. But you are no one to them. They cannot know 4200 people, they have no reason to unfairly support or harm you, you are just another entry in the list to be processed. Dreddit is the perfectly de-humanized, automatized, a-social corp, unless you explicitly ask for social attention. Because of this it is a great social place as you are free to associate with people you call friends, instead of some guy giving you 30-200 random nerds and tell you "they are your clan now and I am your clan leader".

What miracle formed Dreddit and Goonwaffe? The external communities behind them created a huge influx of players who wanted to be together, in the same corporation. They simply grown too fast to allow closed social circles to form and fragment the whole.

How is Dreddit capable of projecting its properties to the totally average EVE corps of HBC (PL is exception, they are PL) despite being only 20% of it (4200 men Dreddit, 20K+ HBC)? Dreddit is simply the biggest. The various corps didn't form TEST, they joined with Dreddit which was 20-30x bigger than them. It was obvious that the CEO of Dreddit leads TEST, the others just tag along. The coalition is lead not by master-pet commands but simply going first. TEST deploys and the others are free to follow or not. Of course if they don't, they miss out on the fun and due to their size their options to run operations without TEST are very limited (again, PL is exception).

How could HBC turn into a galaxy-eater monster? Simply by taking the variations of the No1 running joke seriously. This joke is adding a "Kick X_corp" to random posts, usually targeting ENL-I , the second biggest TEST corporation. The joke exists in "Kick X_alliance" version, most popularly mentioning Thorn alliance. The joke is so widespread that one of the TEST corporations is called "Kick B0RT" (B0RT is the nickname of Dreddit). The proper action would be to kick all of the corporations and reorganize the members into B0RT2 and B0RT3, lead by TEST director alts (6000 corp size cap). Then reorganize the other HBC alliances into 1-1 corp each of them having their former alliance leaders as corp leaders. Finally join all these large corps (including B0RT and clones) into the alliance "HoneyBadgers". Obviously the new mega-corps would be managed by the same automatic software as Dreddit itself, replacing the huge middle management staff that now runs the hundreds of corporations.

How could any other coalition form a force that can fight back HBC/CFC? Since they don't have a Dreddit/Goonwaffe of their own, they must make it by disbanding all their alliances and corporations and forming one huge corp, managed similarly. The leaders should be the 5-10 top leaders of the current coalition. They will need lot of experts (like FCs), but won't need middle management. By merging 50 corporations, each of them having 100 members into one 5000 men corp, you remove 200-250 hazing, annoying, bossing funsuckers from positions of power.

Why the recipe is evil? Because it says that the most social members, the ones who hold little "families" together are actually just dead weight and the coalition would be better off demoting them into simple members (in some cases to experts). Still, the evidence is obvious, the two strongest coalitions, both rising from rifter newbies are centered around a no-middle-management supercorp.

The middle managers are often included to the inner circles, and some of them are also useful experts. To implement the recipe fully, these 200-250 inner circle members who are so certain of their own importance must be told that from now on you are just another line member. They wouldn't be happy about it at all, mostly because they are completely unaware of their useless and harmful nature, they genuinely think that they work hard to keep their corporations running and without them the coalition would fail. I seriously doubt that even Montolio or The Mittani have the power to dethrone the hundreds of middle managers littering their EVE coalitions. Maybe a new community, starting from scratch. But I doubt that anyone will bother. The nastiest part is that those who bothered to do organization work but lacked the skills to climb to alliance/coalition directorate are exactly the ones we are talking about: the middle managers.

There is no business report as it's stupid to collect pixel money in a game I'll stop playing with 99% chance. When I logged in to evacuate my characters to highsec I just stared at the screen and logged off. Which nullsec corporation could I go after this post, openly telling that the leaders of that corp are just dead weight, holding their coalitions back?


Anonymous said...

Hey guess what

You left out one extremely important detail

As the anchor corporation, Dreddit's leadership is alliance leadership. It has plenty of middle managers, they're just all at the alliance level.

Anonymous said...

I think I missed something.

In the "TEST is a mining alliance" post, you mentioned you had encountered some forum trolls. So the "most downvotes" was not a surprise. This post went along extolling how great TEST was, like previous posts. Then it ends up with "evac to hisec and 99% not going to play" I reread it and did catch the "power to kick a player"

I feel like I missed a post. I hope and expect it is the next post.

