Issue #81, 13th June 2014

This Week's Favorite


Get Out of Denial About Your Priorities
5 minutes read.

This one simple question by Joelle Steiniger (co-founder of HookFeed) is a great tool to prioritize your company's challenges, your career growth, your diet or your relationship with your loved ones. Jeff Bezos (Amazon's legendary CEO) once said "It’s perfectly healthy—encouraged, even—to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.… the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved." — so I won't spoil the story in this post, I'll just recommend you to follow the advice Joelle shares.

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Culture


Creating Culture: An Imperfect Recipe
15 minutes read.

The reason I like this post so much is that Andy Dunn doesn't try to carefully navigate in the "gray area". He makes some statements and explains the reasoning behind each one, based on things that helped him build a successful company. For example, his test on checking for the candidate's passion for the company's mission by offering slightly less salary and double the equity is a great signal. If you're short on time, I highly recommend reading the section "Give the company away".

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How Gumroad Has Grown It’s Customer Base With a Lean Engineering Team
5 minutes read.

Great interview with the Gumroad engineering team. Check out the 3 questions they ask for every feature they're developing. Being a versatile Engineer is not only about the technology stack you're using, it's also about your curiosity to figure out how to build better products and help the company win.

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To Standup or Not to Standup
4 minutes read.

Should you do daily standups? Jeff Ma shares the struggles of running a daily standup at his company. I've shared the same experience in my past, taking a lot of iterations on those 10-15 minutes until we found something that works for us. "Over the years I have found that getting a team to talk and communicate daily is paramount to productivity – however, the platform of communication isn’t important." – Figure out what works out best for you.

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Peopleware


How to Never Worry Whether You’re Making the Wrong Decisions Again
7 minutes read.

Having a framework for tracking your decision-making skills is something I've discovered a few years ago, as an Engineering Manager who was terrified of making poor decisions. It was one of the most effective tools I've ever used for personal growth and I highly recommend it. While I'm using a different framework, the principles remain the same - This post by Kate Matsudaira can be used as a template to go back to, if you want to reflect on your past decisions to make better decisions in the future.

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The Number #1 Reason to Focus
1 minutes read.

Set Godin with another short and sweet post. Great read!

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Things Bad Managers Say
3 minutes read.

Jon Bell shares 3 things bad managers say. Important read for every manager out there, even if you're an ex-superstar at getting things done: "The key is that being an effective manager takes an entirely different skillset than the thing you were doing before. You don’t lead creative people well just by being a creative person. You don’t lead developers well just because you’ve written code."

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Inspiring Tweets


@erickoester: You Don't Teach Because You Can't Do. You Teach Because You Can't Bear to Watch Others Struggle Alone.

@rands: Busy Is an Addiction.

- 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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