Issue #62, 24th January 2014

This Week's Favorite


Expectations and Entitlements
5 minutes read.

"It was I who had committed the original sin — I expected something." Semil Shah with a painful reminder we should all embrace. We shouldn't expect something in return to our investment. Life is much more complicated than what's "fair". This is why I always thought the secret sauce of the optimist is to be willing to accept good fortune rather than expecting it. It's up to us to keep pushing and change (or break) things. We do it because we believe it is right, not because it would entitle us to receive something in return. Great read!

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Culture


GitHub's Public Speaking Culture
5 minutes read.

I highly recommend reading this post. Helping our teammates to build a personal brand is one of those responsibilities we don't pay enough attention to as we're swamped with "urgent business goals". I believe that publicly sharing our culture, while helping our teammates to become better teachers is a great benefit both for the employee and for the company. There is no over-communication, and public speaking doesn't have to be the only option. Sharing your culture, thoughts and solutions on any medium is worthwhile. Quora, StackOverflow, personal or company's blog, side-projects, open-source projects are all great options. Would you do something differently in 2014?

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Reverse Resume
5 minutes read.

I love this idea by Tony Wright! As a leadership practice, I'd prepare my own Reverse Resume and ask my teammates to write theirs. It's a great way to discover what really matters to them and make sure that the team and company provide these challenges they're seeking for. There is nothing worse than having different hidden expectations, where nobody is happy, and nobody cares enough to change it.

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Crunch Time: Good or Bad?
6 minutes read.

We all have our own perspective on whether or not "Crunch Time" is a good thing. I believe this post by Ben Yoskovitz (VP Product at GoInstant) is great because it also addresses how they reduce the likelihood of having consistent Crunch Time at GoInstant. Personally, I believe that Crunch Time are a great way to jell the team or measure how much people really enjoy working with each other, if(!) done to achieve important milestones once every few months. Will people help one another to finish their tasks on time? Will they care more about themselves or the team and company?

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Peopleware


Jeff Bezos - Regret Minimization Framework (Video)
3 minutes read.

Jeff Bezos (Amazon's CEO) in a great 3 minutes video on how he made the decision to leave a very comfortable job and open a new company called Amazon. Definitely something I'm going to use more often as opportunities emerge, both at work and in life.

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Why Is Having Engineering Titles Such as "Senior Software Engineer" Considered by Some to Be a Bad Thing?
3 minutes read.

Yishan Wong answers a really important question we should all ask ourselves. Are we happy with the titles we give away to our teammates? Does it really make our employees happier? Does it really represents their status? Is it the culture we want to build? I also recommend reading "Amazon's Current Employees Raise the Bar for New Hires" post I've shared in this email to see how Amazon utilize seniority in a way that can scale the company.

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Amazon's Current Employees Raise the Bar for New Hires
6 minutes read.

This is an amazing hiring tactic you should consider using in your company! "Bar raiser" is a way to let those employees who best represent the company's culture and talent, to be part of the interviewing process and verify that the company's unique DNA will continue to flourish over time. It's a way to grant an employee an incredible privilege to help with hiring in all aspects of the organization, instead of throwing a bigger title or a bigger bonus.

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Inspiring Tweets


@eliast: The Best Engineers Want to Work for Teams W/Great Technology & Leadership. Don't Make Excuses for Your Crappy Stack #Bereal

@rands: Anger Narrows Your Sense of What Is Possible.

- 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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