Issue #289, 8th June 2018

This Week's Favorite


How to Be a Manager: The Step-By-Step Guide for Leading a New Team
17 minutes read.

Remarkable guide by Greg Skloot, providing numerous ideas and tools that you can use as a new manager. I enjoyed skimming it and zooming in on specific areas such as "Story", "Space" and "Communication". Share it with others in your company, I'm sure it will lead to many interesting conversations.

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Culture


And Stack Overflow Said It’s Fine
1 minutes read.

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

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Profit Sharing for Bootstrapped Startups
5 minutes read.

Nathan Barry, the founder of ConvertKit, is running a very different kind of company and it's fun to watch. You can check out ConvertKit's numbers as it's shared publicly as an "Open Startup". This time, Nathan shares how they split some of the profit with the team, so they could focus on business growth and team's happiness rather than looking for ways out (being sold). I'm confident he inspires many people out there, and I am one for sure.

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Why Blacksmiths Are Better at Startups Than You
6 minutes read.

Amy Hoy with another epic post, one that I'd like my children to read when they grow up a bit (but not too much): "As the master blacksmith said, when the customer asks for “10 more of these” they’re going to be bloody upset when you come back with a newer, creative design and say “But this was more fun to make.” And then you don’t get paid... It’s this same attitude which leads you to abandon your project at the first sign of trouble. The same attitude which causes you to noodle endlessly on features. To delay marketing; to believe that if you build it, they will come. Or, hell, to ever build it or ship it at all. To seek feedback from your peers instead of your customers… to spend more time catering to venture capitalists than the people who’ll pay for your product. To lavish your energy on “innovating” instead of mastering the basics."

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The Critical Career Path Conversation (Video)
31 minutes read.

John Riviello shares his story from being a senior engineer, taking the managerial route and then back to an individual contributor position. As John said it, as a manager you actually do get to build something - build a team. To get shorter feedback loops, I highly recommend new managers to write more things down - their vision for the team, which kind of expectations they'd like to set with their teammates, who they should hire next (and why), how they want to delegate (and what), what's their framework for making decisions etc. Write it down, share it with others and get this feedback of "am I asking the right questions as a manager?"

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Peopleware


Management Books in Review
4 minutes read.

Kim Moir started serving as a manager for her team 4 months ago and she's on a hunt for books. First, it's great to see how much Kim is trying to learn to create a good experience for her teammates and serve them well while feeling comfortable with new tools and mental models that can help her in this new journey. Great list of books and takeaways to learn from.

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Transitions: The Easiest Way to Improve Your Tech Talk
4 minutes read.

As I plan to give a talk about "how to find growth material and learn X2 faster", this post by Saron Yitbarek cannot come in a better timing. Improving the way I make transitions between what I say my your visual aid (my slides) can help keep the audience more engaged. Definitely going to practice it this time.

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Focusing Talks: Three Questions
4 minutes read.

"My biggest challenge when putting together a talk is that I want to cover too much material... Sometimes I think that my tendency to talk about too much comes from excitement--I love what I am doing so much that I want to explain it all. To be honest, though, I think when I super-size a talk it's because I am desperate for approval." -- Oh yes, this sounds too familiar. Kent Beck suggests an important exercise to deliver great talks: (1) pick one person who represents your audience (2) figure out how to grab their full attention and (3) figure out what they should do after they listen to your talk.

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Inspiring Tweets


@farnamstreet: It’s Not What You Start With It’s How You Compound. Our Entire Universe Began as Smaller Than an Atom.

@mwseibel: I Started Part Time at YC Over 5 Years Ago and Have Now Seen About 1000 YC Companies. The Thing That Never Ceases to Amaze Me Is the Success That Comes From the Companies That Figure Out How to Stay Lean and Stay Alive Over the Course of Years.

- 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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