Issue #312, 16th November 2018

This Week's Favorite


A Silent Meeting Is Worth a Thousand Words
3 minutes read.

Reading this post and thinking about applying it at your work might make you feel awkward, but think about it: How many times (most) people don't come prepared for the meeting? How many times the same people speak while others are quiet? How many times the presenter didn't come prepared, thinking they can "figure it out as they go"? I honestly believe that this format can work extremely well for in-depth strategical thinking type of meetings. Just need to convince a few of your teammates to try it out.

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Culture


Employees Must Wash Their Hands After Using Javascript
1 minutes read.

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

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Hypergrowth and the Law of Startup Physics
13 minutes read.

"The law of startup physics: humans grow linearly, companies grow exponentially.[..] I realized that humans actually do something that's exponential: they tell stories. They share them, believe them and have feelings about them." -- This understanding of the importance of stories can be used as a foundation to build your culture. Which messages do you repeat? What is the greater mission that keeps people aligned and focused? Which narratives are being used to connect the dots between what individuals want and what the company needs?

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Nondeterministic Software for the Rest of Us (Slides)
6 minutes read.

Tomer Gabel (disclaimer: I worked with Tomer at Delver) shares some lessons that took me many years to learn as well. Understanding that "Good" and "Correct" are separate dimensions can help your company save a lot of time finding product-market fit. The only advice I'd add is to agree on the measurements (what success looks like) before you start, and take the time to argue if this is indeed a key milestone on a path to achieve a big win. I've seen so many times people try to play with OKR and KPIs just to say they do it while confusing the team and achieving nothing but focus. My rule of thumb: Every time you define a KPI also define KFI (Key Failure Indicator).

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How to Build A Product Roadmap Everyone Understands
6 minutes read.

A useful framework to apply when sharing a longer timeline of your offering internally (and potentially with customers). I'd consider also presenting it with the labels: MMRs, Neutralizers, and Differentiators, so the ratio would be visible and clear as well.

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Peopleware


Engineering Management: Lessons Learned in First Year
6 minutes read.

Share this post by Swaroop with new (1-3 years of experience) Engineering Managers in your organization. "Only 2 things matter: Results & Retention. These are the fundamentals. Everything else is a distraction." -- Everything else is a derivative or noise. Learning to separate the two is an important skill to pick up while you serve your company and your teammates.

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We’ve All Felt the Anxiety of Trying to Choose a Next Job. 😱 Whether Starting Out in a Career, Moving to a New Company, or Choosing a New Role/Team Inside of a Megacorp, Fear and Confusion Can Reign. Don’t Despair! Here Are 4 Tips to Make Your Decision Easier: (Thread)
4 minutes read.

"Great people will be invested in your success. They will celebrate your triumphs and help you through mistakes." -- Jensen Harris with a thread that I'd share with friends who think about taking the next step in their career. I'd always start with looking for a place to grow inside the organization (even if it's moving teams or groups) as you already have the context and you've experienced the company's values. This can kickstart your ability to create a bigger impact on your new path.

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Growing Your Product Influence by Becoming the Best Product Leader You Can Be (Video)
32 minutes read.

I've listened to Shreyas Doshi's talk on my commute to work, and the second I got to the office I wrote down a few takeaways in my Anki Notes so that I won't forget it, e.g., "A framework for effective editing," "Product Sense" and "Execution Sense." -- worth learning them and think about how to apply it to your work. These frameworks are relevant to non-PM as well, as it would help you develop the T-shape you need.

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Inspiring Tweets


@mikeveerman: If You Don't Know How to Recognize Value, You'll End Up Measuring Time.

@chrisk5000: Almost Made Fun of an Electrician Today Like "Is It an Electrician's Guild Rule That You Have to Perform 5 Minutes of Ritual Complaining About What Was the Previous Electrician Thinking Before You're Allowed to Fix Anything?" but Then I Remembered I'm a Software Engineer

- 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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