What is a friend?

One of my buddies just got riffed from his company. I know he’ll be fine. He’s one of those kind of people that just make things work. He’s good with people, and knows how all the parts fit together within a big company. More importantly, he’s good people. You can tell he’s got a big heart.

It got me to thinking about the layers and components of friendship. I might have passed 100k people, met 10k, have 1k as friendly acquaintances. How many people are your active friends, vs inactive friends? What level of friendship and trust do you have with them? Some people just shine, or we feel an attachment towards. Where do celebrities fit in here?

Then you get into the obligation factors. Some, you know want or need help all the time. There’s a distance there, because it’s a hassle. Others, you would help out any time because you know it’s just simple, convenient stuff, or the scales will always balance out. Others, you know would never ask for anything, so if they actually needed something, it would be major, and you’d step right up and help.

Then the time factor. This varies by people, both sides, but sometimes, you want to spend time with people, and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, it’s to *do* something, and sometimes, it’s to do nothing. Maybe a movie, or video games, or sports, or drinks and cards. Or maybe it’s just being in proximity of someone who’s easy to hang around. One person reads, another person works, another person naps.

And then, Family comes into play. Blood relation is one type of family, but then there’s “non-people”, or chosen family, as well.

Anyway, I’m not going anywhere with this. Just, caffeine, plus recent events got me thinking. By will alone I set my mind in motion.

What’s in a name?

If the product says “High Quality” in its name, it probably isn’t. The addition to the name is because it’s really not obvious otherwise.

The same goes with “Truth”. There seem to be many different versions, and usually the ones claiming to be “true” are more distant from reality.

A friend and teacher passed on a comparison of CEO to Worker salaries across multiple countries. It painted the US in pretty poor light. Most countries were shown in the 11 to 22x range, but the US was 457x.

There were no qualifiers, sources, etc were includes, and i wanted to know if this was for all CEOs, or just a subset. So, what do do? Research, of course.

It looked like it was for more than the 100, but less than the total in the US.

CEO #100’s total compensation is 541x the average worker. If you include only raw pay, and not deferred compensation (options, etc), the top 100 are still well above 100x the average worker.

Note that the average worker pay is roughly 15% lower than the average full-time worker, which is probably a better comparison (CEOs work more than full-time).

It’s not as bleak as it looks from this. The median income for a CEO is around $225k (6.5x), and the mean income is around $550k (16x). http://www.statisticbrain.com/ceo-statistics/

Though, the mean had a little SWAG to it, and it may be higher as per http://www1.salary.com/Chief-Executive-Officer-Salary.html

There are around 6 million CEOs in the US (assuming all companies with employees have a CEO, and all companies without employees don’t have a CEO). http://www.census.gov/econ/smallbus.html

Breakdown of compensation for the top 100 are at http://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-You/100-Highest-Paid-CEOs

Personal notes: Being a CEO in reality takes special skills and experience, which become more important as the company size grows. A big part of this is having your shit together, and not sabotaging yourself – surprisingly difficult in reality. If you had more than a marginal chance to make a Fortune 1000 company 5% more efficient, then why aren’t you? How much of this is jealousy? Why is it okay to be hostile towards over 6 million people because a few hundred of them were able to convince a group of directors that they were worth so much deferred income (stock options, etc).?