Issue #309, 26th October 2018

This Week's Favorite


Lessons From Coinbase’s Wild Ascent: Four Rules for Scaling
13 minutes read.

There were so many gems in this post that I truly believe you'll find it extremely valuable. Make sure you read the third rule of Varun Srinivasan "Think in 3D to visualize what's missing" -- Varun's advice on creating "work maps" to detect bottlenecks is something I'm going to utilize in my quarterly planning and ask to apply on the organization level. I believe it will create important debates about priorities, teams structure and hiring going forward.

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Culture


Well That Settles That (Who Comes First Chicken or Egg?)
1 minutes read.

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

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Praise Is a Vitamin
4 minutes read.

How often do you compliment your teammates for a good job, with a specific and detailed explanation of what was it that you appreciate? "For some of us, it’s hard to store praise, just like it’s difficult to store some vitamins." -- Heidi Waterhouse reminds us the power of complimenting others, showing our appreciation for their effort. This is important to build trust, so when you need to discuss with them how to improve (or share negative feedback) they'll know you're on their side.

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M&A Is Super Important in Tech. So Many Huge Successes but Also Many Disappointments Coming From a Mismatch of Expectations Regarding Integration. This Thread Expands Upon an "Integration Expectations" Matrix. How to Avoid Misalignment. (Thread)
3 minutes read.

Steven Sinofsky covers many aspects of M&A that you should read if you want to better understand how each side looks at the deal. The Pull/Push of Product and Operational requirements provide a good framework to understand where should each side optimize for during such M&A. If you cannot benefit the existing scale of the BigCo, you're losing their unfair advantage and losing sight into where your unfair advantage (probably) is.

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The Canonical Startup Org Structure
4 minutes read.

"No matter what approach you choose as you structure your company you are inherently optimizing on some dimension" -- Bill Morein suggest an org structure that many of us pick. This post is helpful as a way to share a common baseline with your teammates if you shift to use cross-functional teams (long or short-lived).

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Peopleware


Team Choreography
4 minutes read.

I've seen the value in finding a rhythm your team can operate on effectively on numerous teams and companies. It's more than making sure people can connect the dots between business needs and their deliverables, it's also retaining focus and celebrate steady and meaningful progress. The challenge here is to find a way to do it in a way that is pleasant (read: fun) and effective (read: reduce context switch and loss of effective work hours). Time to write more?

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Awesome Falsehood: A Curated List of Awesome Falsehoods Programmers Believe In
5 minutes read.

This is an awesome list to check, so have a look. My favorites were "Falsehoods programmers believe about programming" and "Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names" -- the time investment is anywhere between 3-4 minutes to your entire foreseeable future. Enjoy.

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How to Find Your Greatest Superpower by Asking Why
5 minutes read.

"At that point, our brain’s neural pathways become its path of least resistance (would you carve a new path in the forest once you already have one?) and, unless challenged, our brain will “choose” to follow our existing thought and action patterns." -- Avi Charkham suggest adding the "Why?" prefix to the way you view or think of acting to specific situations if you want to be in control. This becomes even more powerful in the organizational level, as we tend to apply the same autopilot there, doing what is known and comfortable rather what is needed (i.e. what got is here won't take us there).

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Inspiring Tweets


@flowchainsensei: How Many Architects Think About Social Structures as Much as Technical Structures? #ConwaysLaw

@patrickc: TL;DR: If You Think Someone’s Work Is Good, and Important, Tell Them! It Really Can Make a Surprisingly Large Difference and It Took Me Quite a While to Appreciate Extent.

- 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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