Issue #332, 5th April 2019

This Week's Favorite


Lessons From Keith Rabois: How to Be an Effective Executive
8 minutes read.

I enjoyed reading Delian Asparouhov's takeaways from Keith Rabois as you can count on Keith to challenge your thinking (for better or worse) as a leader. My favorites topics were "Spend time on high leverage activities," "Optimize your most valuable resource, your time" and "Peak performance". I know, this is basically 60% of the post, but yes - I highly recommend it all. I read this post multiple times as every iteration got me to play in my head a few situations from my day to day and see if I can utilize Keith's view on it.

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Culture


MVP 🚢
1 minutes read.

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

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Complexity Bias: Why We Prefer Complicated to Simple
12 minutes read.

"By opting for impenetrable solutions, we sidestep the need to understand. Of the fight-or-flight responses, complexity bias is the flight response. It is a means of turning away from a problem or concept and labeling it as too confusing. If you think something is harder than it is, you surrender your responsibility to understand it." -- this is why larger organization tend to stagnate in multiple areas where people confuse chaos over complexity. Our role is to try and get people to pass those hurdles, where they believe the problem is too hard to understand or tackle.

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On Failure
5 minutes read.

"Looking for ways to feel good about what you’re doing, whatever that means to you, is important. For me right now, that means figuring out how to be okay with things not feeling “Done”, and looking for ways to celebrate the progress I’ve made even when that isn’t wrapped up in easy-to-cupcake achievements." -- I love this advice by Ryn Daniels. I have a ritual of scrolling previous issues of SWLW in Trello (visual board) before I start writing the weekly email, just as a reminder of "I got this far, but I still need to show up and deliver today."

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The Wrong Abstraction
4 minutes read.

This post by Sandi Metz is one of my favorites this week, and should be a must-read for every individual in the company who writes code: "If you find yourself in this situation [Changing existing code to fit a new requirement with a wrong abstraction layer], resist being driven by sunk costs. When dealing with the wrong abstraction, the fastest way forward is back."

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Peopleware


Engineering Management Philosophies and Why They Matter Even if You Are Not a Manager
10 minutes read.

Annie Zhou with an helpful post for new managers who still trying to figure out their role in the team, and how to set their guiding rules or principles. I like to ask managers to try and define their limits, or at least walk closely near it - What would make you promote someone in your team (behaviors & outputs)? What would make you let go of someone? With that, I ask them "Do you think your teammates know these answers? How can you tell them that explicitly while making sure you're serving as a positive leader to the team? Do you know which words to say to make it authentic to your style of leadership and language?"

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10 Questions I Wish I’d Asked More to Turbocharge My Career
7 minutes read.

Julie Zhuo with excellent questions you can use in your next 1:1 to learn from your manager or other experienced individuals around you. I plan on using "How do you prioritize your time?" and "What’s something interesting you’ve learned in your job that most people don’t know?" as questions when interviewing senior IC or managers, to learn from their thinking process.

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The Playing Field
11 minutes read.

I took Graham Duncan's post about investment and altered it to my own world (software, leadership, teaching). It's helpful to see the different levels as shared by Graham and ask yourself in which level you are at the topic you care about. I'm trying to grow from Level 3 to Level 4 in some areas in my career, and questioning my relationships with time and risk was a fun exercise. Again, you'll need to do a lot of adjustments as we're not investors (most of us?) in markets, but we are investors in our and others careers.

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Inspiring Tweets


@Johnny_Uzan: If You Feel Uncomfortable Around People Smarter Than You, You're Status-Seeking. if You Feel Lucky, You're Wealth-Seeking.

@Johnny_Uzan: The Internet Is the World’s Greatest University but You Have to Build Your Own Curriculum, Set Your Own Schedule and Grade Your Own Work.

- 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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