Issue #51, 8th November 2013

This Week's Favorite


Welcome to the Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups
14 minutes read.

This post is a must read if you're in the Software business. It's packed with amazing data points, based on deep analysis by Aileen Lee (unlike the common explosive titles with no data behind them). The evidence for 8 years as an average time for meaningful liquidity event, only makes my core belief even stronger - culture is key for healthy growth. I won't be surprised to see new job titles such as "Culture Growth Hacker" starting in the Valley in the next few years. Companies who want to grow from 10 to 50 to 500 will need to put the effort, if they want to retain talent where people use to switch positions every 2-3 years.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Culture


AngelList New Employee Reading List
2 minutes read.

Having an onboarding reading list for new hires is a great way to communicate values before you rush and make sure new employees are productive. Love this reading list by Nivi (co-founder at AngelList), and this is for sure something I'm going to push at my own company. Great resource, so highly recommended to share at the office!

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Wisdom From Hyper-Growth Companies
10 minutes read.

Great lessons learned about what happens when your company is fortunate enough to grow rapidly in order to meet business needs. I think that Wyatt Jenkins says it best: "One thing I try to avoid is dogmatism". The minute you feel too comfortable, or afraid to try something new because it's not "industry standard" is where hyper growth breaks. As leaders, it's our responsibility to push everyone while also support them (shit will hit the fan).

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


For Startups, Your Culture Starts With Your First Hire
5 minutes read.

Hunter Walk shares the questions you need to ask before you hire your first employes. I would argue that these questions also valid for every hiring, at every state. So if you seek for someone assertive or someone with the right amount of humility, make sure you also know how to get a good sense of understanding during the interview. Talk with people in your company (or consult with others, I'm game) about the values you seek and come up with a list of questions each interviewer can use.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Peopleware


WAT (Lightning Talk)
4 minutes read.

If you're an engineer, watch this lightning talk by Gary Bernhardt - it's ridiculously funny and well organized. Made me laugh every second of it, so I hope it would be a great way to start your weekend. Bonus tip: share it with other engineers at the company, they'd love it.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


The Psychology of Why You Suck at Managing Time (And What You Can Do About It)
5 minutes read.

If you feel overwhelmed with things you need to accomplish, Sherman Lee shares a great practice to create focus - pick one key metric every week. Even if you're not working in a startup, you can pick a weekly goal such as "quality", "support", "infrastructure","recruiting" and spend some extra time to create progress in these areas. I'm going to try it out for my side projects - SoftwareLeadWeekly.com and TeamLeadToolbox.com.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Unconfirmed Guide to Being Awesome
7 minutes read.

What if you were asked by a friend "how to be more productive?". Brendan Forster answers and I enjoyed reading every idea he raised. Personally, "Focus on what you're interested in" is a game changer in terms of learning consistency. In our business, we need to learn new skills and practices every day. Setting a goal of learning something you don't enjoy will make learning much harder, and might cause you to be disappointed for quitting in the middle. Start by diving into what makes you crazy excited. Become great at what you do well today (and love doing), before your rush into other fields. Be open to explore, but don't beat yourself up when you're not having fun. With time you'll find new passions, and maybe then you'll be able to invest yourself in learning it.

Read it later via Pocket or Instapaper.
Share it via Twitter or email.


Inspiring Tweets


@adii: Repeating This to Myself: Do the One Thing That Will Influence or Generate the Biggest Progress / Impact.

@yama: “Start Where You Are. Use What You Have. Do What You Can.” –- Arthur Ashe

- 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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