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Reader Mail: February 2010

Enjoying Jason Fried and defending Ayn Rand.

Takin' Care of Business

Jason Fried's approach to business was a breath of fresh air [The Way I Work, November]. It's sometimes hard to decide which efforts are most important during my multitasking day. But my work ethic parallels Fried's unstructured, just-get-it-done kind of attitude. Thank you for putting it out there. You made my day a little bit more focused.

Rebecca Michaels
CEO, Violet Love Brands, Los Angeles

Reading about Jason Fried, I thought, This man sounds like a reasonable, thoughtful manager, someone smart enough to run a company. Then I read that he doesn't read fiction. That's fine. Except he dismissed the entire art as "a waste of time" -- he called it "made-up" stories.

To characterize the canon of literature this way, to not understand its importance or the lessons and insight it has provided our culture and all cultures since the beginning of civilization, is shortsighted. I have to think this oversight plays out in his work.

David Singer
Delmar, New York

Missed Diagnosis

Senior Whole Health CEO John Baackes has a lot of great ideas ["How to Fix Health Care," November], but he missed the 800-pound gorilla in the room -- the U.S. government. The premiums paid for Medicare are about 80 percent below market, for political reasons. This leads to vast overuse of medical resources and drives up prices for the rest of us. I see no reason a senior with the income and assets to pay for the true cost of health insurance should not do so. We need to get the government and the employer out of the health care business and stop playing a shell game that hides health costs in the form of taxes and future debt.

Quinton Hiebert
CPA, Mustang, Oklahoma

Unvarnished or Unfair?

In a magazine devoted to the spirit of entrepreneurship, I was surprised and disappointed to see an article on Ayn Rand that was tagged as an exposé of her personal life ["Who Is Ayn Rand?" November].

True, some of the article was a fair and accurate summary of Rand's views on business and her amazing influence on the business climate of the latter half of the 20th century. But then the article became a tawdry attempt at discrediting her personally in order to obliquely attack her philosophy. The caricature you used in the beginning to set the tone clearly demonstrates your editorial bias.

If your magazine disagrees with her philosophy, at least offer up a decent argument that can be evaluated against the facts.

John Woolington
Harbor City, California

The Downside of Slow and Steady

It never occurred to me that despite our 50 percent year-over-year growth, we are in serious danger when other competitors are outgrowing us. Joel Spolsky [How Hard Could It Be? November] has given me a lot to think about.

Rob Nelson
President and CEO, Logica, Salt Lake City

Correction

A caption on the November cover incorrectly stated that Ann Marie Sastry's company, Sakti3, is making a battery for the Chevy Volt. Though Sakti3 is a GM partner in battery technology, Sakti3 does not have a role in the Volt battery and has not been awarded any future Volt business.

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Last updated: Feb 1, 2010




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