Kelmurdoch said...

Its easy to throw rocks at coalitions and corporations from your own solitary corner, Gevlon. Much harder to invest the effort in people to actually make something happen.

Good luck in your future endeavors, and thanks for the isk.

Anonymous said...

As an eve outsider I had some trouble with all the alliance acronyms though more importantly:
how is your analysis transferable to the 'real world'?
Obviously middle management is still alive and kicking in companies of 100+ people.

Random TEST duder said...

While you may have some valid points in this post, you sir spent very little time getting involved in much of anything but our miraculous reddit like forums and maybe a few fleets. I don't believe one single corp could kill TEST if they left with the exception of maybe Dreddit, but some of these corps would be a loss of valuable assets and the "middle management" of these corps are always workin two jobs in alliance leadership positions. Who handles diplomatic issues, reimbursements, different intel and command positions to get us these juicy fights?

All in all, I hate to see you go. You made some fun posts and watching you get trolled on our forums just for the sake of trololols was loads of fun as well. But I do believe your outlook on our alliance/coalition as a whole is skewed from your limited time of inner circle jerk chains among the Beast that is HBC.

Lasse R Farnsworth said...

Before leaving the game .. give RvB a try ... just saying ... 0.0 is not the Endgoal of all eve you just saw like 10% of the game yet ...

Ogopogo said...

I too believe that Montolio would prefer to manage every aspect of TEST logistics, diplomacy, training, economics, and military operations with a handful of officers with no jobs, families, or biological sleep requirements.

Anonymous said...

Good luck running a military organization (because despite the corporate names, Eve Coalitions are militarys, not companies) with all officers and no NCOs. The army is said to "run on the back" of its NCOs, its middle management, for no reason. You need people to direct, motivate and educate your unwashed masses on what they are supposed to be doing and what direction they are supposed to point their guns.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: I fully understand that there is management (and obviously bureaucracy) at TEST alliance management level. But at least one level of bureaucracy (the corp level) is missing.

If Dreddit was split into 40 100 man corp, that would mean 150-200 more bureaucrats.

Gevlon said...

@Last anonymous: Dreddit does exactly that and does it very well.

Deth Delkanara said...

If you quit, can I have your stuff?

What did you expect going into a group and pissing on their social system, values and so on? No matter how wrong or bad a group may be, no one likes to be told so in poor terms. Maybe you will quit, maybe not, though seriously, I would have to wonder how you will do if you decide to quit. Eve is a pretty good life simulator and if you are going to quit this, how will you do in real life when your job, finances and so on are on the line due to such social faux pas?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to recommend a book. Bolman and Deal's Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership. It's got sources, and talks about multi-spectrum management and leadership. I think you're stuck in a specific frame and are too dismissive of side-factors.

Too bad about leaving EVE, though. I enjoyed your viewpoint on it.

Sorry about all the inevitable 'lol you got trolled out of EVE' posts.

Dioxin said...

Did you get kicked out less than a week after you said there was no chance you'd get kicked out? And right after you joined the "perfectly de-humanized, automatized, a-social corp,"?

Obligatory "can I have your stuff" etc. In any case I salute you for doing your part in fighting ISK inflation if you do quit while holding onto all your stuff.

Anonymous said...

I often thought to myself that most corps in an alliance should just merge to one big corp and transform the coalitions into a new alliance. Lots of dead weight middle management indeed with no idea of how much of my taxes actually are put to good use and how much just disappears into the pockets of corp/alliance leaders.

Would be a shame if you quit the game. I love reading your blog first thing in the morning when I arrive at work.
If you do quit, I would love to have 3-5 billion in startup capital to expand in the unlikely event you are giving away assets instead of trashing it all.

Gevlon said...

