“it’s always easier to be able to write everything from scratch but that doesn’t always happen. I had that privilege at Yahoo!. But coming into Shopify, I was contributing to an existing project that had already been under development for some time. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a familiar mantra but refactoring should be something that projects make time for. Refactoring removes the technical debt that has built up allowing for faster development for new features. As they say, “there’s no time like the present” to begin implementing a modular approach to a project. Just do it one piece at a time.”—Interview With Jonathan Snook
Rather than committing to one early idea, I try several things at once, do hacks, have conversations, and, if you’ll forgive the flowery language, sow a seed. Each could have potential to grow into something big (the little big idea), but there’s often no knowing at an early stage which one is the right one to focus on. Like the one that was just an idea on a piece of paper.
Once you’ve spotted something, and you’ve got a good signal, that this is the thing you should be doing, then it’s all about getting laser-focussed to make it happen. Spotting it though is really hard. And when you’re interested by lots of things, how can you decide where to put your efforts? For me, it’s about looking for signals.
Depending on what it is that you’re doing, a signal to invest your time in something is going to differ from a signal that I am looking for in my work. It might be a third party getting in touch out of the blue, saying they’d heard about what you’re working on; it might be early revenue or sign-ups; or someone you respect saying that they have a huge pain that would be solved; or it might be more mathematical—15% month-on-month user growth on a prototype. Have a think about what signal you’re looking for in the things that you’re working on.
And when you get your signal, kill everything except the one you’re going to commit to.
“One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. Whether it’s guilt, anger, love, loss or betrayal. Change is never easy. We fight to hold on and we fight to let go.”—Lessons Learned in Life (via psych-facts)
If you want to end the focus on time tracking, you have to stop talking about effort and start talking about features. Either you did or didn’t deliver a feature. Whether you spent 80 hours or 8 is irrelevant.
If you’re delivering value, obviously you’re working. Who needs a timesheet to prove that?
“True gender equality is actually perceived as inequality. A group that is made up of 50% women is perceived as being mostly women. A situation that is perfectly equal between men and women is perceived as being biased in favor of women.
And if you don’t believe me, you’ve never been a married woman who kept her family name. I have had students hold that up as proof of my “sexism.”
My own brother told me that he could never marry a woman who kept her name because “everyone would know who ruled that relationship.” Perfect equality – my husband keeps his name and I keep mine – is held as a statement of superiority on my part.”— Lucy, When Worlds Collide: Fandom and Male Privilege. (via seaofbadstories)
“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”—Neil Gaiman (via paige-chanel)
“Project managers have to deal well with people, embrace conflicts and not run from them, know how to assist people in sorting things out, and be compelling, said Blair. Engineers and IT professionals “are wonderful at what they do and their skill set, but generally those managing skills are not there and they have to acquire them,” she said.”—It’s not the coding that’s hard, it’s the people
“This notion that a creative team should have working hours, such as 9:00 to 5:00, baffles me. Sure, I get it: Your accounts team answers the phone during that time. Well, the fact is that they don’t need to be inspired to answer the phone. And yes, motivation and inspiration are very different.”—On Creative Leadership
Every month, my team and I enter our planning room for at least three hours. We lock the doors, opening it only for pizza and beer deliveries. Our mission is to solve one problem. […]
- Identify a very specific problem to solve, and stay focused.
- Provide the necessary tools to spark inspiration (white boards, markers, paper, etc.).
- Be technology-agnostic! Don’t worry about how you will solve the problem; focus only on the why.
“And kid, you’ve got to love yourself. You’ve got wake up at four in the morning, brew black coffee, and stare at the birds drowning in the darkness of the dawn. You’ve got to sit next to the man at the train station who’s reading your favorite book and start a conversation. You’ve got to come home after a bad day and burn your skin from a shower. Then you’ve got to wash all your sheets until they smell of lemon detergent you bought for four dollars at the local grocery store. You’ve got to stop taking everything so goddam personally. You are not the moon kissing the black sky. You’ve got to compliment someones crooked brows at an art fair and tell them that their eyes remind you of green swimming pools in mid July. You’ve got to stop letting yourself get upset about things that won’t matter in two years. Sleep in on Saturday mornings and wake yourself up early on Sunday. You’ve got to stop worrying about what you’re going to tell her when she finds out. You’ve got to stop over thinking why he stopped caring about you over six months ago. You’ve got to stop asking everyone for their opinions. Fuck it. Love yourself, kiddo. You’ve got to love yourself.”—Unknown (via thatkindofwoman)
Is there anything you have seen in the other people on the shortlist that you have not seen in me?
This is a great question to throw into the mix as the interview is drawing to a natural close. I remember a candidate asking me this once and I had to smile because it left me with nowhere to go. As well as turning the tables on the panel it is also a great way of gauging just how well or how badly you have performed throughout the course of the selection process. You should always be looking to improve and getting feedback from an interviewer is a crucial part of this. It is a risky strategy to take because you might get an answer you are not happy with. But if you are prepared to take a risk, then this final question is a gamble that just might pay off.
It is not a law that they pay their employees as little as possible.
It is a choice.
It is a choice made by senior managers and owners who want to keep the highest possible percentage of a company’s wealth for themselves.
It is, in other words, a selfish choice.
It is a choice that reveals that, regardless of what they say about how much they value their employees, regardless of what euphemism they use to describe their employees (“associate,” “partner,” “representative,” “team-member”), they, in fact, don’t give a damn about their employees.
“Stop forcing your employees to focus, and instead, encourage an environment of trust. That means implementing a system for clearly identifying employee goals and helping team members self-regulate their progress. Stop treating personal lives like they’re a bad thing. They’re natural, valuable, and human. That’s how you get stuff done.”—How Gen Y is Shifting the Get-Stuff-Done Culture
“I believe a startup needs to achieve a single A grade in one thing to advance to the next stage - if I could go back, the advice I would give myself would be to force ourselves to limit our focus to one thing - a single KPI at a time - to which all our efforts should directly and measurably contribute.”—Looking back at 7 years with my startup GroupSpaces
by exercising more self control at the start of the day, your motivation and attention will decrease as the day goes on. This is why people tend to cheat on their diets after stressful and exhausting days.
So, if you spend every morning deciding what to eat for breakfast or picking out what you should wear, you are wasting limited self-control resources on unimportant tasks.
This is one of the reasons why legendary Apple CEO Steve Jobs was known for wearing the same outfit every day.