Issue #75, 25th April 2014

This Week's Favorite


Don’t Fuck Up the Culture
4 minutes read.

A few days ago, Brian Chesky of AirBnB shared an email he wrote back in 2013 to his team called Don't fuck up the Culture. At that point, AirBnB raised more than $120MM in funding. It wasn't "Don't fuck up the servers" or "Don't fuck up the revenues". Great post by Brian and a strong indicator of how much attention and energy you should put into your culture as a founder (or leader in the company), if you want to go big.

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Culture


Stripe Open-Source Retreat
3 minutes read.

This is just too cool to be avoided. Stripe offers $7,500 per month, to a small number of developers to come to San Francisco to work full-time on an open-source project for a period of 3 months. That might sound expensive right? But think about it - how much do you pay a recruiting company for a single hire? How much external buzz does it give you? Which method will help you scale in terms of hiring and retaining talent? My take - steal this idea and apply at your company.

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Compensation: Formulas or Bands?
6 minutes read.

Great post from Elias Torres (HubSpot's VP R&D) about how to calculate employees' compensation. This is the killer part - "Before we established our compensation bands, it was excruciating. Inevitably, we’d end up in that awkward moment when neither the candidate nor I want to mention the first number. " - I've been there. It's an awful feeling. You can use HubSpot's model or use something of your own, but make sure you've got something you feel comfortable with.

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Urgency
4 minutes read.

Great take on "fake urgency" by Caine Tighe. The main problem I see in the never ending stream of urgent issues, is the impact it has on our mental energy. The minute we treat every email, bug or feature the same, is also when we lack focus on those things that could kill our team or company: hiring, vision, customers' success, building value etc. Make sure you're not spending your mental energy on things that will never help your team win.

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Peopleware


The Buffer Weekly Improvements: Week 17
4 minutes read.

Have a look at how Buffer's team collaborate on their weekly personal improvements goals. I think it could be a great team-building strategy, if your team enjoys getting better over time. Having a team that supports each other outside of regular work-related tasks, can be a great way to really get to know each other better. Do you think it would work for your team? Share it with them and have a discussion.

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Leaving It All on the Field
8 minutes read.

Jeff Jordan shares his experience on scaling eBay and PayPal to over 10,000 employees. He defines 4 roles he had to play at different stages: Player, Coach, General Manager and Commissioner. Wonderful read if you ever wondered how it is like to manage a company in hyper-growth state. Also, notice his insights on having a coach and mentor. Leading people can often feel lonely. Having someone to share your struggles and challenges with, can keep your energy levels high and your mind focused.

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Technical Debt, a Case Study : Tags
10 minutes read.

Marc Gravell shares an interesting cast study from Stack Exchange on the technical decisions made and how they decided to handle the resulted Technical Debt every time. If you're too tight on time, make sure you still read "So why are you telling me all this? What is the point?" as there are great takeaways there.

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Inspiring Tweets


@patio11: "Culture" = When a Janitor Can Tell the CEO "I Will Not Do That, Because It Contravenes Our Values" and Wins the Argument on the Spot.

@johnmaeda: Winning an Argument Is Less Important Than Coming to a Solution.

- 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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