Book cover

Underground club session #2

Obvious to you is not the same as obvious. I wish I had gentle reminders like this more often. :) How do I get better at this?

  • 2-way conversations vs 1-way monologs
  • Ask more often “Does that make sense?”
  • Share what I see from my PoV
    • Context
    • As it relates to business strategy whenever I have it
    • High frequency

Disfunctional product orgs creep up on you sometimes. eg Eng does lots of work and releases something but nobody else understands the value. Getting this team wrong has consequences. I’ve seen some too. Do we have a strategy or do we always seem to be doing the things the yelliest people are asking for?

Ideas vs Execution - Ideas are cheap, execution is hard. Ideas needed 5-10% of the time … hire for execution!! Vision is important but a small part of role typically. Good product leadership looks like:

  • fewer features
  • directly customer impacting (high value)
  • instrumented so you know how people are using them <- app metrics !

Elevated product conversation - from “Ship this by Friday” -> “How do we modify onboarding to increase engagement for different kinds of users?”

“Guilt based management” :/

Negative news / feedback is hard to deliver. It’s best given asap and should be direct. It should not be sugar coated or surrounded by other messages. It’s also a good idea to talk about ways to do things differently.

There are at least a couple ways to evaluate people : on effort, and on outcomes. Author thinks this depends on how senior you are. I’m not sure it’s this straightforward. Shouldn’t it always be about outcomes? Lots of energy plus bad results is kinda crappy. Experience should factor into the size of work chunk you hand off to a person.

A team to stop looking for the “elegant” or “right” solution and just do the crappy necessary work seems critical. It’s an indicator of a team’s likelihood to be successful in the long run. Be willing to grind. Do stuff that doesn’t scale. Compound interest! 1% better every day. :)

Underground club session #1

You and everybody else needs work and life outside work

Lots of talk about diversity in this book. It clicked for me at gcloudnext. “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Most speakers were women, and / or of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs. I didn’t get what I was seeing at first. And who knows if I hadn’t just been reading that chapter …

Understand the business the company you work for is in. Good advice. You should be able to work with product to understand requirements and the why. Helps to make better decisions in the field.