PayPal President David Marcus and The Wrath of Cant

David Marcus may not have endeared himself to some of those who work for him in San Jose, Calif., by admonishing them if they don't use PayPal apps.

David Marcus Le Web/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I am currently having trouble with my neighbor.

She doesn't like it when I park my car in a public parking spot outside her house. So instead of either explaining her ire or even cajoling me with charm, she placed an intemperate note on the windshield last night, one that was wet by morning.

I don't believe she is related to PayPal CEO David Marcus. However, I found some similarities in the prickly note my neighbor wrote to me (Gist: "The parking space outside my house is mine!") and the one Marcus sent to his San Jose, Calif., employees.

He was allegedly upset, you see, that some slackers in the Valley don't seem to fully embrace every PayPal product.

So, as VentureBeat reports, he wrote an e-mail to them all, spelling out the true beauty of the company's apps and sweet-talking the employees into sampling them, if they hadn't already done so.

Here's a sample of the subtle persuasion: "If you are one of the folks who refused to install the PayPal app or if you can't remember your PayPal password, do yourself a favor, go find something that will connect with your heart and mind elsewhere."

Before offering the parting line of "Onward with passion, purpose, and gusto!", Marcus wished to guide them toward enlightenment, with the gentle hand of Yoda.

He wrote: "A life devoid of purpose, and passion in what you do everyday is a waste of the precious time you have on this earth to make it better."

Yes, if you work for PayPal and don't use the highly convenient PayPal app, you are likely wasting your precious time on this Earth.

Marcus himself was upset with VentureBeat for initially featuring only some of his e-mail. On his Twitter account, he wrote: "@jordannovet @VentureBeat great job taking my internal email out of context by selecting few excerpts only."

Venture Beat has now printed the whole e-mail, which began with: "I need your help."

In reading the whole thing, I find its words aren't unlike those of a newly appointed school prefect in a second-tier British public school who cannot believe that some pupils blow bubbles during prayers.

There's just a touch too much cant.

It may well be that Marcus fears too many of his San Jose employees are slovenly, careless souls, there merely to make a buck. He may be right. There are quite a few of those in many San Jose concerns.

However, it's his logic in wanting them all to use PayPal products that might deserve consideration.

In his e-mail, he wrote: "Everyone at PayPal should use our products where available. That's the only way we can make them better, and better."

Some might wonder whether there might be more ways. One way to make products better (and better) is to put them out into the market. That way, you can see how they're adopted, watch how much they're used, and understand whether they really do make people's lives better (and better).

Another is to understand how people's minds work before you launch a product and create something that they soon find irresistible. Personally, I have so far lived without a PayPal app and don't yet believe that this has adversely affected my life. (I blame the people I know at PayPal for not persuading me.)

It may well be that some PayPal employees don't want to try PayPal products out of sheer indifference. I doubt these types work in marketing.

It may also be that some have examined them and found them wanting. It could be that some of these people work in accounting. Now there's where I'd start my investigation. Those people always know more than anyone else.

But, you see, if my neighbor had knocked on my door and said: "Hey, whatever your name is. Is there any way you could move your car, as my proctologist is coming for dinner and he's a bit of an ass?", then I would have bowed and reached for my car keys.

Instead, I will be dropping a marginally sarcastic note into her mail box this evening, just as, I suspect, some PayPal employees might today be committing their gusto to finding a new job.

There is always something frustrating for a company president when some of your employees aren't as committed to the cause as you are.

It can happen, though, that one of the reasons they're not as committed is you.

 

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