Surrounded By Idiots

The What, Why and How of ensuring you’re not surrounded by idiots

Rameez Kakodker
14 min readMay 7, 2022


Note: This is a long one. You can skip to the bottom and read the tl;dr.

Do you think that the other team/dept is full of idiots? Do you feel that management of a particular issue was ruled by a clear attempt to demonstrate the levels of stupidity humanity can achieve? Do you sometimes consider your developers/team members as idiots who’ve stumbled through life to reach their current station?

You’re surrounded by idiots! There is no way that tasks can be given to a team, especially strategic tasks, that they can execute within bounds of reasonable judgment. They are bound to mess up something. Increasing your work and that of your team.

If you’ve nodded vigorously on the above statement, then I have news for you! You may not be surrounded by idiots. In fact, the people on the other end of your disappointment stick may be smart and brilliant, like you!

Impossible? They’ve time and again disappointed you and your team? They’ve taken dangerous decisions that a fresh college graduate could see failing?

Yeah… that can happen.

Let’s talk about you for a second. You are one of, if not the smartest person on the floor. You think light years ahead.

That makes you question the hiring practices mostly everywhere you go. You’ve started becoming cynical — judging folks under isolated conditions (“Oh! Bob is dumb — he said POs & PMs are the same” or “Alice doesn’t know what she’s talking about — she asked for birthday mailer automation when we asked her for automation use cases”). Being a smart cynic — you’ve attracted a following: people like to listen to your sage preaching on how something ought to have been done, and how you would have done it, if only you had the position.

Cynics are cursed with the self-fulfilling prophecy of echo chambers. The more cynical you are, the more you think you are right — making you more critical of others. Cynics are surrounded by idiots — not because they attract idiots, they label everyone who is not them as idiots.



Rameez Kakodker

100+ Articles on Product, Design & Tech | Top Writer in Design | Simplifying complexities at Majid Al Futtaim |