Issue #77, 16th May 2014

This Week's Favorite


Speeding Up Your Engineering Org, Part I: Beyond the Cost Center Mentality
12 minutes read.

One of the best posts I've read in a very long time. Edmund Jorgensen explains why we need to stop looking at engineering organization as "cost center", where you spend X dollars to produce Y, but rather to add latency into this equation and put a value/price tag on it as well. Latency, in this context, is the time it takes you to get an idea and put it out there in the market. Important read I highly recommend sharing at the office!

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


Culture


The Efficiency Fallacy
6 minutes read.

Well written post from Harel Ben-Attia. "Some would say that teams are expected to find the optimal solution and not the minimal one, but from my experience in many cases it's only a local optimum, still aimed to solve a minimization problem" - Harel's insight on taking the superposition principle into the decision making process is a great advice if you want to make better decisions over time. Also, I see strong correlation to the post I've shared above (Beyond the cost of center mentality), as we don't put enough emphasis on measuring latency over time. Figuring out the impact on latency over time as part of the tradeoffs considered, can help us further improve our decision making skills.

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


Vision, Mission, Strategy
3 minutes read.

One of the areas I believe the most successful companies are really great at is sharing their vision across the different teams in the organization. Just look at Google: their vision of "organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful" propagated to the various different teams, not only their core search engine team. This is how they manage to stay so innovative, e.g. Google Maps, Google Glass or even Google's self-driving cars. If you're leading a team, try to define your own vision, mission and strategy and see how it aligns with the business.

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


Marketing to a Mission
5 minutes read.

The team at Wistia decided to switch from product-based marketing to a mission-based marketing. Not only I believe it contributes a lot to their ability to better educate their community, but I also think that it could help build a better culture at the company as the alignment is much stronger than the specific product they're working on. It would help them to experiment with new features and even new products as long as the mission remains the same. The well-known advice of "Fall in-love with the problem you're trying to solve, not with your current solution" applied to content marketing.

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


Peopleware


How to Make Your Team Love You for Less Than $10
5 minutes read.

Jason Evanish shares a story of how he bought the best humanly possible gift to one of the engineers in the team at KISSMetrics. Paying attention and making it personal will always win hearts. Can you think of a wonderful gift to surprise your teammates?

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Share it via Twitter or email.


The 30 Second Habit With a Lifelong Impact
4 minutes read.

Robyn Scott shares a great advice that I'd start to apply in my personal life, hoping to make my meetings more effective. I believe that you'll find it useful as well. I can see other areas this practice could work out as well, such as writing a single insight I took after reading a few chapters of a great book before I fall asleep.

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


How to Motivate People – 4 Steps Backed by Science
5 minutes read.

Easy to read and highly relevant 4 tips you can apply to motivate your teammates. "Make Them Feel Something" is my favorite of all. Sadly, I believe that Engineering Managers are probably spending little to non-existent time in this area. We were taught how to optimize for CPU and memory, but never for emotions and happiness. We can all do better job at showing our teammates we genuinely care about them.

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


Inspiring Tweets


@ourfounder: If You Don't Give a Crap, You Will Develop Crap. Good Product Requires Care.

@sama: Startups That Value Process Over Substance Usually Fail. This Is Also One Reason Companies Often Get Worse as They Get Bigger.

- 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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