Having experiences in corporate life, it's been informative comparing it to the movies I saw growing up.
Granted, my views are skewed by always being in the creative departments. I never really had to file TPS reports all day.
But you still get a very clear sense that you're a piece in a machine that's much larger than yourself. And all the frictions what come about when you start adding up all the people involved in a chain.
Each person with different motivations, in different stages of their career, and different definitions of success.
It all adds up to this feeling that you're the one out-of-place. You start thinking that people are less motivated than you. That they're settling down, or rushing up the ladder. Or even sabotaging you.
But I don't think it's ever that dramatic. And yet it's hard not to feel that way, that this great big machine is out to get you.
It gets really fascinating when you see how all these people choose to react to this general culture. How they cope. Where they compromise. Where they make assumptions about what will "never change here." (These "solutions" seem like the things that really mess up your own goals and aspirations.)
Now, it's not to say that I'd like a company of people who are fully the same. No, I would hope that the ideal is somewhere in-between. That the differences that arise result in better conversations and better debates and better solutions.
But there's a point of which the debates become dictates. And compromise become acquiescence.
I can see why people go off to make their own companies and startups. And they hope the people they then surround themselves with match closer to their motivations, stage of career, and definition of success.