Archive of posts with tag 'management'

How to Think About Your Competitors

October 10, 2022 • #

For any company, keeping track of your position in the competitive landscape is an important element of making the right decisions. When I think about competitors, I think about them separately as “direct” vs. “indirect”:

  • Direct competitor: one with a product offering highly similar and seen by your customer as a direct substitute
  • Indirect competitor: one that might look glancingly similar (or very different) on the surface, but addresses the same jobs to be done

Direct vs. indirect doesn’t matter all that much at the end of the day;...

Weekend Reading: Collaborative Enterprise, Algorithms, and Fifth-Gen Management

October 3, 2020 • #

💼 Collaborative Enterprise

Elad Gil describes the trend of continuing consumerization of enterprise software.

🤖 Seeing Like an Algorithm

Part 2 in Eugene Wei’s series on TikTok. See part 1.

🏫 Fifth Generation Management

Venkatesh Rao’s Breaking Smart podcast is always a must-listen.

Talk Notes: Spolsky on Pluralism

August 19, 2020 • #

One of my favorite evening activities is watching talks, interviews, and presentations on YouTube. I often take notes on these for myself, so this is an experiment in brushing up those notes and sharing them publicly.

In this 2016 talk, Joel Spolsky presented this talk called “The History of Management” as an internal training session at StackOverflow. Corporate structure dynamics are fascinating. Groups of people have developed new and more effective ways of cooperating throughout history. We started out organizing ourselves in kinship-based tribal groups with spiritual myth-making to rationalize decisions, and have...

Weekend Reading: Attention, Hill Climbing, and Enforcing Culture

October 5, 2019 • #

🧠 To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, Not a Spotlight

For a long time, because attention seemed so intricately tied up with consciousness and other complex functions, scientists assumed that it was first and foremost a cortical phenomenon. A major departure from that line of thinking came in 1984, when Francis Crick, known for his work on the structure of DNA, proposed that the attentional searchlight was controlled by a region deep in the brain called the thalamus, parts of which receive input from sensory domains...

Managerial Leverage

August 5, 2019 • #

Andy Grove is widely respected as an authority figure on business management. Best known for his work at Intel during the 1980s, his book High Output Management is regularly cited as one of the best in the genre of business books. After having it on my list for years and finally reading it earlier this year, I’d wholeheartedly agree. It’s the best book out there about business planning, management, and efficiency, still just as pertinent today as it was when it was first published in 1983.

Its relevance more than 30 years later attests to the...

Modes of Control

March 21, 2019 • #

I’ve nearly finished reading Andy Grove’s High Output Management. Grove was the one of the founders and CEO of Intel, especially famous for his leadership of the company’s shift from design and fabrication of memory to microprocessors in the 80s.

The book is mostly well known for documenting Grove’s management style, which was later formalized into the OKR framework now widely used by Google and others.

But one of my favorite bits from the book (and there are several) is his concept of “modes of control.”

The fundamental...

How Google Sets Goals

March 8, 2019 • #

I’ve been thinking and reading more about OKRs and how I might be able to implement them effectively — both professionally and personally. The idea of having clearly defined goals over bounded timelines is something we could all use to better manage time, especially in abstract “knowledge work” where it’s hard to see the actual work product of a day or a week’s activity.

This is an old workshop put on by GV’s Rick Klau. He does a good job giving a bird’s eye view of how to set OKRs and...