Issue #85, 11th July 2014

This Week's Favorite


A Business Within the Business
15 minutes read.

A must read if your company is facing growth that breaks people's sense of ownership. I specifically liked an important observation by Dave - "People in a functional group tend to identify with each other more than they identify with the purpose of the organization" - this understanding can explain why people sometimes are afraid of Technical Debt more than the risk of closing down the company. The idea behind the Podular Organization is an interesting direction to consider, reaching a certain size, assuming you invest the time in hiring the right people for such structure. Food for thought for this weekend.

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Culture


10 Lessons From 4 Years Working Remotely at Automattic
8 minutes read.

Great insights from Sara Rosso of Automattic, the company behind WordPress. Working in a distributed team puts a lot of the focus solely on output, which has huge benefits in terms of planning your day - as long as you're delivering, no one cares when or where you got it done. This means you can go to gym at 10AM if that makes sense, as there is no peer pressure to "just be at the office on time". Finding some balance in life is important, regardless of working together or as a distributed team. Companies need to figure out how to mitigate and allow such freedom, as long as people are effective and happy.

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We're Looking for Hearts, Not Skills
4 minutes read.

Another great post by the team at LookBack. This post is going to be my default answer to "what culture fit really means?" - Being able to explain your hiring strategy is crucial. It's usually the first thing I try to figure out when people consult with me about hiring engineers for their teams. What are you looking for? Have you written it down already?

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Peopleware


What Qualities Make a Good Startup Engineer?
8 minutes read.

The wonderful Edmond Lau with another epic post, for those of you who want to understand what makes a great engineer a good fit for startups. Working in a startup requires a different state of mind and above all, a fearless attitude to learn new things and take ownership. This post is perfect for those who always wanted to work in a startup but couldn't understand what's the different between that and working for a big company.

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The Generation Ship Model of Software Development
5 minutes read.

This post came as a close 2nd to my favorite this week. William Morgan is a fantastic writer, trust me when I say you have to read this post.

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Introduction to OKR – Objectives and Key Results
5 minutes read.

OKR is a concept not enough companies know of, at least in the practical sense of it, i.e. not the wikipedia definition. The great team behind Weekdone created a beautiful infographic you should check to quickly understand what it's all about and how to apply it (good vs bad OKR).

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Inspiring Tweets


@dorkitude: In an Org Where the Manager Leading the Work Also Controls the Compensation, There Is a Perverse Incentive to Agree With Whatever They Say.

@dorkitude: As Most Companies Grow, the Distance Between Influence and Competence Grows. This Seems Suboptimal.

- 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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