Clean Room, Clean Mind

Why do I avoid the backlog and overflowing todo list? Why do I shove one more tool into a drawer already full of bits and bobs? Why do I squeeze yet another outfit into an overflowing closet? Because confronting this mess is hard work. It means making tough choices. Most of the time, I’d rather … Continue reading Clean Room, Clean Mind

Flat Organizations: Not Reinventing Everything

Why a Flat Organizational Structure will Fail as You Grow is an insightful and thought-provoking study from Lighthouse, a software tool for managers. Keeping in mind when considering any decision that someone else — somewhere before — solved the same issue. From my personal workflow, to team processes and habits, all the up to key decisions on company structure. … Continue reading Flat Organizations: Not Reinventing Everything

Agile Thinkers Know When a Best Practice Isn’t Best

I have a hiring heuristic called ABCDEF, which stands for: agility, brains, communication, drive, empathy and fit. For gatekeepers, I’ve found agility is the most important attribute. To test it, I ask them: ‘Tell me a best practice from your way of working.’ Then I ask: ‘Tell me a situation where that best practice would … Continue reading Agile Thinkers Know When a Best Practice Isn’t Best

Your Judgement Differentiates You

Keep learning. You've only touched the edge of the issue. Develop your judgement, which is essentially decision making under uncertainty. Pattern matching: keep growing your pattern matching database, and be very conscious about it. Heard on the a16z podcast for March 26, 2018 with Andy Rachleff, Wealthfront founder and CEO.

Review: Dawn of the New Everything

My book review of Dawn of the New Everything, Encounters With Reality and Virtual Reality by Jaron Lanier (2017). The book is enjoyable and readable, though I did skip around over the more esoteric bits. Alternating between a deep autobiographical dive into Lanier's life and a straightforward account of the history of technology, with an emphasis on virtual (VR) … Continue reading Review: Dawn of the New Everything

Distractions Are Allowed

Via the Headspace app's "Productivity" lessons, I love this mindful approach to distractions. I've been learning that distractions can be good or bad. Like thoughts, they'll always come and go. It's not the nature of the distraction but acknowledging its existence. A skill I'd like to develop further is to be at ease with my current … Continue reading Distractions Are Allowed

Evergreen

Bookmark for a business-y word I now seem to see everywhere. Isn't it odd how you tune in to something and end up noticing it more often? In this case, "evergreen" means "timeless." Something that ages well, keeps its value, lives a long life. For example, The Pragmatic Programmer by Andy Hunt and David Thomas is … Continue reading Evergreen

Resilience Engineering and Strange Loops

My notes and takeaways from a long read on anomalies and system complexity called the STELLA Report from the SNAFUcatchers Workshop on Coping With Complexity, 2017. Via Matt. This paper is one of the best I’ve read in a while. Many lessons here match my experiences developing—and breaking—software for WordPress. I gained new insight into adaptive mental models, how best to … Continue reading Resilience Engineering and Strange Loops

Fire Suppression System

A dilemma to consider. Should we... Let the fires rage while we build a fire suppression system. Or... Continue to fight the fires while dreaming about a fire suppression system that we'll build someday.

Problem Number Two

Once you eliminate your number one problem, number two gets a promotion. Jerry Weinberg