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I've worked for a good number of years for a couple of big-tech companies (FAANG). I've seen just how efficient they are comparing to the rest of the IT industry.

I plan to tweet/linkedin about these differences and focus on how non-big-tech companies can use best-practices from big-tech companies to become more efficient, spend less money, hire better engineers, take better decisions, etc.

I'm really afraid I would sound arrogant. However I want to build an audience that would benefit from understanding why FAANG companies are successful and what can they do to improve their own environments as well.

Can you give me some tips about how to best tweet/linkedin about things that challenge people core beliefs without sounding arrogant or gaslighting them?

Thanks!

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  • Depends on your implied argument. "They are efficient because they are big" vs "they became big because they are efficient".
    – Alexander
    Dec 29, 2021 at 21:15
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    The greatest risk of sounding arrogant will likely come from your intention to "challenge people['s] core beliefs." Are you sure you need to frame things this way? Why not just focus on "understanding why FAANG companies are successful"? In other words, instead of "We're better than you, so you should do things the way we do," try "Doing things this way has worked for us. Maybe it will also work for you."
    – Juhasz
    Dec 29, 2021 at 21:41

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Codeless Code Case 196 has some very pithy and wise advice on this subject.

“You speak to your peers as if they were empty registers waiting to be filled with the bits of your wisdom. Ours may be a dry digital world, but it is built atop wetware, which is squishy and irrational and prone to overheating. You cannot flip a brain from zero to one simply by praising the one. You must start at the zero, extoll its virtues, explore its faults, exhort your listeners to look beyond it. To weigh the zero against the one, the listener must have both in mind together. Only when they have freely chosen the one will they abandon the zero.”

You won't change minds by declaring that your way is superior, or better. This is the number one way that you will come across as arrogant - by declaring "this is better than what you are doing" and not "here is how we do it and why it works for us, maybe it will work for you." It's possible, even likely, that something that worked for your specific organization might not work half as well for another, simply because every organization is different and has different people and needs. Not every organization needs or wants to be constantly innovating and changing, either.

What I'm saying is essentially:

  • Don't write like an authority, claim to know better, or portray yourself as a gifted, insightful genius. Don't use words like "I'm the best at what I do" or rattle off your accomplishments like a hit list.
  • Don't present your insights like hard rules everyone should follow. Don't use phrases like "the best way" or "the most effective way."
  • Don't talk down to your audience, insult their credentials and accomplishments, or belittle their intelligence. I can't tell you how sick I am of seeing posts from professionals asserting "if you're getting [x] degree or certification, you're wasting your time" or "you absolutely need [x] to be successful or you're doing it wrong" or "[x] is what's wrong with young people today." Please don't be one of those people.

Instead:

  • Do write like a teacher, a guide and an advisor. Use phrases like "I've had a lot of experience in this area." It's completely okay to say how many years of experience you have to substantiate your claims, but don't use your accolades as a shield.
  • Do present your methodology as insights, suggestions and helpful guidance, instead of ironclad rules. Use phrases like "in my organization this works well" and "it may be helpful for you to try [x]." Imagine the way you'd want an advisor or mentor to offer you their insights if you were a young or less experienced person, somebody who probably doesn't like hearing even more things they must do to get to where you are, and write accordingly.
  • Accept comments, additions and critiques your piece may receive with grace. Most people want to genuinely be constructive and add their own experiences onto yours. If they're well-intentioned, let them - we have so much to learn from others, regardless of our own age or experience. Being open-minded and absorbing the insights of others is a big part of making your own insights more helpful, and gives you even more pearls of wisdom to dispense in future.

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