|—||Chris Dixon on the power law in VC http://a16z.com/2014/09/12/a16z-podcast-secrets-power-laws-and-technology-the-ideas-of-zero-to-one/|
I have always preferred a method of decision making and planning that goes something like this:
- Gather information - this may involve a meeting or multiple meetings with stakeholders or it might just involve googling. The important thing to remember if it involves meetings and other people is that the goal is not to make decisions at this point - it is to ask questions and accumulate information.
- Make a solo decision - with this information in hand, I then attempt to put together the best decision or the best plan. I seek very little collaboration during this part of the process. I may need to go back for more information or do a “fact check” but I never share the responsibility of making a decision with anyone else.
- Present the decision to key stakeholders - I then present my decision to the necessary stakeholders for feedback, debate, and suggestions.
- Tweak and finalize - I use this feedback to tweak the decision or plan, and if I’m somehow really off the mark, I will start over, but that is rare given the work done in step 1.
I think this is noteworthy because a lot of people prefer to combine steps 1-3 and perform steps 1-3 in a group setting. That has never worked well for me. I’m never happy with the decision because I feel it’s uninformed or a Frankenstein created from the compromises and agendas of a lot of people. I prefer focused, cohesive outcomes even if it polarizes people.
This approach was validated for me today by this article. Here’s an excerpt:
Thankfully, there is a way to avoid the negative effects of extensive planning. Nenkov and Gollwitzer found that if you take part in the same debates after creating the initial plan, you can actually increase your commitment. After you’ve decided on a course of action, discussing pros and cons forces our minds to defend the decision. Believe it or not, our defensiveness helps us achieve our goals by fostering grit and perseverance.
Good design is innovative
The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.
Good design makes a product useful
A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional, but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product whilst disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.
Good design is aesthetic
The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
Good design makes a product understandable
It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product talk. At best, it is self-explanatory.
Good design is unobtrusive
Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
Good design is honest
It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.
Good design is long-lasting
It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.
Good design is thorough down to the last detail
Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the user.
Good design is environmentally-friendly
Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.
Good design is as little design as possible
Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials.
Back to purity, back to simplicity.
|—||Steve Jobs (via Chris Dixon’s blog)|
From an interview with Adam Nash, Wealthfront CEO
"In the software industry, you’re used to dealing with very smart people. What they really need out of leadership is very simple. They need to know the game we’re playing and how to keep score."
"So if you have a company where everyone has their own ways of keeping score, you’ll get incessant fighting and arguments, and they’re not even arguing about what to do. They’re arguing about how to keep score. They’re arguing about what game we’re really playing. That’s all counterproductive."
What we can learn from his research is that mitigating factors that lead to job dissatisfaction won’t necessarily lead us to job satisfaction. -3 Psychological Theories To Help You Communicate Better With Anyone
This is called Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory
- the work itself
- company’s policies and administration
- working conditions
- salary interpersonal
- job security
I quote this all the time. It’s one of the most effective techniques I know in diffusing a situation where one person is complaining about another person wronging them. I call those people “social conspiracy theorists.”
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
I like to substitute “ignorance” for stupidity when you don’t want to insult the other person too much.
I also like this quote:
If I can’t think of at least three different interpretations of what I received, I haven’t thought enough about what it might mean.— Jerry Weinberg
I don’t know this guy or like the rest of his post, but I like this story.
There once was a young man who wanted to make a lot of money. So he goes to a GURU to seek out his advice.
He goes to him and says” I wanna be on the same level as you’re on.”
The GURU says”If you wanna be on the same level as I’m on,I’ll meet you tomorrow at the beach at 4 am”.
The young man says,”The Beach? I said I wanna make money,I don’t wanna swim.”
The GURU says,”If you wanna make money,I’ll meet you tomorrow. 4am.”
The young man got there at 4am.He was all ready to rock’n roll.He had put on a suit(should’ve worn shorts).
The GURU grabs his hands and asks,”How bad do you wanna be successful?”
The young man says” Real bad.”
The GURU says,”Walk out into the water.”
So the young man walks out into the water. As he walks further he is waist deep into the water.He thinks,”What’s he got me doing?I didn’t come here to swim.I don’t wanna be a lifeguard.I wanna make money.”
The GURU says,”Don’t stop,walk a little further.”
The young man walks a little further and now he is neck deep into the water.He thinks,”Is this man crazy? He may be rich and successful be he sure is crazy.”
The GURU says,”Walk out a little further”.
The young man walks out a little further and now his nose is barely above the water level.He thinks,”Think guy is out of his mind”.
He is about to go back when the GURU says,”I thought you wanted to be successful”.
The young man says,”I do.”
The GURU walks upto him and says,”Then walk out a little further.”
As the young man begins to walk further into the water the GURU grabs his head and puts him under water.The young man can’t breathe now.He starts throwing his hands here and there in desperate attempt to get out of the water.Just before the young man was about to pass out,the GURU pulls him out and says,”I’ve got a question for you.”
Try to answer this question yourself,
He asks,”When you were underwater,what did you wanted to do?”
The young man replies,”Breathe”.(What did you answer?)
He told the guy,”When you will want to succeed as bad as you wanted to breathe,then you’ll be successful.”
Spade and Sperduti have eschewed the idea that the best way to sell a product is to tell your customers what they should think about it. Instead, they believe that a brand should speak for itself through its interactions with customers. Those interactions, in turn, must be driven by an authentic and clear brand vision. The general idea, says Spade, is that no matter the size of your company, your brand should “act small.”
On the surface, starting and building a successful ecommerce business may look easy but it’s much more challenging than many think. That’s why I’ve scoured the Internet to find the best resources for ecommerce entrepreneurs, whether you’re a newb or a seasoned pro.
My age +/- 2 years:
- Age 27 Ben Silberman co-founded Pinterest
- Age 28 Andrew Mason co-founded Groupon
- Age 29 Bryan Johnston co-founded Braintree
- Age 30 Jeff Bezos founded Amazon
- Age 31 Perry Chen co-founded Kickstarter
- When it’s unclear who’s got the ball and what should be happening, everyone trusts that the DRI is driving. When you trust your DRI, you don’t have to worry when you don’t see any recent activity about that issue.
- When everyone knows that something is important, but no one feels like it’s their responsibility to see it all the way through. In a fast-growing company with tons of activity, important things get left on the table not because people are irresponsible but just because they’re really busy.
- Having a DRI is also efficient for the team because you don’t have 15 people all worrying about the same things. Instead, an engineer can feel comfortable knowing that sometimes they simply show up and other people will tell them what to do, freeing them to focus on the challenge at hand.
These are all important principles in management as well. I bolded the ones I think need most repeating:
- Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
- Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
- Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
- When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
- Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
- Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
- Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
- Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
- Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
- Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.