Issue #60, 10th January 2014

This Week's Favorite


Can Do vs. Can’t Do Cultures
5 minutes read.

Brilliant post by the legendary Ben Horowitz, with one great observation on the difference between can do and can't do attitude at work. The best advice I could give you is to simply read this post, and ask yourself which kind of attitude and culture you've got in your company? Why is that? How do you contribute to it? How could you make it (even) better?

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Culture


Email Transparency at Khan Academy
7 minutes read.

I love to see how companies experiment with the way they communicate and share information internally. Stripe wrote before about the way they let everyone a way to read every email inside of the organization and the team at KA decided to give it a shot as well. I love how they used the "blackhole" concept with Gmail's filters and groups to automatically manage the entire process. This system optimizes for employees' happiness as they've got the control for which kind of information they want to consume. Also worth reading the comments sections for more concerns and solutions to common problems in this approach.

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Hired Podcast
1 minutes read.

I've listened to a few podcasts by Cameron Moll interviewing Mike Brittain (Etsy) and Jason Fried (37signals), and I thought it would be a great value for your time. Worth checking it out: "A podcast about work life and company culture, and how our guests do both of those things awesomely well."

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Tesla and Adobe: Why Continuous Deployment May Mean Continuous Customer Disappointment
5 minutes read.

Steve Blank, one of the leaders behind the Lean Startup movement (Eric Ries's mentor,) emphasis an important caveat about using Continuous Deployment - your customers will not always appreciate this approach. Check Steve's "Lessons Learned" at the end of the post if you need a quick summary, and make sure to subscribe to his blog if you care about this subject. It doesn't get any better than that.

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Peopleware


Execs Who Can't Attract Former Coworkers Are Red Flags
2 minutes read.

Hunter Walk with a single observation that separates great leaders from good ones - can they bring talent with them? "[when] You get someone like Steve, and you don’t just hire a person, you’ve hired a team." This is a great reminder for all of us. It's our role to inspire and help our teammates win. They'll remember that feeling and will follow people who bring the best out of them.

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Designing Features Using Job Stories
10 minutes read.

I've always cringed when people talked about "User Stories", but it wasn't until this post that I finally understood why - I couldn't relate to the way the story was told/written. Now, I know that everyone has a different opinion on features, stories, epics, themes or whatever you choose to use. For me, it's matter of taste and matching the company's culture. This post offers another interesting approach that I could personally relate to, using the situation (causality, motivation and pains) to provide the required context. This little distinction, at least in my eyes, makes a huge difference. Great read.

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The UX of Interviewing
4 minutes read.

It's wonderful to read how a Design Lead such as Cap Watkins (Etsy) writes his thoughts about interviewing. Like a great UX, there is a fine mix of high-level details (meta) and low-level details that make it all work together. This post address the meta: what kind of impression we leave on the candidate at the end of the interview? One of these posts you should share with everyone in your team and company who is interviewing for talent. You only have one chance to leave a great first impression.

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Inspiring Tweets


@dasjoshua: There’s Nothing Wrong With Staying Small. You Can Do Big Things With a Small Team.

@tommoor: More Emails Than Github Issues? Welcome to the Maker/Manager Transition...

- 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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