@Dioxin: I wasn't kicked before the post. I'm not near EVE client so can't check on my pilots, if you do, check on Titania Goblin and see that she was in Dreddit when the post went up.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon, one of the most important mistakes that a social can make is to attribute more importance to himself than he actually has. That said, you seem convinced that this is going to be what gets you kicked out of the corp... But do you really think that your negative opinion of the whole leadership system is enough to get you kicked out of the corp? From a goblin perspective, they'd be losing 20B ISK a month and a consistent logi pilot over an opinion, which seems counterproductive to say the least. From a social perspective, while there may be a knee jerk reaction to kick you out, there could be just as good a reaction to celebrate the post- after all, almost all of it was a glowing recommendation of your corp. My point is, even if you think you're going to get kicked from this, it isn't a certainty, simply because people won't care.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: Writing weird things in the inner forums is one thing, writing publicly about inner stuff is another.

Writing publicly that most of the coalition leadership is a bunch of useless dead weight is yet another.

Also, generating that 20B/month took about 30 hours/month and I started to get tired.

Anonymous said...

Just because you "lead" a corp inside a big coalition doesn't mean you do nothing.
The middle management you complaining about are players like everyone else. If they don't have to organize stuff they just do what other members do too.

But if the CEO needs to refresh stocks of item XY and Ship whatsoever he appoints that to his middle management and they get the stuff done.
It is the ceos (and his directors) work to provide an environment his/her members like. If the Alliance/Coalition is good he/she has less work to do and can join more in the line ranks. If it is not good, it's the ceo who has to communicate that with alliance leadership and finally make the decision to adapt or leave. For the best of his/her corp and the friends he/she enjoys playing with.

Anonymous said...

Wait, you quit TEST over a full API? Seriously? Why would they care about what you did in highsec if you were already feeding them 20b a month? You're still thinking you're far more important to this game than you really are. Nobody cares enough to put a stop to you, even if they could.

You took a "please sign on this dotted line if you're not a spy" security test and treated it like they were threatening to burn your house down. Sounds to me like they exploited you out of the labor of producing 60 bil while you slaved away among the M&S collecting what you now think of as pointless space pixels.

Alkarasu said...

"Which nullsec corporation could I go after this post, openly telling that the leaders of that corp are just dead weight, holding their coalitions back?"

You named it in the post. The perfectly de-humanized, automatized, a-social corp, naturally. The one, where people at least unconsciously understand, that not every link in chain of command is neccessary, despite everyones claim, that they are irreplacable.

"check on Titania Goblin and see that she was in Dreddit when the post went up."
Still in.

Gevlon said...

@Alkarasu: I doubt it stays long.

@Anonymous: no, I left one corp and moved to Dreddit over Full API. Also, I didn't afraid that TEST steal my highsec industry, that's stupid. I feared that certain corrupted corp inner circle member does it.

@Other anonymous: what you mention "stocking ships" are expert jobs. They can continue to do it as alliance experts, there is neither need to do it on corp level (why ship 5 Scimitars for a corp when you can ship a full cargo of it for the alliance), also, doing such job doesn't need you to have any power over a small group of people.

Avensys said...

"@Anonymous: Writing weird things in the inner forums is one thing, writing publicly about inner stuff is another.

Writing publicly that most of the coalition leadership is a bunch of useless dead weight is yet another."

nobody gives a f*ck, you are grossly overestimating your own importance.

You write a post that is full of praise for dreddit and TEST leadership and end it with the expectation that you have to leave the alliance. How does this add up?

The centralization process you are looking for is happening in TEST all the time - the only corporations that manage to stay in TEST for a long time (and there aren't many of them: Ars ex Discordia, Martyr's Vengence, Alea Iacta Est Universal and Rim Collection RC) are those in which middle management is unobtrusive to their own members and does not interfere in alliance matters beyond whatever roles they may hold on alliance level.
Everyone else gets kicked sooner or later and most of their members end up in better TEST corps or dreddit (as you might have noticed it is not all that hard to get into dreddit once you are in TEST).

The same happens even more effectively on alliance level - -TF-, BDEAL, ESG, (TJA), ... have been evicted with many of their rank-and-file members joining TEST.
Ideally the process of evicting an ally comes down to removing one layer of middle management while retaining all the grunts.

For me the only way to explain your post is that you either grew tired of the mockery (Titania is ofc still in dreddit but has a beautiful "Paid 60b to get trolled out of TEST and probably EVE Online"), are trying to cover up a massive business failure that did cost you most net worth or just suffer from plain burnout.

Alkarasu said...

