Issue #124, 10th April 2015

This Week's Favorite


Cynicism and Experience
5 minutes read.

This post needs to be shared with your experienced teammates. It's so good that all I have left is to repeat this message: "The challenge of the experienced developer is to pass on wisdom without passing on dogma, but most developers think their personal experience should be enshrined as a best practice... The difference between saying "I used X and it sucked" and "I used X for Y and it didn't work out because of Z" is the difference between becoming experienced and simply growing cynical."

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Culture


Just an Exception They Said...
1 minutes read.

As always, something to start the weekend with a huge smile on your face. Sounds familiar?

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Why Self-Organizing Is So Hard
6 minutes read.

Making an organizational change in the magnitude like Zappos is going through, applying Holacracy to a company with thousands of employees is hard to grasp. I enjoy reading about their struggles and the interpretation of others as it gets me to think and imagine how I could learn and barrow ideas to apply in a different environment such as my team -- "People aren’t ants (and organizations aren’t immune systems)... Organizations change because of messy, protracted, and often political human interactions."

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Introducing Progressive Equity
4 minutes read.

I'm so thrilled to see this move by Andrew Mason (ex. Groupon founder and CEO), trying to change the wealth distribution in startups: "When startups grow into unicorns, the distribution of employee earnings follows a common pattern: the founders make more money than they could spend in infinite lifetimes, a handful of early folks achieve financial independence, and everyone else gets a nice bonus, but nothing life changing." -- do you know of more companies that offer new ways of equity distribution?

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The One-Dayer
3 minutes read.

Bring people together. Limited time. Quick decisions. Making it fun. Many of us experienced the productivity that can be achieved in a single Hackathon, what if you could use this tool for other things? Ev Williams of Medium shares a few good options to try.

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Peopleware


Kyle Wild: Some Things I Have Learned
3 minutes read.

I've been following Kyle Wild for some time now. He's an inspiring leader and his thoughts on building an organization always challenge my view. This one-pager from his notebook is filled with so many great insights, I thought you should check it out. My favorites: "Demand good communication skills of all people you associate with, and help them get there" and "Distribute all the things".

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Little Things
3 minutes read.

Ben Horowitz with a reminder we should focus on translating our big goals to a list of small things we can learn from and track. As leaders, we should help others with making this transition (vision to tactics) by asking questions which leads to better measurements and learning instead of boolean indicators. What a wonderful way to say it: "As CEO, you need to hire the right people and set a clear direction. Once you do that, you should fly low and fast rather than high and slow. Focus on the little things and the big things will take care of themselves."

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What I'd Tell Myself About Startups if I Could Go Back 5 Years
6 minutes read.

I couldn't write or say it better myself. I wish I could have read it when I only started with startups 9 years ago. My favorites parts from the list: 13, 18, 19, 27, 30 and 48. The problem is that everything else is also golden. So hard to choose. Well done, Ben Dixon!

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Inspiring Tweets


@simonsinek: "When a Good Person Meets a Bad System, the System Always Wins." Frank Voehl #Changethesystem

@rands: Micromanagers Forget That Velocity Is a Vector Built of Speed and Direction.

- Oren

P.S. Can you share this email? I'd love for more people to experiment and improve their company's culture.

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