Issue #338, 17th May 2019

This Week's Favorite


Taste for Makers
12 minutes read.

"Saying that taste is just personal preference is a good way to prevent disputes. The trouble is, it's not true. You feel this when you start to design things. […] Once you start to examine the question, it's surprising how much different fields' ideas of beauty have in common. The same principles of good design crop up again and again." — Paul Graham will make you think about the beauty of your work, may it be writing code, crafting product design or interaction, or thinking of how groups of people work together.

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Culture


Them: "Can You Just Explain Cats in One Gif?" Me:
1 minutes read.

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

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OPP (Other People’s Problems)
7 minutes read.

Camille Fournier with a helpful framework to deal with a problem you spot and consider fixing. This is always step 0 in the way you pick your role and company: “Learning how to pick your battles is also about learning how to pick your company and pick your boss, because your job really shouldn’t be all or even mostly about battles.“

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Keith Rabois on Building Amazing Teams (Video)
32 minutes read.

I always enjoy listening or reading Keith Rabois's lessons learned - from podcasts to interviews and blog posts. There are areas I think he's too aggressive without clear proof that it works better than other alternatives, but overall, his thinking is always intriguing as he aims for clear definitions of "good vs. bad". Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy, or - listen to it on your commute, as audio is the only thing you need.

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Strong Opinions Loosely Held Might Be the Worst Idea in Tech
6 minutes read.

Switching to probabilistic thinking (I’ll mention and recommend again reading the book “Thinking in Bets”) is a good recommendation, mostly if you focus your time and energy explaining why you picked that number. The purpose of working as a group is to teach and learn from each other, that means we owe ourselves and our team to discuss the interactions between facts, instincts, and experience to argue an opinion.

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Peopleware


Failure Is Familiar, Safety Is Surprising
6 minutes read.

"Success is invisible. That is, the work that goes into creating the conditions for success can be difficult to describe or see. It is driven by our expertise and collective tacit knowledge. This seems a paradox that we could be successful yet not fully understand the factors that contribute to things going “right.”" — one tactic we should spend more time on is talking not only about premortem or postmortems but rather on what works well now that is surprising. For example, something "strange" happened, and the system dealt with it within expected behaviors. What made it behave that way? Can you learn positive experiences and continue to ingrain them into to the system (people & code)?

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Why Aren’t People Taking Initiative?
6 minutes read.

"Remember — whatever you reward publicly is what will be emulated." -- it's important to understand which kind of incentives are given today for different behaviors people demonstrate. It can be a public or private reward/praise that makes a lot of difference. Jean Hsu reminds us that to set norms, you need to act publically, telling & showing which type of behaviors and output is desired. I also like David Marquest's quote in this context (read his book - Turn the Ship Around): "Those who take orders usually run at half speed, underutilizing their imagination and initiative."

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The Complete Guide to Deep Work
16 minutes read.

I had some extra time to read this week, spending 11 hours on the airplane (London - I love you!), and this post was an incredible read. Fadeke Adegbuyi with a must-read (and bookmark) if you like reading about productivity, as it summarizes pretty much all the strategies you can experiment with to boost your attention and energy to the right things.

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Inspiring Tweets


@JamesClear: In the Short-Run, Great Managers, Coaches, and Leaders Adjust Their Strategy to Fit Their Players. In the Long-Run, Great Managers, Coaches, and Leaders Recruit Players to Fit Their Strategy.

@paulocoelho: Trust Your Vibes; Energy Doesn’t Lie

- 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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