Issue #319, 4th January 2019

This Week's Favorite


​​How I Try to Organise My Life to Make Me Happy
6 minutes read.

Paul Adams (VP Product at Intercom) shares his framework for balancing between different areas in his life: kids, husband, work, self, friends and family. I like the observation about "​​Tracking my credit and debt balance​​" to understand how chasing one area can lead to bigger debt in another. For those who are married and with kids - I think this framework is even more useful if shared with your spouse, so you could create alignment and make sure you help each other grow.

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Culture


When a Well-Established Company Tries to Inject "Machine Learning & AI" Into Its Engineering Without Hiring the Right People.
1 minutes read.

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

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Attracting People to Work for You
7 minutes read.

James Stanier covers 4 ways you use (or should) to attract talent and where to focus on each part. This one is key to remember as a manager: “As a manager, hiring is something that you’ll be doing a lot of. It sometimes can feel like a drag, especially when the interviews aren’t yielding any result. However, getting the right people into the company is essential from both a technical perspective and a cultural perspective, so it deserves your careful attention and time. After all, since you are being judged by the output you delegate through your team, you need to make sure your team has top-notch people.” — a good reminder that without the right puzzle everything else will be x10 harder.

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Resilience Engineering Notes
6 minutes read.

For those of you who want to improve the way your organization works by applying concepts that are still relatively in the early phase, at least in our industry, these notes (and references) by Lorin Hochstein (from Netflix) worth every minute of your time. Skim it a bit, and read references that trigger your curiosity.

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Work Principle 4; Get and Stay in Sync
4 minutes read.

"Many people mistakenly believe that papering over differences is the easiest way to keep the peace. They couldn’t be more wrong. By avoiding conflicts one avoids resolving differences. People who suppress minor conflicts tend to have much bigger conflicts later on, which can lead to separation, while people who address their mini-conflicts head on tend to have the best and the longest-lasting relationships." -- the example used by Ray Dalio after that part is hard to read, and I can see how in many companies such feedback wouldn't happen (or not in this tone anyway). The biggest takeaway for me was setting a good framework in place to deal with conflicts and disagreements. Make it feel authentic to your organization, so current and future hires would benefit from it.

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Peopleware


Hiring for Fit Gets You to IPO, but Over Time, Hiring for Potential Wins
4 minutes read.

Which type of people do you hire for your company? Is that led by inertia or you set some time to think about it when writing job descriptions and thinking about your interviewing process? Read this and think whether or not it's time to make some adjustments: "“Commitment” is what might be commonly referred to as the culture fit model and it dramatically outperformed others with regards to whether a startup failed or not. [...] What happens [after IPO]? Well, Commitment starts to calcify into stability and group think – this is who we are and the way we do things. But Star continues to bring in fresh blood able to step up and create new disruptive ideas, reinvigorate old product lines and basically maintain the attractiveness of the company for best and brightest." -- I wonder if today's world, even getting to the $30M-50M ARR (or similar metric, say in DAU), is already a good place to start hiring for a "just enough" different type of people.

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1/ New Theory of Personal Growth: Insights Become Breakthroughs Become Disciplines (Thread)
4 minutes read.

"I see a lot of people trying to create a breakthrough devoid of insights. The mind resists. The inexorable logic of doing nothing instead of something prevails. The mind cannot fool itself for long. A new way of thinking is needed before the heart will engage" -- What a great way to capture the lifecycle of healthy habits. Can you track current thoughts you have and label them as "breakthrough", "insight" and "discipline/habit"? If you start there, you can think of ways to move them in the right order, asking yourself "what do I need to do to move it into a habit I can follow up on, or find a way to contradict that insight so I won't spend my mental energy on the wrong things?"

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How to Use Spaced Repetition With Anki to Learn to Code Faster
8 minutes read.

Use this method shared by Steven Gilbert to learn pretty much anything, not just coding. I've been using Anki Notes on my iPhone and it's working pretty well for me. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experience if you used other tools or methods - Feel free to reply to this email or share your experience on our Slack community.

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Inspiring Tweets


@devonzuegel: I’m Increasingly of the Belief That Incentive Design Is the Most Important Problem to Work On. Humans Are Good at Overcoming Obstacles When They Have Reason to Do So — The Worst Problems Tend to Be Ones of Cooperation, Not Technological or Scientific Understanding.

@vgr: You Are the Sum of All the Lessons You Refuse to Learn.

- 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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