Issue #299, 17th August 2018

This Week's Favorite


Just Because You Said It, Doesn't Make It So
5 minutes read.

"History teaches that almost nothing a leader says is heard if spoken only once." -- Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn's CEO) with advice I learn to appreciate more and more as I practice my leadership skills, and mentoring others. Share it with managers in your organization and think about how you can practice it more often, e.g. Providing context, explaining the why, repeating the core values and messages, being clear and concise. It's a muscle.

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Culture


Fixing Bugs in Production...
1 minutes read.

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

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Ownership — the Secret Ingredient
8 minutes read.

Having a feeling of ownership on the things you've built can show a good trajectory of a candidate's personal growth as they also tend to own their career. Eric Rabinovich with practical insights and questions you can use during the interview to spot ownership capabilities.

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Paul Graham on Why Big Companies Don’t Let Hackers Do Design, and How That Doesn’t Let the Smartest Engineers and Makers Do Their Best Work
3 minutes read.

I found Paul Graham's thoughts intriguing and even more so the replies by Steven Sinofsky and pcmaffey - I took it more into startups that grow rapidly and now they act as a semi-Big Company, figuring out the right processes, roles & responsibilities (generalists vs. specialists ratio) and appetite for risk when they have real revenues to lose.

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How to Find and Hire Your First Engineer: For Early-Stage Startups
8 minutes read.

This post by Harj Taggar is one of the best guides I've seen on hiring for a small startup. If you're an employee who's looking to join a small startup - this is what founders are looking for. Copy Harj's "Here’s a plan you could follow" and have it in your calendar as a daily reminder to make sure you're investing enough time and energy into it.

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Peopleware


The 4 Questions You Should Stop Asking During Your One-On-One Meetings
6 minutes read.

Claire Lew will offer you different questions to ask, instead of using the (vague) "classics" such as "How’s it going?" and "How can I help you?" -- Claire's questions will make your 1:1s much better in terms of quality and authenticity, so I highly recommend following her alternative questions.

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Kaleidoscope Thinking: How to Think Faster and More Clearly
5 minutes read.

This is a good introduction to the concept of Mental Models and why they're important to learn and practice over time. I like to try and find ways to connect between different ideas in my own worlds as a software engineer (building products) and a VP Engineering (building teams), e.g. how Entropy and Broken Windows theory can balance in software development.

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CTO vs VP Engineering: What’s the Difference?
4 minutes read.

Always interesting to read about the different career path software engineers can take. The CTO is usually outbound (dealing with investors, potential customers etc.), and as such requires a lot of business know-how which the post doesn't mention. Is it a good representation of what's going on in your company?

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Inspiring Tweets


@Suhail: I Don't Even Know What "Top Talent" Means Anymore. Seriously, There's Talent You Need & Can Get at the Point in Time & Stage You're At. Your Job Is to Just Level It All Up Based on How the Company Evolves. It's Not Binary.

@randfish: Make $10mm. Crickets. Raise $10mm. Everyone Writes About You. You Get Invited to All the Hot Events. Your Network Goes Crazy With Congratulations. This Is How We Get a Culture That Trains Founders to Raise $$ > Make $$.

- 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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