self

while being present is a worthy endeavor, it seems that almost every decision we make is either in response to appease our past or future self.

career growth

when you create pathways for growth as an individual contributor – allowing for seniority without requiring people management – naturally, you also create an environment where managers may be less skilled or experienced than their direct reports. the age old adage for management is always to hire people better than yourself, but this paradigm institutionalizes that practice. this requires humility from IC stars and it necessitates very real management support to make sure that talented ICs have clear paths for continued growth under the stewardship of less senior managers.

platforms

Ironically enough, Wave was a great platform, may they rest in peace. But making something a platform is not going to make you an instant success. A platform needs a killer app. Facebook — that is, the stock service they offer with walls and friends and such — is the killer app for the Facebook Platform. And it is a very serious mistake to conclude that the Facebook App could have been anywhere near as successful without the Facebook Platform.

Stevey’s Google Platform Rant

process

The heavy-handed process is anathema to innovative companies. Smart people like to work on challenging problems, with other bright people and a minimum of process. For me, strategy, and articulation of that ‘one key metric’ and how you are going to move it, coupled with high cadence testing and learning, is the key to delivering both consumer and shareholder value.

– Gibson Biddle, in “How to Run a Quarterly Product Strategy Meeting

efficacy

It’s more important to be effective than efficient

Christina Wodtke discussing Ken Norton’s approach to initiative duplication at Google in Radical Focus

virtual team meetups

I hereby move to rename “onsites” and “offsites” to the more appropriate term for the COVID age, where everyone meets digitally – introducing the “nonsite.”