With Goals, FAST Beats SMART
Goal setting via FAST (frequently discussed, ambitious, specific, transparent).
okr  goals  fast  management 
7 days ago
Quote: "One common pitfall for large organizations – one that hurts speed and inventiveness – is “one-size-fits-all” decision making.

Some decisions are consequential and irreversible or nearly irreversible – one-way doors – and these decisions must be made methodically, carefully, slowly, with great deliberation and consultation. If you walk through and don’t like what you see on the other side, you can’t get back to where you were before. We can call these Type 1 decisions. But most decisions...
decision-making  amazon  bezos  management  thinking  prioritization 
12 days ago
An Interactive Introduction to Attractor Landscapes
Quote: "Why do many complex systems – cultures, environments, economies – seem stuck (or if good, "stable") despite lots of effort to change them? And why, when change does come, it seems to cascade (or if bad, "collapse") all at once?"

A great visualization, very well done.
attractors  repellers  tipping-point 
13 days ago
How Netflix Redesigned Board Meetings
Quote: "... 30-page online memos in narrative form that not only include links to supporting analysis but also allow open access to all data and information on the company’s internal shared systems" and day long and 2 day long QBR's.
netflix  management  meetings 
14 days ago
How to Run a Quarterly Product Strategy Meeting: A Board Meeting for Product
Quarterly product strategy meetings, with metrics... or one key metrics, swim lanes (groups of teams), optimization vs. innovation, tightly aligned & loosely coupled organizations, have it out converations, testing and learning.
netflix  organization  strategy  meeting  planning  product 
25 days ago
Henry Ford, Innovation, and That “Faster Horse” Quote
Quote: "In 1921, the Ford Motor Company sold about 2/3 of all the cars built in the U.S. By 1926, this share had fallen to approximately 1/3. And in 1927, when Ford belatedly responded (at tremendous financial cost and internal strife) to changes in the market’s tastes and competitive innovation by shutting down production temporarily to re-tool his factories and bring the Model A to the market, that percentage fell to about 15%."
business  innovation  ford  customerfocus 
25 days ago
What Cracking Open a Sonos One Tells Us About the Sonos IPO
A great teardown of consumer hardware, a world I'll never understand.
hardware  sonos  audio  teardown 
4 weeks ago
The hotel bathroom puzzle | Alec Nevala-Lee
Quote: "When simple things need instructions, it is a certain sign of poor design.” And that’s as true of stories as of sinks. Whenever a movie gives us an introductory scroll of text, a lingering shot of a sign, or a chyron to explain where we are or how much time has passed, it signals that the underlying problem hasn’t really been solved. If you want to find the right answer, you have to start by asking the right question. And then you can soak in the tub until you’ve figured it out—as long a...
design  usability  engineering  problemsolving 
5 weeks ago
Andrej Karpathy_Final
Some awesome / interesting challenges for Telsa / AI as we all seek to have self-driving cars.
tesla  ai  ml 
7 weeks ago
I've Got Some Things to Say | By Romelu Lukaku
One to remember the next time you pull the milk out of the refrigerator.
culture  poverty  soccer 
7 weeks ago
Productivity in the age of hypergrowth.
Quote: "One specific tool that I've found extremely helpful here is an ownership registry which allows you to look up who owns what, eliminating the frequent "who owns X?" variety of question. You'll need this sort of thing to automate paging the right oncall rotation, so might as well get two useful tools out of it!"

Not the first time I've heard of this. Lots of other good points.
management  engineering  programming  scaling 
7 weeks ago
Farnam Street Principles
Quote: "All that we write about, think about, and strive for at Farnam Street draws inspiration from one of these five principles: Direction Over Speed, Live Deliberately, Thoughtful Opinions Held Loosely, Principles Outlive Tactics, and Own Your Actions." In my words: think about where you're going, live in the now, be open to changing your mind, develop your core, it's ok to be wrong.
life  culture  management  strategy 
7 weeks ago
Monitoring in the time of Cloud Native – Cindy Sridharan – Medium
Quote: "Soon enough, if not already, we’ll be at that point where the network and underlying hardware failures have been robustly abstracted away from us, leaving us with the sole responsibility to ensure our application is good enough to piggy bank on top of the latest and greatest in networking and scheduling abstractions."
monitoring  observability  devops  tracing  logging  metrics 
may 2018
How to Identify Talent: Five Lessons from the NFL Draft - Behavioral Scientist
Quote: "... This applies to all judgments. Hiring is best thought of as a forecasting process, and the only way to improve forecasts is to map them against results and refine the process over time. By doing this, teams learn which tests matter most, which questions are more informative, and which scouts are best with each position on the field.

