Issue #328, 8th March 2019

This Week's Favorite


Engineering Management for Early Stage Startups (Slides)
6 minutes read.

Andreas Klinger with terrific tips in this deck. My favorite one is: "People X Context = Output" -- simple yet powerful mindset to have when you're thinking about the importance of meetings, 1:1s, design reviews etc. I also cannot recommend enough the slides about on Decision Making (slides 26 to 35).

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Culture


Outsmarting the Boss. 👏🏻
1 minutes read.

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

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How to Keep Your Developers Refreshed With Guild Week
5 minutes read.

Dalia Simons shares how Wix changed the way they let engineers "sharpen their knives". This rule to align incentives is critical to have this kind of innovations possible: "Although they all see the benefits of Guild Weeks in principal, in reality, they prioritize those business tasks and don’t always want to let their engineers go for a full week. This is why this initiative is (and has to be) backed by the managers of Wix and of the R&D. The rule we have in place is that if you skip a Guild Week this quarter you have to give 2 next quarter. It’s a big incentive not to skip them."

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Our Core Values and Operating Principles
6 minutes read.

I like this post by Sara Hicks's (CEO of Reaction) on Values and Principles as it's a good example of how you can align expectations (explicitly!) and attract new talent to join you. Try writing your own doc and share it internally to see how people react to it: Is it authentic (using words people actually say)? Does it cover well your boundaries (things you'd promote or fire for)? Is it motivational and empowering?

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15 Lessons From Our First $15 Million at ConvertKit
5 minutes read.

"Today at ConvertKit we have 38 amazing team members. At $15 million ARR that is nearly $400,000 per team member! A much higher ratio than any of our peers. At this stage 75 employees would be normal. Instead of hiring as quickly as possible to solve every pain, we are deliberate about working on the right things. The constraint requires us to say no, not spread ourselves thin, and only do the highest leverage work. It also means that we can invest in each team member more and carefully craft the culture we want, rather than simply focus on reaching headcount goals." -- This mindset, in my opinion, is what makes ConvertKit so successful. Headcount is a vanity metric.

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Peopleware


The Pillars of Management
4 minutes read.

Cap Watkins with a helpful framework for managers, helping them understand where to focus their time: "Being honest about where you tend to put your energy can help you start to see both blind spots and development areas to focus on. [...] The best managers I’ve known are constantly prioritizing different pillars, seamlessly transitioning between advocating for excellent code-quality in one meeting to pressing for more ambitious goal-setting in another. They don’t view these things as inconsistencies, so much as they see that each situation requires a different prioritization of their concerns."

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How to Run an Efficient and Effective All Hands Meeting
6 minutes read.

Mathilde Collin shares the way she runs All Hands meetings at Front, and I want to steal and implement the all thing. The "Fronteer" and "Stumble" recognition is fun and a good reminder for excellence in doing and in learning. Try to discuss this format at work. What would you take from Mathilde and Front?

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The Trust Battery: My Interview With Shopify Founder Tobi Lütke (Podcast)
105 minutes read.

I've been enjoying my time listening to this interview with Tobi Lütke, Spotify's CEO, while running this week (which is hard, as I hate running). Tobi's approach to decision making, hiring, providing feedback and many other contrarian ideas made me think a lot about my own views. Highly recommended interview to listen on your commute to work on during your workout.

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Inspiring Tweets


@shl: Hiring Is the Hardest Thing About Startups. Everyone Will Tell You It's the Hardest Thing You'll Ever Do, and You'll Believe Them. and You Will *Still* Underestimate Just How Hard and Time-Consuming It Really Is.

@Lethain: GMail Should Warn You About Size of Mailing List You’re About to Email. Solve an Arithmetic Problem for Over 100 People. Write a One-Page Essay on a Random Topic for Over 1,000.

- 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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