McLeod Hierarchy


Losers are in a losing position economically. think of the clearest example, when you subcontract for JHouse, who pays you $50/hour, for work they charge clients $125 for. They sacrifice liberty for stability. It's a position of lacking leverage

They optimize for anything outside of work that matters to them.

Being a programmer is ipso facto being a loser, because its a labor position, and all laborers are losers. Its incompatible with being an executive or owner.


Clueless are called that because they are loyal to a company that will never be loyal to them. They optimize for corporate identity. They are overly invested in "corporate culture."


Optimize for success. They build and play "heads I win, tails you lose" types of games.

how do people become sociopaths? they are dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, and being forced into powerless positions. they begin to suspect reality is more complex than what is being presented.

sociopaths begin to create the realities of the losers and the clueless. once they see that realities can be created, things start to lose meaning. as things lose meaning, the sociopaths gain power.

sociopaths see that there is one reality, and there are no social realities. this leads to the notion of the “absent god.”

A Softer Version

In [Developer Hegemony], Erik Dietrich has a softer framing of losers, clueless and sociopaths: pragmatists, idealists, and opportunists, respectively.

Communication between Types

Hierarchy as Characters from The Office (U.S.)

McLeod Life Cycle of Firm

A sociopath recruits losers to start an organization, then some clueless to manage it. eventually, losers leave, the system starts to collapse, then the sociopaths leave.

The principle: sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into middle management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare minimum losers to fend for themselves

All organizations are mortal; sociopaths extract value until they die.

Eventually organizations are killed by organizational dark matter.

Further Reading