Issue #347, 19th July 2019

This Week's Favorite


Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System
18 minutes read.

"What you are about to read is a work in progress. It’s not a recipe for finding leverage points. Rather it’s an invitation to think more broadly about system change." -- This essay by Donella Meadows should be learned (in-depth) by anyone who builds a significant company, thinking about it as a living organism with increasing complexity.

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Culture


How to Navigate a Legacy Codebase
1 minutes read.

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

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Decision Disagreement Framework - How We Encourage Disagreements at Matter
5 minutes read.

I think that the "Decision Disagreement Framework" presented by Brett Hellman can be useful documentation for the future organization (and probably future you) who wants to understand why a decision was made given the context it had. For engineers, we have Source Control that we can view historical changes (with limited context to the reason for change), so applying writing to important decisions has strong merits to it: "Next time you disagree with a decision ask yourself: Will the decision slow down, harm, or break the business? If your answer is yes, use the framework. If not, the disagreement is likely not worth the time and effort involved in using the framework."

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Writing vs Talking
4 minutes read.

Write more. Do whatever you need to get your team to write more. Reading allows the quiet you need in your brain to consume someone else's ideas without the need to think of a response on the spot. You can reread it, if something doesn't add up, or drop some comments to understand intent better.

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Don’t Ask Forgiveness, Radiate Intent
3 minutes read.

"Radiating intent builds trust, whereas simply asking forgiveness without warning of the action… frankly, that smells fishy." -- Elizabeth Ayer with wonderful advice (and framing) that I prefer over "It’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission."

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Peopleware


Building a $100M ARR Sales Team the Second Time Around With WP Engine (Video)
28 minutes read.

WPEngine founded by one of my favorite entrepreneurs - Jason Cohen. Listening to Matt Schatz (SVP of Sales) helped me understand how sales organizations can be structured, which is a helpful perspective to an area I'm usually far from (my background is engineering), for example: "In that shift to data-driven decision making, first thing is invest in sales operations.  [...] Every single time when I finally invested in sales operations and brought in senior people, my first thought is, I should’ve done this a year ago. There’s so much that I missed out on, so don’t go junior here, invest."

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Hey Hello Fellow 1x Engineers. I Made a Site for Us, Hopefully You'll Add Anything That's Missing?
3 minutes read.

Tierney Cyren built https://1x.engineer/, and it's such a great answer to the "10x engineer" rave that was happening lately (all over Twitter, if you missed it.)

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I’m the Founder and CEO of an Early Stage AI Startup - How to Hire a CTO?
7 minutes read.

I enjoy reading (or listening to) Jocelyn Goldfein's thoughts as it's always both pragmatic and inspirational. Jocelyn gets me to re-think about my priorities and how much I invest in long-term activities, like hiring the right people just a bit before I really need them (to gain context).

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Inspiring Tweets


@karen_meep: TLDR;Anakin Was Successful Yet Not Promoted at Work. Not Given Proper Feedback,he Was Acquired by Competition Offering Mentorship & Growth.

@micjm: Building a Team Is a Form of Alchemy.

- 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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