Excessive Growth and Corporate Parties

Corporate parties - essentially designed to celebrate company triumphs, whether hitting revenue targets or instilling the company's mission and vision into the employees - can often devolve into nothing more than an extravagant distraction. This illusion of harmony, of success, of the 'perfect' work environment is essentially the art of corporate virtue signaling. It's a façade masking the underbelly of what could potentially be inefficiency, misalignment, and, frankly, disarray.

This form of virtue signaling is pervasive mainly in the growing web3 space. Despite the industry being a hotbed of innovation and progress, there is a noticeable shortage of leadership talent capable of shepherding this growth. As a result, there's a tendency to fall back on old, traditional leadership and management patterns, including these orchestrated and, often, opulent celebrations.

The difference between self-organized events by the employees and those curated by the corporate entity is palpable. Such get-togethers are more personal, intimate and provide a safe space to share their experiences, challenges, and triumphs. It's not about the glitz or the glamour but the authentic human connection. Everyone is there because they want to be, not because they have to be.

In contrast, corporate-organized events often feel more like a spectacle than a gathering. With their impressive budgets, the company can afford to splurge on professional entertainers, spectacular fireworks, and other grand displays. However, it becomes less about celebrating the people and the company itself. At worst, these events can quickly devolve into a bragging contest, lacking the personal, genuine touch that makes the self-organized events unique.This façade, unfortunately, often leaves a bittersweet taste. On the one hand, there's the urge to let loose, dance, and have a good time. But on the other, there's a nagging realization that something's off, that the event lacks soul. It's an uncomfortable truth that makes genuinely enjoying the event challenging.

When the CEO takes the stage, the messaging is typically about KPIs, corporate processes, and organizational structure– the elements from which the event should provide a temporary respite. And yet, the next moment, music plays, celebrating freedom, creativity, and altruism. It's a stark contrast that borders on hypocrisy.

The real damage occurs when this culture of illusion takes over the core values and practices of the company. As these startups experience exponential growth, they must substantially expand their products and workforce. Management at this scale requires rigorous processes. Professionals adept at creating and maintaining these processes often come from traditional corporate backgrounds, and this mindset gradually infiltrates the rest of the company.

When these individuals are tasked with setting up a festival or a gathering, they approach it as they would any other task - as a process. While this may be necessary when operating at a scale of hundreds of people, it unfortunately often results in 'soulless' parties and agendas.

While corporate festivities aren't inherently wrong, they are often used as a smokescreen to mask more profound issues. More importantly, they lose the essence of what they're meant to be - a celebration of the people who make the company what it is. Companies, especially young startups, should strive to maintain their culture and authenticity as they grow. After all, no amount of corporate virtue signaling can substitute for a genuinely harmonious and innovative work environment where people strive to create something of substance.