Issue #267, 5th January 2018

This Week's Favorite


In 2018, Focus on Quality of Decision Over Quality of Outcome
3 minutes read.

Hunter Walk's post is really important if you want to optimize your career or your company's ability to be successful: "I meet people early in their professional lives who spend too much time calculating the anticipated outcome versus understanding why they were making the decision in the first place. This title versus that title. This salary. That equity grant. And so on and so on. Trying to reverse engineer the right decision using lists of pros and cons, versus an understanding of who they are and who they want to be. My advice to them is usually pretty simple – answer this single question: "What Are You Optimizing For?" - and don’t let fear hold you back from making the right decision. If you build that muscle memory and apply it at each junction, your career will be fine."

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Culture


"When You Don't Know Any of the Moves, So You Just Mash Buttons."
1 minutes read.

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

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The Irrational User
10 minutes read.

"Cognitive biases arise when a mental shortcut (in System 1) generates an incomplete or inaccurate judgment" - Understanding our biases should be priority #1 not only for makers (of products) but also for leaders. The way you hire, your onboarding experience, how you say goodbye to an employee who decided to leave, how you celebrate a huge milestone or learn from a failure.

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Interview Questions for Executive, PMs or Other Leadership Candidates.
3 minutes read.

Keith Rabois‏ with a list of questions you should use going forward. My favorites: "What is the most impactful accomplishment (per role)?" and "What do you believe accounts for your success so far?". Loved the feedback he got and other suggestions like the one suggested by @NoorFSiddiqui: "Also: What’s the most technical thing you understand well? Followed by: How would you explain that in 5 minutes to a freshman in highschool?"

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Should Engineering Managers Write Code? Wrong Question.
5 minutes read.

"Being able to empathize requires understanding the perspective that engineers face in their day-to-day work." -- also, being able to provide feedback and challenge core assumptions requires technical skills. I'd add to Leith Abdulla's “Where can I write code?” a few more questions like "Which books or lectures should I read/see?" and "Which books should my teammates read?".

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Peopleware


Some People Really Benefit From Hearing Advice That Everyone Knows, for the Same Reason We Keep Schools Open Despite Every Subject in Them Having Been Taught Before. In That Spirit, Here's Some Quick Things Many People Find Too Obvious to Have Told You Already. (Thread)
5 minutes read.

There are very few people I eagerly wait to see write (or tweet) as I do with Patrick McKenzie‏. These two are so spot on: "Meta thought: you radically underestimate both a) how much you know that other people do not and b) the instrumental benefits to you of publishing it." and "Startups are (by necessity) filled with generalists; big companies are filled with specialists. People underestimate how effective a generalist can be at things which are done by specialists. People underestimate how deep specialties can run. These are simultaneously true."

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Naval Ravikant on Reading, Happiness, Systems for Decision Making, Habits and More (Audio)
119 minutes read.

My favorite interview for 2017. Naval Ravikant's ability to take such complex concepts and explain them down in a few sentences is remarkable. I've listened to this interview on my commute to work in a loop. There were so many gems in it, like a book you don't want to put down. Each time I found myself pausing it and taking a step back to see where I stand.

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Why Calendars Are More Effective Than to Do Lists
4 minutes read.

"If something truly matters to you, put it on your calendar. You’ll be amazed at how much the likelihood of getting it done increases." -- and just like emails (read: todo list), if you don't capture your schedule and use your time wisely, someone else will do it for you.

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Inspiring Tweets


@flowchainsensei: People Are NOT Our Greatest Asset. In Collaborative Knowledge Work Particularly, It’s the Relationships BETWEEN People That Are Our Greatest Asset.

@muneeb: Give Your Monkey Brain a Pen and Paper to Write Down Thoughts and It Stops Running in Loops.

- 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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