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The “fierce nerd” sounds a lot like what Reed Hastings (Netflix, Founder) calls “brilliant jerks.” To quote his recent book:

> Sometimes really talented people have heard for so long how great they are, they begin to feel they really are better than everybody else. They might smirk at ideas they find unintelligent, roll their eyes when people are inarticulate, and insult those they feel are less gifted then they are.

At Netflix, they say “no brilliant jerks” because they will “rip your organization apart from the inside”.[0]

A lot of this sounds like justification for a brilliant jerk’s behavior. While it’s tempting to take the “fierce nerd” badge and wear it proudly, ferocity can turn into jerkiness pretty quickly.


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