Many organizations don’t bother keeping score, because the payoff is delayed; it can be years before enough data arrive for reliable insights. The kind ...
management  hiring  recruiting  talent  long-view 
may 2018
Keep The Degree Of Difficulty Down – AVC
Quote: "I have sat through numerous pitches where I am listening to the founder explain their technology and go to market plan and I think “this is going to be a reverse triple somersault with two twists in pike and there is no way they are going to land it.”

I've sat through similar pitches... all inside companies though. Also, ".. doing the easier things perfectly thousands of times instead of the hard thing just once."
simplicity  risk  strategy 
may 2018
My Berkshire Hathaway Reflections
Quote: "The world we live in is full of 24/7 noise — full of people who are trying to tell us to learn about the new and novel, people telling us we can get something for nothing, people trying to tell us the unknowable, people who won’t do the work. When you’re living in the moment, it’s hard to see that you’re in this system. It’s only when you step back that you realize that your mind has become cluttered and you’ve lost a sense of what’s important and what’s meaningful."
business  life  culture  long-view  thinking  time-horizon 
april 2018
Migrations: the sole scalable fix to tech debt.
Quote: "Lore tells us that Googlers have a phrase, "Running to stand still", to describe a team whose entire capacity is consumed in upgrading dependencies and patterns, such that it can't make forward progress on the product/system they own."
engineering  programming  development  devops  software 
april 2018
Spurs’ Title Is a Testament to Persistence - The New York Times
Quote: "“When nothing seems to help,” it reads, “I go back and look at the stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it — but all that had gone before.”
persistence  long-view  time 
april 2018
Can You Pass a C.E.O. Test? - The New York Times
Quote: "The most important thing is that you treat everybody incredibly well and lead with a bit of humility. I’ve found that when I go into a company to lead it’s important to have a plan and to make that plan a simple one that everybody can understand. So even before I go into a company, or even if we’re looking at a business here at CCMP, I’m constantly asking the question, “What are the two or three levers that, if done right, if pulled correctly, will really turn this business?” Then what I...
leadership  management  priorities 
april 2018
LOVE so much about this:

1) "Unrealistic beliefs on scope – often hidden and undiscussed – kill high standards. To achieve high standards yourself or as part of a team, you need to form and proactively communicate realistic beliefs about how hard something is going to be – something this coach understood well."

2) "Even in the example of writing a six-page memo, that’s teamwork. Someone on the team needs to have the skill, but it doesn’t have to be you. (As a side note, by tradition at Amazon, authors’ names never appear on the memos – the memo is from the whole team.)"
amazon  leadership  management  culture  team  team-first 
april 2018
Going from director to VP isn’t as easy as it seems | Financial Post
Good list: 1) Must be thought of as an expert and trusted source in their area of influence; a technical master and authentic subject-matter expert 2) Contributes at the senior level by working across different strategic and business units in the company; able to set, engage and champion the objectives of the organization across the board and with their team, 3) Builds organizational capacity; motivates and challenges others in a way that inspires and promotes excellence. Leads and develops peop...
management  career  organization 
april 2018
Career Development:  What It Really Means to be a Manager, Director, or VP | Kellblog
Quote: "Managers are paid to drive results with some support. They have experience in the function, can take responsibility, but are still learning the job and will have questions and need support. They can execute the tactical plan for a project, but typically can’t make it. Directors are paid to drive results with little or no supervision (“set and forget”). Directors know how to do the job. They can make a project’s tactical plan in their sleep. They can work across the organization to get...
management  organization  career 
april 2018
Understanding Speed and Velocity: Saying "NO" to the Non-Essential
Quote: "Velocity and speed are different things. Speed is the distance traveled over time. I can run around in circles with a lot of speed and cover several miles that way, but I’m not getting anywhere. Velocity measures displacement. It’s direction-aware."
life  management  productivity  work  career  psychology 
april 2018
No, seriously. Root Cause is a Fallacy. – Will Gallego
Quote: If you’re looking for a substitute for the phrase “root cause”, one that would typically allow for you to illustrate an important point without conceding that there’s a place to stop (beyond our finite limit to dig into everything), I use the following:

Contributing factors
Surrounding events
One of many components
Influencing ideas
engineering  rca  root-cause-assessment 
april 2018
Netflix FlameScope – Netflix TechBlog – Medium
When metrics and second level granularity isn't enough.
netflix  performance  cpu  perf  debug  flamescope 
april 2018
The End of Windows – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
Really interesting to see how language evolves at scale.
microsoft  windows  azure  business  language  strategy 
april 2018
How to Run a Quarterly Product Strategy Meeting: A Board Meeting for Product
Quote: "The way I define the product leader’s job is to delight customers, in margin-enhancing, hard-to-copy ways."