"I doubt it stays long."

And why? Your post is clear and direct praise of Dreddit and they way of getting things done, so why will they want to get rid of you? Because you pointed out, that some other corporations are not as good, as they think they are? People do that all the time. I highly doubt, that many people will even notice your post contents before dismissing it as one more instance of "me new corp iz cool, me olde corp iz suck", which is so common for those, who switch corporations, that many of the less intelligent people consider it obligatory.

Gevlon said...

@Alkarasu: also, since I found what I was looking for, I have no reason to keep giving them money. That is a bigger reason to kick me or to be exact, no longer protect me. I gained lot of haters in TEST forums in various topics, literally hold the record of fastest negative vote accumulations.

Oh almost forgot: I actually spied on them. I found their recipe of success and published it where enemies can see it. You are right that random retards will just ignore it, but SOLAR and maybe even -A- has non-idiotic directors. A 5000-men corp SOLAR would be a formidable enemy.

Unknown said...

Gevlon hasn't been kicked out of Dreddit. I sponsored him into the corporation. I don't care about the 20b ISK. As far as I'm concerned he can stay as long as he wants.

Unknown said...

In response to:

"Oh almost forgot: I actually spied on them. I found their recipe of success and published it where enemies can see it. You are right that random retards will just ignore it, but SOLAR and maybe even -A- has non-idiotic directors. A 5000-men corp SOLAR would be a formidable enemy"

If you actually believe that, I hope you do decide to stay. I don't think you could be more wrong about what makes Test Alliance and the HBC what they are.

Gevlon said...

@Twizted Sizter: we'll see how long you stay then. But thanks.

@Alkarasu: one more thing. The previous "this and that corp sucks" didn't affect other coalition corp leaders because they told "yes, X corp was managed shit, but we r awsom".

What I say now is that they are all redundant and without function. They can't do anything about it. They can't improve and be better, they are as a class obsolete and unneeded.

Alkarasu said...

"That is a bigger reason to kick me or to be exact, no longer protect me."

...and TEST, as I presume, is widely known for it's strict recruting policies and zero internal tolerance, yes?
And you had any value for the alliance only because of your donation, not because of your logi?

"I gained lot of haters in TEST forums"

Forum haters, How incredibly scary! Even if you set hate records, it doesn't matter, as long, as you don't put someone with kicking power into sensless rage, and that will require such people in TEST leadership to be too stupid to handle an alliance of this size and power.

" I found their recipe of success and published it where enemies can see it. " now they not only lost a secret, that was in plain sight of anyone, who actually bothered to look, but also they can at least hope, that this will bring them some real enemies, some real fight, some real fun? Yes, for the last part they absolutley must crucify you. And worship for the next two millenia.

Alkarasu said...

"What I say now is that they are all redundant and without function. They can't do anything about it. They can't improve and be better, they are as a class obsolete and unneeded."

You'll be surprised, how many of them will actually LIKE that. There are many people, who are holding some kind of position of power and authority they don't actually like or want, but they still do it, because they think it's a neccessary sacrifice, and they act as you described, because they honestly beleive, that it's the way it should be done, no matter, how they dislike it.
Now, here comes you, telling them, that they can stop doing all that and just enjoy the game as they want, improve as simple pilots, experts, FCs, or any othe useful role they like to perform, and was unable due to time consuming duties of leadership. You, for some reason, totally missing this point (probably, you had too little personal experience with unwanted authority), but there are lots of people, exactly in "middle-manager" position, that don't like to be in it and will welcome any solution, that won't harm they peers, but will save themselves from the perils of "keeping things together".

Avensys said...

"@Alkarasu: also, since I found what I was looking for, I have no reason to keep giving them money. That is a bigger reason to kick me or to be exact, no longer protect me. I gained lot of haters in TEST forums in various topics, literally hold the record of fastest negative vote accumulations.

Oh almost forgot: I actually spied on them. I found their recipe of success and published it where enemies can see it. You are right that random retards will just ignore it, but SOLAR and maybe even -A- has non-idiotic directors. A 5000-men corp SOLAR would be a formidable enemy."

If you continue long enough with this desperate attempt to get kicked from TEST you might eventually succeed in getting removed for being a badposter.

