Ideas Happen

Jul 14

learn about what economists call “sunk costs.” If I give someone $100 on Monday, and he spends $50 on candy, he’ll probably regret that purchase on Tuesday. In a way, he’ll still think of himself as a guy with $100—half of which is wasted.

What he really is is a guy with $50, just as he would be if I’d handed him a fifty-dollar bill. A sunk cost from yesterday should not be part of today’s equation. What he should be thinking is this: “What should I do with my $50?”

What you are isn’t a person who has wasted 27 years. You are a person who has X number of years ahead of you. What are you going to do with them?

I am in my late 20s and feel I have wasted a lot of time. Is it too late?

My favorite quote from How to Become CEO is: “Be a credit maker, not a credit taker.”

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The focus should be less on taking credit and more on reporting what you did. Use monthly reports and other means to show outcomes. Become an expert. Carve out a niche. The best way to be perceived as an expert is to teach your area of expertise.

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People will respect you based on what you do. If you tell someone you’ll be there, and you’re late, you lose value with that person.

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Find out how the company makes money, and then do the things that make the company money. Focus your efforts there. Most people don’t understand the company strategy – the “real strategy.” Know what your company’s doing and how it’s thinking about its profits.

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If you really want to be appreciated for your work, start doing what others won’t do, can’t do or don’t do. Be the one who visits that long-lost customer. Get your hands dirty. Talk to prospects, report back on the results, call your own customer service number and see how they treat customers.

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Sometimes you get a bad boss, sometimes you get a good boss. Remember that both are great teachers. Having a bad boss is a rich opportunity to note all the things you wouldn’t want to do to your team or colleagues.

When I think of my worst boss ever, I remember that he took all the credit for other people’s work.

10 Leadership Lessons From Jeffrey Fox

"The modern concept of work-life balance is focused on offering employees the flexibility to work anywhere, anytime — leaving fewer fixed working hours and more project-driven or service-level deadlines and opportunities for ongoing streams of innovation and communication between team members," Kaul says.

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"Working 60 hours per week or more is going to screw up your life," Kjerulf says. "One of the ways to avoid this is to consciously disconnect and make time spent not working meaningful – do more than just binge-watch "Orange is the New Black" on Netflix, for example," he says. "Spend time with close friends, take a class, try a new hobby, volunteer or contribute time to a charitable cause," he says.

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Executives and managers must remember that a business’s success in the workplace isn’t dependent on how many hours people work, but is about the results, Kjerulf says.

"Executives and managers must realize once and for all that it’s not about how many hours people are logged in, it’s about the results they create," he says. "You must shift your thinking and as hard as it can be, give people much more autonomy in deciding when and where they work," he says.

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The ultimate goal, says Kjerulf, is to avoid separating work and life into separate spheres, and find the sweet spot that allows you to do both without neglecting either.

"Looking at my own life, I certainly don’t see a ‘work life’ and a ‘private life.’ I just see one life, mine, being expressed in different aspects. And these aspects are so mixed and so mutually dependent, that it makes no sense to attempt to separate them," says Kjerulf.

"They are already as integrated as they can be, and there seems to be no time where I am 100 percent at work or 100 percent off work — I’m always just me, living my life. To me, it’s not really about balance, it’s about being happy and living a full life in its many different aspects."

Is the Work-Life Balance a Myth?

Jul 11
“Take the Sunday night test. If you’re like 99 percent of the population, you’ve experienced “Sunday night dread.” This ailment begins creeping up your spine around 4:30 on Sunday night and reaches a crescendo around 11PM, as you realize you’re going to have to go to work the following day. (My own research has shown that Sunday night dread begins forming around third grade and eventually dissipates around age 70.)… So this Sunday night, when you go to sleep, ask yourself: “Am I suffering from Sunday night dread?” If so, you might be doing something wrong. But if you’re not getting it – if you’re lying there in bed thinking, “You know, I sorta like this. I’m not dreading tomorrow. I’m actually looking forward to it” – then you’re probably on the right path.” Work Smarter Not Harder: 17 Great Tips

Jul 8

The first product manager (PM) is a crucial unicorn hire that no startup should compromise on. The reason is simple – your PM is responsible for managing your team’s most precious resource: time.

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Let’s break down what my team (and most startups) are looking for when we hire PMs. We want people who can:

1. Innovate through minimalism

The best product thinkers know how to carve down the scope of the product until it makes even more sense, as opposed to adding more and more superfluous features. You can slash to the core of what a product really needs to do for the customer, and you’re relentless at staving off feature bloat.

2. Prioritize ruthlessly

PMs help prioritize the development calendar for engineering, and to do that you need to have excellent organization skills and the ability to make difficult trade-off’s quickly.

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4. Communicate with presence

So much of being a great PM is convincing others to follow your vision and track. Think Steve Jobs.
When it comes to your customers, the most important communications skill is knowing how to say “No” to most of their feature requests while keeping them happy. Remember that most customers are not great product people – it’s important to read between the lines since what they’re explicitly asking for is not necessarily what they really want or need.

Why most product managers suck (and how to be a better one)

Jul 5

Jul 3

Skills are not as important as you think

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most people can’t recognize the difference between someone who is in the 95% margin of skill in a field from a person who is in the 80% margin of skill in that field, unless they also happen to be an expert themselves in that field. Unless you are a doctor, or dentist or auto mechanic, you probably don’t have a way of really evaluating how good a doctor or dentist or auto mechanic is—although you can probably quickly spot a phony.

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If you are at a decent level of skill, you will see much bigger benefits in building a name for yourself than you will in increasing your skill further.

How to Become a More Valuable Software Developer