Rafał Malinowski

961 days ago

I’m still not fully certain why I got the axe; it was never made explicit to me. I asked other managers and those on the highest level of leadership, and everyone seemed be as confused as I was.

My best guess is that it’s Tall Poppy Syndrome, a phrase I was unfamiliar with until an Aussie told me about it. (Everything worthwhile in life I’ve learned from an Australian, basically.) The tallest poppy gets cut first.

With that, I don’t mean that I’m particularly talented or anything like that; I mean that I was the most obvious advocate internally for certain viewpoints, given how I’ve talked externally about how the old GitHub worked. In Japanese the phrase apparently translates to The tallest nail gets the hammer, which I think works better for this particular situation, heh. I had on occasion mentioned internally my misgivings about the lack of movement happening on any product development, and additionally the increasing unhappiness of many employees due to some internal policy changes and company growth.

Firing People


So it’s been a little over a year since GitHub fired me. Let me just say one thing first: it’s pretty goddamn weird to have so many people interested in discussing one of your biggest professional failures.