Issue #76, 9th May 2014

This Week's Favorite


Why Building a Data Science Team Is Deceptively Hard
5 minutes read.

Cheng-Tao Chu from Codecademy shares 3 important misconceptions on why building a data-science team is deceptively hard. A lot of buzzwords are thrown on recruiting data-scientists nowadays. From my experience, lacking "product thinking" is the most dangerous weaknesses of all. Dealing with a huge amount of data, usually requires a lot of data processing before you can start to apply certain models and extract insights from it. Basically, you start with investing a lot of time, before you can even start playing with the data. Great data scientist, can cut work X10 if they know how to ask the right product questions, before asking the technical questions.

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Culture


How AirBnB Started: From Renting Air Mattresses to A $10B Company (Image)
2 minutes read.

Great infographics sharing the hard/nasty parts of AirBnB growing to a 10 billion dollars business. A beautiful 7 years "overnight success" story, for those of us who need the mental support in this rollercoaster called startup.

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How We’re Trying to Stay Innovative as a 3.5 Year Old Startup
5 minutes read.

Joel Gascoigne with another great post on how they try to keep experimenting with new innovative ideas, while working on their no-longer-a-fresh-startup core capabilities.Finding a balance is tremendously difficult, the pressure to increase revenues and fully utilize outside money can sometimes block you from executing on your long-term goals. Using LinkedIn's Core, Expend and Venture Projects framework is a great way to split your efforts. Can you use it for your company? Lastly, if you're not short on time, I highly recommend watching the interview with Reid Hoffman and Matt Mullenweg (video inside the post).

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Four Million to One: How I Handle Trello Support
5 minutes read.

"I thought it would be a good time to share with other small software development teams the fact that providing high quality support doesn’t have to be expensive or impossible" - a must read if providing great customer service is important for you. Brian Cervino, a one-person team supports over 4 million Trello users, sharing some of the tools he uses to get the work done. Great read!

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Peopleware


How I Give Advice to People
3 minutes read.

Hiten Shah will give you one key insight on asking better questions if you're seeking for feedback: "Share your situation with them so you can learn how they would think about what you should do next." - learn how to ask questions that will lead you to think in a different way rather than act in a different way. The former scales, the latter doesn't.

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How to Discuss Pay With Your Employees
8 minutes read.

A post to read & bookmark if you need to discuss money with your employees in the near future. If you haven't done it so far, please (please!) do performance evaluations separately. As engineers, we learn how to apply the Single Responsibility Principle when designing our system. I recommend applying it to your conversations as well. Make sure each talk is focused on a single area.

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A Former Workaholic Shares Strategies for Working Smarter
6 minutes read.

Kate Matsudaira with 6 helpful tips on working fewer hours, but getting a lot more from your time. I highly recommend following each and every one of these wonderful advices, but I'd like to offer an additional critical element to it - communicating planning & progress. Here is why: people who work hard are usually getting more done. It can be the wrong things, but still, it makes you feel highly productive. This feeling is addictive. In order to *consistently* work smarter, write down the reasons you decided to pick specific tasks and communicate it when it's done. It can be an email to your boss or your teammates, but thoughtful planning by itself should be measured as part of your productivity. This little trick worked for me, as the immediate drop from 10 tasks done per day to 3, can often kill your sense of productivity, forcing you to work more hours again.

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Inspiring Tweets


@ldavidmarquet: Leadership Is Not Getting People to Do. Leadership Is Getting People to Think.

@cyetain: Really Good Leaders Spend Time to Learn Things… They Don't Spend 50 Mins Getting Debriefed by Subordinates ~@Snowded #Lkna14

- 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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