Jim Barksdales Rules of Snakes

Filed under: — menk @ 9:17 am

Jim Barksdale

Having worked at Netscape from November 1995 to the time I departed (post AOL merger) in March of 2000, I sincerely believe that Jim Barksdale is the best executive I have ever had the privilege of working for. He is honest, knowledgable and valued his employees to a degree I had not seen nor have since.

Jim was renowned for his ability to voice his beliefs and summarize situations in manner at once ‘down home’ and exactly to the point. My personal favorite was Barksdale’s “3 rules of snakes” where snakes allude to business issues and problems.

“We have 3 rules at Netscape.”

“The first rule is if you see a snake, don’t call committees, don’t call your buddies, don’t form a team, don’t get a meeting together, just kill the snake.

The second rule is don’t go back and play with dead snakes. Too many people waste too much time on decisions that have already been made.

And the third rule of snakes is: all opportunities start out looking like snakes.”

Here is a list of many Barksdaleisms as they are called.

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