Issue #264, 15th December 2017

This Week's Favorite


Every Person Is a Vector
6 minutes read.

I like Dharmesh Shah's take on Elon Musk's advice. Try to look at the way people talk to each other, and work together to achieve the company's goals. Is purpose clear? Are you aligned around it? Are you moving fast enough to win it? Elon Musk says it best: "Every person in your company is a vector. Your progress is determined by the sum of all vectors."

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Culture


Ok, but Next Time We’ll Do a Proper Refactoring
1 minutes read.

My humble effort to help you start the weekend with a smile on your face.

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Move Slowly and Fix Things
5 minutes read.

I think that Jonas Downey words are true for all makers in the company, not only designers: "We’re the first line of defense to protect people’s privacy, safety, and sanity. In many, many cases we’re failing at that right now. If the past 20 years of tech represent the Move Fast and Break Things era, now it’s time to slow down and take stock of what’s broken."

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This Is How You Break Free From the Competition
5 minutes read.

"Speed Is Going to Eat Software" - I think that execution speed is becoming an unfair advantage in a world where people expect not only an amazing customer service but also continuous adjustments to their needs. Elias Torres is spot on, and this DNA is exactly the culture you'd like to promote: "People want things instantaneously. If you don’t ship continuously, a new company will come, solve for the customer’s problem, and the customer will move to the competition. But if you’re continually moving, and you’ve ingrained this into the DNA of your company, you can change the playing field to your advantage."

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Why Your Programmers Just Want to Code
4 minutes read.

People want to be heard. For example, when dealing with Tech Debt raised by the team, you should (a) capture it, (b) ask them to help with rough estimation and prioritize (quarterly?) and (c) allow the time to reduce that debt (15% of each quarter?). The cost of ignoring your teammates, as Marcus Blankenship write it, is just too high: "He’s learned to not give input on what is built, so he becomes obsessed with how it’s built. Your culture, for him, has become survival of the fittest."

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Peopleware


Engineering Leadership Principals (Audio)
53 minutes read.

I had the pleasure to chat with Christian McCarrick on his awesome podcast SimpleLeadership about some of my mistakes, lessons learned and leadership principles being an Engineering Manager. Something to listen to on your next commute to work?

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1/ There's a Concept Known as Financial Compounding, but Most People Don't Know About Intellectual Compounding. Buffett and Munger Employed This to Great Effect and to Accumulate Mental Models Such That They Can Make Large Decisions Quickly. Intuition Is Simply Reading a Lot. (Thread)
5 minutes read.

I wish that every person on the planet would read this thread by Sizhao Yang‏. Powerful brain food for the infinite learner: "... people are criticized by society and labeled. So even if you have a "growth" mindset for physical items, you don't have it for mental items. This applies not only for students but also for adults. You always hear "That's not me." It's a label."

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The Pyramid Principle
4 minutes read.

Any improvement in the way people communicate within your organization can save hours of useless meetings and endless debates. The Pyramid Principle, where you need to "Start with the answer first" reminds me of the way we're often challenged to do Design to Cost, where we need to start at the end (required output) and figure out how to come up with ways to achieve it.

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Inspiring Tweets


@madampsychosis: A Book Club, but We Schedule Meetings Years After Finishing the Books & See What Pieces of the Stories Have Stuck With Our New Selves

@naval: Following Your Genuine Intellectual Curiosity Is a Better Foundation for a Career Than Following Whatever Is Making Money Right Now.

- 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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