I am an entrepreneur with 2 software businesses, both quickly growing.

I have a lot of questions and advice I need on handling fairly specific situations to my business. So far I haven't found a good place to discuss these important issues except for personal mentors.

I believe in sharing knowledge/experiences I get to help others. I also believe in the "knowledge of the masses" and making decisions based off of concrete facts.

A lot of my questions involve:

  • Forming Company Policy - on anything from security to HR.
  • Examining reasons why certain corporate policies exist and figuring out alternatives (ex: Why is there a stigma in corporations against revealing hourly rates and salaries? Anyone implement “transparent salaries” policy?
  • Leadership - how to be a good leader
  • What are good and bad qualities in employees - ex what makes a good and bad developers
  • Interview Strategies
  • Compensation strategies
  • Ideas for employee satisfaction
  • Ideas to encourage transparency
  • Encouraging certain behaviors - question would be whether or not it's in company's best interest to encourage something
  • Discourage other behaviors
  • Thinking of incentives to encourage those behaviors and disincentives to discouraged the bad ones
  • Advise on handling difficult employees (phrased as "employee x is doing y. I want him to do z")
  • Finance: how to get loans, cash flow problems, credit card usage

Skimming through the questions on Workplace.StackExchange, they usually seem to be asked from the "employee" POV. I would really like a place where managers/leadership like myself could ask questions as well.

My theory is the reason why there are so many dissatisfied employees is because management generally doesn't have enough open discussion to figure out better ways to manage. For the most part it's hard as an entrepreneur to get unbiased advice on how they should handle a situation. They're just expected to "fix it" or "know". In fact upper management looks down on managers who come whining to them about how to solve problems. This could be a "safe place" for managers to start asking the questions in their head.

A lot of times these questions get down-voted (especially in the beginning), and I'm not 100% sure why...

I would like to have a meta discussion on what types of questions the community wants and why. I would also like some advice on how to phrase my questions better to be accepted.

1 Answer 1


The Workplace welcomes questions from both employees and employers (and prospective ones of each). Many of the topics you listed would be on-topic if asked in an appropriate way.

What Stack Exchange sites in general do not welcome is opinion-based discussion-forum posts. We're really focused on asking answerable questions and getting good answers to those questions. Good questions ask why and how, not what should I do or is this better than that (or its cousin this is better than that, right?).

Some helpful reading material:

  • I think I get the gist. However I will probably need do go through a few examples to understand "subjective vs objective". For example, why would this questions: "What qualities in a developer should be encouraged by Leadership in a Startup?" workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/30597/… be down-voted? (I think it definitely has concrete answers that have various studies associated. There may be slight differences in opinions on some points but overall it can generate a lot of facts and case studies/articles
    – Toli
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:02
  • (contd) supporting those facts. Another meta-meta question, what is the proper way to discuss the reason why a certain question is downvoted?
    – Toli
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:02
  • @AnatoliyZaslavskiy, downvotes are anonymous, and nobody has any requirement to explain them. Even if you were to ask, there is no guarantee of an answer (not even the mods know who downvoted). In this case though, it was downvoted because it is 100% asking folks, "Hey, what's your opinion?" Our site is not a discussion forum, it's a Q&A site. We want questions that will help future visitors facing the same issue, like How should I indicate language proficiency on my resume? which has a straight answer.
    – jmac
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:10
  • @jmac is there a list of bad questions anywhere (for the Workplace space) explaining why they were "bad questions" and how (if at all) they could be rephrased to be "good questions". I think that would be a lot more useful than showing good questions. To a new user (such as myself) it is fairly hard to distinguish the patterns between a good question and bad question with only examples of good. I also think it may discourage many new users from posting if they don't understand why their questions were downvoted/how they can improve phrasing.
    – Toli
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:31
  • 2
    Monica has been kind enough to give several articles to read @Anatoliy, most of which have examples and act as the basis for what you will learn by hanging around and reading questions here for a while.
    – jmac
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:35
  • (cont) I think it would help the community a LOT if more time was spent explaining reasoning behind why a question is "bad" and coaching new users on how to improve their phrasing. Even though it takes more time in the beginning it may be worth doing to cultivate more members in the community. Think about it like training. You wouldn't just send a programmer out to write software then fire him because he doesn't follow your format? Instead you would train him in the company's coding standards and then correct code style errors during code reviews giving concrete suggestions on improvement.
    – Toli
    Jul 15, 2014 at 3:36
  • @AnatoliyZaslavskiy the intention is that when a question is closed, the close reason given there explains why. Granted that these are canned reasons, but closures do tend to fall into broad categories like that. Searching for closed questions should provide a decent sample to work from. Often people do leave comments too, explaining how a post can be improved. This is something that has to come from the community at large; three moderators can't possibly analyze and write up responses for every single question -- too many! I'm trying to help, not brush you off; hope I succeeded. Jul 15, 2014 at 3:42
  • @AnatoliyZaslavskiy Speaking as someone who downvoted the mentioned question, the question was also very broad. A better question might be along the lines of "how do I encourage X behavior in employees", such as How Can I Encourage a Culture of Punctuality in a Software Company and Ways to Encourage Employees to be Proactive Jul 15, 2014 at 17:59

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