This and so many other good things about this blog post.
leadership  meetings  product  strategy 
march 2018
How to Rands – Rands in Repose
This blog post and every other thing that Mr. Lopp writes should be required reading for new managers.
management  leadership 
march 2018
Interviewing Product Managers – Product Management Insider – Medium
Good thinking about the process that should be in place when hiring more than a single product manager.
hiring  productmanagement  career  people 
march 2018
Customer Satisfaction at the Push of a Button | The New Yorker
Quote: "... It’s also reasonably certain that, no matter what you do for a living, becoming less aggravating to others while you’re on the job is likely to make you and your co-workers more contented as well. “At the end of the day, we all care about how we’re treated,” Theisen said."
customerservice  feedback  research  happiness  business 
march 2018
Leslie’s Law: When Small Meets Large, Small (Almost) Always Wins | First Round Review
Quote: "... When a sleek, small player enters the market, it does so by creating a low-friction, high-fit and finish product that is sold at a low price to a large market. These new products are sold to a portion of the market that cannot access the larger products due to the cost of entry (in dollars and complexity) and the cost of ownership."
competition  startup  strategy  innovators-dilemma 
march 2018
What We Need in a VP of Product Management | - Rich Mironov's Product Bytes
Quote: "At the executive level, decision-making can be about personalities, selective memory and emotional-tinged beliefs. So someone has to be the Chief Rationalist. It might be the VP Marketing, or the COO. Often, it’s the VP Product Management."
productmanagement  decision-making  thinking  leadership 
march 2018
Spotify Squad framework — Part I – Product Management 101 – Medium
Quote: "... Loosely coupled, tightly aligned squads."

Lately I've been seeing loosely coupled but not aligned.
development  management  spotify  teams 
march 2018
Rethinking Product Management: How to Get from Start-up to Scale-up | Organizational Physics by Lex Sisney
Quote: "... some symptoms of a Product Management breakdown will show up when there is one or more of these conditions:

Poor coordination between sales, engineering, manufacturing, and marketing
Haphazard quality in new product releases
A struggle to translate customer needs into a delightful customer experience
Growing revenues but little or no profits
Finger-pointing and blame between departments
Perpetually late product development
A strong technical product but poor product marketing or vic...
product-management  pm  organization  engineering 
march 2018
The hidden costs of serverless – Amiram Shachar – Medium
Quote: "... While it might be worthwhile to consider the various free tiers across providers, most of these free tiers don’t discuss those “hidden” costs — networking, API requests, and storage."
lambda  aws  serverless  pricing 
march 2018
Who I want to work for – keavy – Medium
Characteristics that make for an ideal leader. Epic.
culture  leadership  management  work  career  team 
march 2018
Ten Year's Worth of Learnings About Pricing
This and many of pricing blog posts on his site are great.
pricing  startups  strategy  economics  business 
february 2018
Slack is the opposite of organizational memory
Quote: "I took 4 months off in 2015 and when I rejoined the workforce in 2016 – distraction city. People were checking buzzing phones in meetings. Chat alerts were click-click-clicking all the time. There was no cultural support or even real understanding of the idea that you need to turn this stuff off to get any work done. I made this point to a PM and his response was ‘oh, you have ADD’."