Stop the chest-beating and realize that TEST has seen the likes of ps3ud0nym and ShadowAndLight before they ever got to know you, I don't know how many downvotes you currently have but I can assure you that you are not the special snowflake you think you are.

TEST and Goonswarm are pushing their recipe for success right into the face of anyone who bothers to look their way. A 5000-men corp SOLAR would be ~cultural victory~ for CFC/HBC (consolidating everything into one megacorp would not work without further adoptions from CFC/HBC culture).

I can assure you that many more -A- and Solar Fleet members read whatever drivel you post on the TEST forums than what you post on this blog. You made a good point with the "Middle Management Dino" and "Kick b0rt" memes/in-jokes/... being a lot less flippant than they might appear at first glance. The same holds for "spais please x up", TEST's forums, intel channels and jabber are effectively public.

My advice would be to take a few days off from EVE (without quitting dreddit) and then reassess your goals and perspectives with a calm mind. At the moment your posting is in free-fall and smells of burnout.

Unknown said...

Some minor comments from a sociologist:

Your essay touches on a few interesting points that maybe I can help you put into an established context.

Max Weber would argue that your paper actually acts as an example of how the bureaucratization of our society has been increasing since the enlightenment. I would argue that the online nature of the TEST management structure lends itself to greater bureaucratization than we would see in the standard world.

Background point 1: The reason we start to rely on bureaucracies after the enlightenment is a reliance on the "legal-rational" system of legitimacy. We accept the social controls around us because of written rules and contracts that, as a society, we deem to be fair enough to be operable.

Background point 2: Bureaucracies, by definition are a) hierarchical, b) impersonal and c) entirely rule based.

The bureaucratization of our education system can be seen with the rise of standardized tests and large test systems like the College Board, and the fact that most people interacting with the system never speak to anyone beyond reading the website for proper steps to operate. What you see in TEST is the extension of this central social phenomenon extended in a "perfect" setting. Automation and anonymity offer a "perfect" bureaucracy wherein any development of the system is unseen in the "back-end" and the front user only sees the guidelines and rules in how to operate within the system.

Weber wasn't a fan of this type of bureaucracy, but in a way, you just spend 60 billion ISK to ensure that could continue to operate.

Dethmourne said...

@Gevlin stay in Dreddit (I doubt you'll be kicked over expressing your opinion on how our system works). Join Admiral Squad on jabber and hang out.

Anonymous said...

Sorry if I missed it, but where did you show that their lack of middle management makes them winning their wars?

Or in other words: correlation != causation.

Gevlon said...

I proved that small-corp-based alliances carry a huge dead weight.
Dead weight is bad.


After reading all these comments it sounds to me that you clearly aren't trying hard enough to be kicked. Also, besides the fact of :allthesewords: we still have a fine bromance goin on and just want some bro hugs. Stick around for the TEST for the lovin and if you're so inclined get involved in the social groups and actually kick it with members on mumble and other games. It's not just about a coalition in "EVE online", it's a community that does anything and everything together and has a blast in doin so.

Devore said...

Far more dead weight in any given corp/alliance than just middle management (taking your assertion middle management is dead weight at face value).

And this isn't going to get you kicked from TEST, why would it. You've spent 60 billion ISK to learn nothing. Everyone already knows the formula for the secret TEST sauce, but that doesn't mean they're automatically going to rush out and re-organize themselves the same way. It is perfectly rational to be in possession of the same facts as another person, and still reach a completely different conclusion. That doesn't make them wrong, doesn't make them stupid. That's how humanity works; we can disagree on fundamental issues, and still live next to each other.

Debra Tao said...

Middle management is something USUALLY bad in real life because managers cost too much money to be worth it if they aren't absolutely needed.

However in eve online nothing indicates that middle management is suboptimal because managers in eve aren't paid to do their job. Thus the main point against middle management doesn't exist in eve.

I bet Dreddit has some form of middle management : an intellingence service, some diplos, some people in charge of the logistic (importing, exporting, cynos...) don't tell me the newbie can import himself his stuff from high sec. I suppose Test also has POS officers, people to fuel these POSes and so on. The 'middle' management here is the same as in any normal null sec corp. I have never seen a corp with officers that don't have a clear role.
Dreddit maybe more succesful because they are larger :

IOD said...

