Issue #49, 25th October 2013

This Week's Favorite


A Short History of Software Engineering
36 minutes read.

Paolo Perrotta is an amazing lecturer, and his talk is one of my all-time favorites. If you want to laugh, while also learn a few interesting insights on our progress as an industry, sit back and see this video. Highly recommended!

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Culture


Imbalanced People
3 minutes read.

Jason Cohen is spot on! One of our unique advantages in this business, is working with incredibly smart and passionate people. Make it your goal to join such a team or hire these people. The most wonderful people I've worked with always managed to inspire everyone to push their limits. Avoid people who only try to optimize for local maxima.

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Culture Hacks Ideas List (hackpad)
3 minutes read.

Great list of ideas you can use to boost your culture. Originally created by Patrick Collison (Stripe's CEO), as part of his talk at Cultivate NYC. My personal favorite hack is taking employees to meet with investors or participate in board meetings. It shows how transparent and open Stripe's culture really is.

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How HubSpot Approaches Inbound Marketing, Culture and Sales
14 minutes read.

It's amazing to see how HubSpot apply the same principles and values to every aspect of their organization. If you're short with time and looking for some culture insights, I highly recommend "Aligning Sales and Marketing" and "People Who Fight Conventional Wisdom". Also, I find their marketing strategy insightful and powerful - definitely going to share it at the office.

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Building R&D Culture Based on Quality to Drive Innovation
6 minutes read.

Aviran Mordo (of Wix) shares how his team integrate quality and innovation into their culture. Their "Quality Thursday" is a wonderful concept for getting things done while balancing it with learning and growth.

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Peopleware


Change Your Location to Improve Your Work Flow (video)
1 minutes read.

Noah Kagan with a quick advice I enjoy implementing. It's something we should all experiment with. I recently bought a standing desk, and changing positions every few hours (every time I finish a task) is a great way to boost my productivity. Figure out what works best for you

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Argue Well by Losing
4 minutes read.

Phil Haack is brilliant as always. Ever wondered if there are ways to improve the way you argue? And no, the goal is not to "win" some more arguments, but rather to expand our knowledge. After all, what's the purpose of working with someone else without learning from them? Trust me when I say you should read this post. Bonus: share it with your teammates, then argue who argues best, and why.

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Does Brainstorming Work?
3 minutes read.

I always saw brainstorming as a great way to achieve alignment and teambuilding. The fact that the entire team can present their thoughts and values before they share their ideas, made it worthwhile even if it wasn't the most productive session. But what if we could crowd-source brainstorming? Customer development, in some ways, is a crowd-source validation of ideas (outside of our office), so can't we apply brainstorming (with anonymity) the same way?

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Inspiring Tweets


@shl: "Make Something People Want" Includes Making a Company That People Want to Work For.

@unativ: I'm Not Impressed With People Solving Problems They Should Not Have Created in the First Place

- 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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