In other news, I’m a genius. No, really. I can’t tell you why I’m a genius, or how it’s been applied to my own devious ends, but I am, and I have. Unrelatedly (which I just made up), mission statements are evil. In my new group, we’re trying to come up with one. Why? I’m not sure. Mission statements are silly, if you ask me (I know you didn’t, but really, do I care if you did? Nope). They’re meaningless. No one reads them. No one actually tries to apply them. We spend days, hours, weeks trying to come up with the perfect profound sentance that sums up our purpose in our corporate lives. Everyone gets a say, a tweak here and there until it loses any meaning it might have had. To tweak a cliche: the road to hell is paved with mission statements.
The only mission statement I’ve ever liked is Google’s. “Don’t be evil” should be every company’s mission statement. The problem is, again, no one actually lives by or follows their mission statement. It’s something to put on a plaque, in the little writeup on the corporate intranet, and give idle hands something to do.
In an attempt to at least play along, I came up with some possibilities for my new group:
- We’re pirates… ARGH!
- We don’t believe in mission statements. We believe in ransom notes and manifestos.
- We try, but usually fail, not to be evil. I mean, come on, look at us. Would you think us capable of not being evil?
- We like pancakes and don’t believe in mission statements. We believe mission statements are meaningless pabulum that don’t do anyone any good.
- We’re on a mission from God, much like Jake and Elwood Blues, to build scalable, maintainable, sleek and graceful web applications using the best technology for the job, good design, well-placed effort, our unmistakable talent, and irrepressable joi di vivre.