Mmmmmh ... I think something is missing.
And for sure I'll miss your posts if you leave EVE (but if you give me your money I'll miss the posts a little bit less :PPPPP).

Anyway, I do not agree on two things:
- leaving the game as it is against your basic principles ... I mean, now you are at the top of your understanding of morons world, so you should start sharing your wisdom with us (maybe with your own corp ...)
- middle management is the core of success of any serious company (I can give you a few readings, if you want ... just start from H. Minzberg)

Keep calm and carry on, EVE needs you.
At least I do!


Fly safe

Thorrak said...

Honestly, I hope you stick around, and I hope that your "spying" is successful. I think nothing would be better than to have a universe full of corps that subscribe to the Dreddit/TEST mentality for Montolio to blue or reset at random.

At the end of the day I think what Dreddit/TEST have shown is that recruitment doesn't have to be a zero sum game, and when you construct an environment that fosters newbros everyone benefits. Even if -A- or Solar manage to become wildly successful by adopting everything you suggest it is unlikely to be at the expense of TEST - instead I think TEST's numbers would expand as well simply due to the increased activity in EVE.

tl;dr: Keep playing, lead a fleet (no matter how bad you think you might be at it), and I'll be happy to die gloriously in it. Even while you continue to "spy."

Gevlon said...

@Thorrak: good point, recruitment doesn't need to be zero-sum, especially as space resources are infinite.

@Debra: wrong and wrong. "an intellingence service, some diplos, some people in charge of the logistic" are experts and not managers as they are DOING something instead of commanding others doing it. Even FCs are experts as the fleet members want to fly and shoot and would do it in absence of FCs, the FC merely coordinate their fire. Management is defined as giving orders to people, making them do things they don't want and checking on them.

Also, you are wrong in them being without salary. They control the "corporate assets", everything that the corp members put into those hangars or pay as corp tax is practically their salary, that will sooner or later transform into "corp owned" (super)capitals that the middle managers control, but don't have time to fly as they are busy managing.

Mark Derekt said...

Gevlon, I believe I took your post the wrong way.

I've been thinking about trying EVE for its large-scale null sec battles for a long time. Now I'm even more interested and believe Dreddit is just the corporation I've been looking for.

However, the problem is requiring a reddit account of at least 3 months. While I've been a very interested reader of /r/gaming and /r/leagueoflegends, I never actually created an account (I'm more the introverted type).

As it seems like there's a lot of Dreddit members frequenting this section, I figured this might be a great place to ask for a sponsorship? You can reach me at mark derekt gmail com.

Kristophr said...


That was probably the fastest transition to bitter vet I have seen in my life.

Gratz on winning EvE, Gevlon.

And I really do mean it. If you aren't enjoying what you are doing, then why in the hell should you do it?

Debra Tao said...

In corporation managers do things, some are even experts. If you were in a corp with people 'managing others' while they aren't in charge of a specific field that is an issue however i do believe that Dreddit is far from being the only corp that has rationalized their management system, in N3 i know multiple corps where managers=experts according to your definition.

Unknown said...

Corporations (and alliances) are part of the physics of eve - the're coded by CCP just like jump gates and PI and everything else.

It's entirely possible for a team to exist and work outside of the in-game "clan" system. A pricing cartel or pump and dump boiler room scam are examples that might even be more effective if the members are split up into separate corporations.

The open-endedness of eve means that you choose your goals - all the typical goals are equally valid - including making the ISK number go up, crafting a good-looking killboard, identifying with your corp and making it a "large", "successful" corp, identifying with your alliance and making it a "large", "successful" alliance.

Anonymous said...

erProblem is, in my opinion is that you were really trying to win Eve.
One of them most beautiful things in this game is that you can form friendships, be social, be part of a group, hang out, enjoy each others company and have fun with a common goal: have fun.
I haven't tried nullsec because of the specific reasons you mention here.
I think smaller isolated corporations can be more fun, than being part of the biggest corp of the biggest alliance owning the biggest part of null exactly because even though you have a lot less ppl to talk to, you are way more social, know everyone, know what to expect from them (100-200 member corp for instance).