I don't think it's just Slack though... email, social, txt, facebook. Activity instead of results, comm...
culture  work  attention  slack  facebook 
february 2018
How Amazon Rebuilt Itself Around Artificial Intelligence | WIRED
"How deep learning came to power Alexa, Amazon Web Services, and nearly every other division of the company."... wasn't 2 people working as part of another team...
ai  ml  amazon 
february 2018
With teen mental health deteriorating over five years, there's a likely culprit
According to a new analysis, the number of US teens who felt "useless" and "joyless" grew 33 percent between 2010 and 2015, and there was a 23 percent increase in suicide attempts.
mobile  phone  depression  culture  attention  child-development  health 
february 2018
Why I left Google to join Grab – Steve Yegge – Medium
Quote: "Google has become 100% competitor-focused rather than customer focused. They’ve made a weak attempt to pivot from this, with their new internal slogan “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” But unfortunately it’s just lip service. It’s not that they don’t care. The problem is that their incentive structure isn’t aligned for focusing on their customers, so they wind up being too busy and it always gets deprioritized. A slogan isn’t good enough. It takes real effort to set aside tim...
google  business  strategy  focus  customerfocus 
january 2018
The Courage To Be Uncomfortable | LinkedIn
Being "uncomfortable" is something I strive for in life... walks in Central Park aren't what I personally think of when I say that word but still.
uncomfortable  life  culture  risk  change 
january 2018
The hidden costs of serverless – A Cloud Guru
Detailed rundown of the costs associated with serverless, which over time will only get better.
aws  serverless  lambda  cloud  cost  amazon 
january 2018
Deggit comments on Obama: Fox viewers ‘living on a different planet’ than NPR listeners
Quote: "He has what you could call **"waterbug speaking"** - he skims the surface of a topic but he never engages with it enough to get wet. For example..."
waterbug  speaking  conversation  culture 
january 2018
swissmiss | The Need To Be Alone
Quote: "By retreating into ourselves, it looks as if we are the enemies of others, but our solitary moments are in reality a homage to the richness of social existence. Unless we’ve had time alone, we can’t be who we would like to be around our fellow humans. We won’t have original opinions. We won’t have lively and authentic perspectives. We’ll be – in the wrong way – a bit like everyone else."
life  culture  introvert 
january 2018
Google Maps’s Moat
Epic blog post, quote: "Google is creating data out of data."
analytics  apple  google  data  maps  googlemaps  cartography  design  ai  mapping 
january 2018
Principles of Technology Leadership
Had never seen Sun's leadership values (kick butt, have fun, love customers, innovate)... 2018 goal: make it to Monktoberfest.
monktoberfest  values  principles  leadership  technology 
january 2018
deep learning a critical appraisal
Problems that Deep Learning faces including "Deep learning presumes a largely stable world, in ways that may be problematic" and "Deep learning thus far works well as an approximation, but its answers often cannot be fully trusted".
machine-learning  deep-learning  ml  ai  intelligence 
january 2018
Net Promoter Score Considered Harmful (and What UX Professionals Can Do About It)
Quote: "We’ve learned that NPS doesn’t tell us anything about the customer’s experience or their loyalty. In fact, we can’t trust NPS to tell us anything useful."
nps  metrics  customerservice  customerfocus  analytics 
january 2018
12 Signs You’re Working in a Feature Factory – Hacker Noon
Good stuff, a number of the bullet points could be boiled down to "measure the impact of what you deliver". Via Jade.
measurement  productmanagement  business  management  metrics  prioritization 
december 2017
How to Disconnect for Deeper Connection – The Cleanest Line
Quote: "Mounting studies show that spending time on social media actually leaves us more depressed than before. Rather than feeling connected to people, we feel lonelier. And yet we’re addicted to the easy time-kill of scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, to the endorphin bump of notifications that someone liked your post or commented. We’ve become addicted to virtual relationships with our phones. With this addiction, we’ve lost the feeling of community with other people and with the natur...
life  culture  dopamine  thinking  instagram  relationships 
december 2017
When is a Dollar not a Dollar? · Coding VC
All kinds of great tidbits on the types of revenue you can get as a software company.
economics  accounting  businessmodel  dollar  cashflow  business 
december 2017
How We Reorganized Instagram’s Engineering Team While Quadrupling Its Size
Quote: "We picked our top five outcomes, which became our organizational principles:

Minimize dependencies between teams and code
Have clear accountability with the fewest decision makers
Groups have clear measures
Top-level organizations have roadmaps
Performance, stability, and code quality have owners"
engineering  management  instagram  growth 
december 2017
About Amazon - 2016 Letter to Shareholders
I'd pay money to read a book about Amazon's customer obsession as described here. Quote: "Staying in Day 1 requires you to experiment patiently, accept failures, plant seeds, protect saplings, and double down when you see customer delight. A customer-obsessed culture best creates the conditions where all of that can happen."
amazon  business  culture  process  customerfocus  day1 
december 2017
LukeW | An Event Apart: Prototyping The Scientific Method of Business
Quote: "Design done right can be the scientific method for business. People within a company have lots of ideas and often talk past each other. Designers can take these ideas, give them shape as prototypes, and allow the company to learn from them."
design  business  hypothesis 
december 2017
What’s Scary About Amazon Web Services – tecosystems
Quote: "But AWS increasingly appears to have an intuitive grasp, if not completely consistently, of the jobs its customers are hiring it for."
customerfocus  amazon  aws  productmanagement 
december 2017
Security and privacy, startups, and the Internet of Things: some thoughts (31 Oct., 2017, at Interconnected)
Quote: "Building your own artisan stack feels like an expensive indulgence in most cases. The line to keep in mind is Werner Vogal's maxim - Vogal the CTO of Amazon - his maxim of no undifferentiated heavy lifting. That is, don't put significant engineering resource into stuff that isn't your core business."
security  privacy  architecture  software  amazon  wernervogels 
november 2017
A Matter of Survival: An Introduction – A Matter of Survival
Fun extrapolation of principles from the Deep Survival book to software engineering from Michael Kelly. Quote: "Perceive, believe, then act
Strive to perceive things as they are, not how you wish they were or how you think they ought to be. Believe what you perceive. Then act accordingly."
softwareengineering  thinking  mental-models  management  agile 
november 2017
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