Issue #99, 17th October 2014

This Week's Favorite


How Side Projects Saved Our Startup
10 minutes read.

Perseverance, one word that tells it all. When Crew had only 3 months of cash in the bank, they started to experiment with releasing little tools that would hopefully attract a lot of potential customers. It worked. Millions of unique visitors, over 100K emails and plenty of customers. Crazy. Reminds me of the story where the Airbnb founders turn boxes of Cheerios and Captain Crunch into political schwag, labeled "Obama O's" and "Captain McCain." Providing real value is the best marketing any company out there needs to think of, if we want to raise above the noise. Plenty of great tips in this post, so highly recommended read for this weekend!

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Culture


Now, This Is How You Teach CSS Coding for Everyone
1 minutes read.

One photo that even my mom can understand. Good way to start the weekend with a smile. Share it to win some geek points.

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Mobile Web Culture
17 minutes read.

Lara Hogan, an Engineering Manager at Etsy, shares her lessons learned on how Etsy moved towards a culture of performance and mobile web by educating, incentivizing and empowering everyone who works there. I really enjoyed her talk (link to the video inside of the post), so if you prefer the full version, check it out. If you face the same challenge at your company, this is a must read.

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Getting Drunk Off Our Own Kegerators
2 minutes read.

Samuel Hulick strikes a chord with this post - "Would the company’s cause alone be enough to attract top talent?". Our job is to get people to be engaged with their work rather than locked-in due to some perks we can offer.

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Start-Ups Versus Big Companies
12 minutes read.

Julie Zhuo tells it like it is: "Don’t let anyone tell you that one is strictly better or worse than the other. Both have their charms and their cracks." - so, which one fits you? It's never an easy answer.

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My First Six Weeks at Khan Academy
7 minutes read.

A great way to learn more about a company's culture is by reading the stories of how it feels to work there by people who join and share their journey in their early days. The notion of having a mentor assigned to help with onboarding is a great concept to make sure people will have the support that they need.

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Peopleware


44 Engineering Management Lessons
5 minutes read.

Slava Akhmechet (cofounder of RethinkDB) with amazing 44 leadership lessons from his career. Great list and even greater exercise to try out if you're in a leadership position. My favorite section: "Emotions and people". My favorite lesson is: "Building intuition on how to make good decisions and cultivating a great relationship with your team will get you 95% of the way there."

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What Every Manager Can Learn From Anonymous App, Secret
4 minutes read.

Using anonymous feedback is a great way to learn how people truly feel about their peers, boss or the company they're apart of. Three interesting lessons we can learn as managers by looking into some of the discussions at Secret.

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Malcolm Gladwell Says Steve Jobs Became Steve Jobs Because of This Personality Trait
4 minutes read.

Building a sense of momentum and urgency are probably the best tactics to motivate your teammates. Having an inspiring mission is important, but without that sense of continuous delivery, it's easy to get bored with the daily details. Great story on how Steve Jobs got things done: "Jobs has a sense of urgency... He wants to do it now. He speeds to Cupertino and says, drop everything, we're doing this at this very moment."

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Inspiring Tweets


@matthiasak: When You Create, You Meet Other Creators. Passion Begets Creativity Begets Genius.

@ldavidmarquet: Trusting Your Team Does Not Mean You Have to Agree All the Time. Disagreeing With Your Team Does Not Mean You Do Not Trust Each Other.

- 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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