Issue #357, 27th September 2019

This Week's Favorite


The Secret to a Great Planning Process — Lessons From Airbnb and Eventbrite
16 minutes read.

As you're planning your next quarter (or big project ahead), I highly recommend following the "W Framework" as presented by Lenny Rachitsky and Nels Gilbreth. I plan on experimenting with it during the quarter, even in a single initiative, to practice the templates they offered and how to frame the effort. Share it internally with team members from various teams and discuss which parts you can take out of it and try.

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Culture


As a Single Mother You Learn to Use All the Tools in Your Toolbox. Like, the Screensaver, for Instance.
1 minutes read.

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

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The Church of Interruption
5 minutes read.

Sam Bleckley with one of my favorite posts this week, forcing us to think about the way we talk (and interrupt) others: "Barkers are delightful storytellers, brilliant lecturers, and appalling conversationalists. [...] The first task for you will not be talking to a Barker, but ensuring that you never become one. [...] As soon as you decide that someone has nothing of interest to say, you become a Barker in their eyes. If that happens too often, it becomes a habit – and you might never talk with another human again."

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Stupid Baboons, Stubborn Elephants: A Product Engineer’s Guide to Working With Platform Engineers
12 minutes read.

Rina Artstain the pains and focus areas when working as a product engineer with platform/infrastructure engineers. It's remarkable how little software development is actually about writing code as the company grows. Unless you treat your company as a product, trying to scale out and scale up the emotions involved, you're most likely to slow down as you get bigger. Any authentic incentive (to the people you have and those you want to attract) that increases empathy between teams has to be proactively promoted.

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A Mental Model for Prioritizing Your Startup's Energies
4 minutes read.

The pendulum metaphor between product and engineering to marketing and sales efforts, made me think this week of my situation at work. It also felt like a useful framework to understand the challenges a few friends recently shared with me regarding prioritization. It creates a common language that can align leadership on where to put energy and attention. Use Tomasz Tunguz's suggestion to figure out where you should set your focus in the next three months.

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Peopleware


Navigating the Leap From Individual Contributor to Force Multiplier
8 minutes read.

Julie Zhuo's post made me stop and take a few minutes to figure out the purpose I have in mind for my team. It made me question the time we spend on getting closer to our customers. Her words were so inspiring that I shared a short tweet-storm around the power of building team purpose by getting closer to our customers. The section about "Authenticity is the key to building trust" is a must-read, so even if you're super busy take a couple of minutes and read it.

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It’s Easy to Think That Being a Manager Is as Simple as Assigning Work and Keeping Schedules, Especially When You’re New to It. The Sooner You Can Engage With the Thoughtful Work of Real Management, the More Successful You and Your Team Will Be. (Thread)
4 minutes read.

Kieran Snyder with excellent tips for managers (new and experienced): from being present (and available), how to provide useful feedback, asking the other side to summarize (in writing) what they took from the conversation and more. I fully agree with this framing by Kieran about the relationship you should aim for: "No one wants their manager to be their friend. They want you to be clear, fair, compassionate, and a decent human. But they’d rather have you engage thoughtfully on their work and career than have you be their friend. They have other friends."

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How I Build Learning Projects — Part I
13 minutes read.

This post by Robert Chang is such a detailed masterpiece on how to deliberately grow and improve at your craft; I cannot recommend it enough. The framing around "Focus on Transferable Skills" is something I've never considered that way, and it helps to set a strong filter (if you choose to apply such) when you explore for ideas. Share this post with your teammates, and even better - share your learning projects so you could push each other to learn and teach.

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Inspiring Tweets


@petecodes: Hacker News Launch Is Like Watching R Rated Movie as a Kid. Product Hunt Launch Is Like a Disney Film Where No One Dies.

@orangebook_: Writing Is the Fastest Way to Understand You Didn’t Understand.

- 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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