Issue #166, 29th January 2016

This Week's Favorite


Unit of Value: A Framework for Scaling
8 minutes read.

Great read on how companies can scale and become a solid business beyond the product-market-fit phase. Easy to digest post by Jerry Chen, making it good value to share with your teammates as you want them to have better sense of your business. Be explicit about the unit of value you're after, your go to market plan, and how you break the linear growth to truly scale revenues. It's important that everyone will understand that, if you want them more involved and emotionally connected to the company's vision.

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Culture


Automation (xkcd)
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face. Unfortunately creating this weekly email is not fully automated yet. Need to work on it, I guess.

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6 Things to Expect When Your Company Hits 100 People
6 minutes read.

Getting from a "it's so much fun to work here" to "it used to be a cool place to work at" is never about the size of the company, but rather about a mishandled adjustments to the changes companies are going through as they grow. Things have to change, process need to adjust, but from my experience things break when people start to feel disempowered, or simply lose ability to be empathic towards others. Then you suddenly see cases where people don't want to work together, or help each other. They lose respect. This is not a size problem, it's an attitude problem. Christine Tsai (from 500Startups) with good points to think about. My favorite was point was "High School Never Ends" as it explain the situations where your highest attention is required.

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How to Hire
10 minutes read.

This is a post I'd share with people who participate in your hiring process. It holds so many gems, but something that really made me smile was "Culture-contributors are better than culture-fitters" -- never thought of it that way, but this is a great phrase, and an important lesson.

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Hiring Engineering Managers: Screening for Potential
4 minutes read.

I felt this is a good post to read after "How to hire" as it's a deeper dive into the reasoning & tips behind hiring engineering managers. As always, Camille Fournier delivers wonderful insights.

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Facebook’s HR Chief Conducted a Company-Wide Study to Find Its Best Managers — And 7 Behaviors Stood Out
5 minutes read.

"In order to determine what makes a manager excel at Facebook, a few years ago Goler and her team conducted a company-wide analysis of its roughly 10,000 employees to find which teams reported the highest levels of satisfaction and engagement." -- while not surprising, it's rarely the case to see managers being active in putting their teammate first, challenging and pushing them forward with their careers.

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Peopleware


Your Life Is Tetris. Stop Playing It Like Chess.
6 minutes read.

"I grew up looking for opponents — people to fight, people to blame, people to prove wrong. I imagined enemies when there were none because fighting was easy. I treated everything like it was zero-sum when there was so much else to gain. That’s the chess mindset. And it holds you back." -- Tor Bair writes beautifully. Something I'd like to give my children to read at some point, or to a highly competitive teammate who always feels he's losing (i.e. not feeling accomplished no matter the effort they're putting in).

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Experience, Instincts, and Maturity
4 minutes read.

This one insight by Elad Gil is so simple and powerful: "When hiring managers and executives, I would weigh instincts and maturity higher for non-specialist roles, and experience higher for a specialist role (e.g. leading a data center build out)."

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What Does a VP of Engineering Do, Again?
7 minutes read.

Raffi Krikorian (ex-VP Engineering at Twitter) shares his view on what makes a good VP Engineering, and what are the key responsibilities. As someone who constantly ask himself how can I further improve in my role, and become a better servant & leader for the team, Raffi's observations are truly inspiring.

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Inspiring Tweets


@JeremiahIvan: If You're MVP Arch Has 40 Microservices; I'm Not Saying You're 'Wrong'; But You've Lapped Minimal and Viable Is Looking Pretty Doubtful

@jterleski: Six People Made the Original Legend of Zelda. Only Five to Make Super Mario Bros. Small Teams. Big Things.

- 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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