Irrational Exuberance!

Writing strategies and visions.

July 9, 2018 As an organization grows beyond fifty people or so, you'll feel a building pressure to add a third layer of management, and eventually you will. This ought to be a benign event, what's the difference between supporting some managers and supporting their managers? It shouldn't be too different, but for me it was when my previous mechanisms of alignment stopped working very well. Two of the most effective tools I've found are strategy and vision documents, and this post introduces how to write both.

Braindump on approach to writing a technical book.

July 8, 2018 I've been blogging for more than a decade now, and I've always had a loose goal of blending my writing into a book at some point, although timing around that goal has been pretty abstract. Recently I've chatted with a few folks about whether now might be a good time to do this, and that lead to me trying to figure out how to approach the process overall.

Guiding broad change with metrics.

July 6, 2018 Although folks often talk about goals and metrics when they're writing new plans or reflection on plans past, my fondest memories of metrics are when I've seen them used to drive large organizational change. This post covers the approach that I've seen effective to guide broad organizaitonal change relying on metrics and without requiring much organizational authority.

Goals and baselines.

July 5, 2018 There is a moment in every company's growth when top-level planning shifts from discussing specific projects to talking about goals. This can be a very empowering moment because goals decouple the "what" from the "how", but it can also be a confusing transition for everyone involved: writing clear goals takes a bit of practice. This post takes a look at how to write effective goals and how to use them during planning.

Digg's v4 launch: an optimism born of necessity.

July 2, 2018 Digg was having a rough year. Our CEO left the day before I joined. Senior engineers ghosted out the door, dampening productivity and pulling their remaining friends. We had only one remaining shot at revival, launching our two-years in the making rewrite: Digg v4. It did not go as planned.