Managers, screw the Golden Rule

posted on

Don’t treat employees the way you want to be treated. Here’s why. “Treat others the way you’d like to be treated.” This is The Golden Rule we all learned growing up. As a manager or CEO in a company, you’d think it would make sense to follow it too. Managers should treat their employees the way… keep reading

Before You Launch A Startup, Learn This

posted on

Photo by Lisa Brewster My 2011 startup with Y Combinator imploded, largely because we couldn’t get enough traction. What was I going to do next? And more importantly, how was I going to avoid repeating my mistakes? A couple weeks ago my wife was out of town, so my three year old daughter and I had… keep reading

Getting to the truth

posted on

If you want to feel good, brainstorm it. If you want to appear good, test it. If you want to know if you’re any good, ship it.

The best visual description of a company I’ve ever seen

posted on

Can you describe your company this concisely? Back in 2010, I saw Andrew Mason give a talk at Startup School that included a slide that really blew my mind. The slide wasn’t about Groupon (Andrew’s company), it was about Meetup.com. Andrew heard Scott Heiferman (CEO of Meetup.com) describe the initial version of Meetup.com as a… keep reading

May the next Etsy learn its lessons

posted on

Can I interest you in a necklace with a lesson for eternity? Venture capital taught Etsy that making money wasn’t a skill it needed to learn early on. Go on, it said, spend the millions. And when you’ve spent those, come back and get some more. So Etsy did. They came back for a B… keep reading

Running in Circles

posted on 2 Comments on Running in Circles

Why Agile Isn’t Working and What We Do Differently UPDATE: We’ve written an entire book on this topic! Read it online: Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work That Matters. Agile started off as a set of values. Values are subtle and abstract, so as agile spread, what spread wasn’t the values but the… keep reading

Can You Sell Water? Part 2

posted on

Abraham Celio and Maria Mendez own Yolis Tamales on Chicago’s Southwest Side. Some of the tech industry’s most vaunted companies revel in their origins as mavericks or rule-breakers, having flouted regulations in the name of disruption. That kind of risk-taking is celebrated in Silicon Valley but punished in other places, most notably minority communities. In… keep reading

Will Artificial Intelligence Replace Marketing Jobs?

posted on

Oh the promise of sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence to automatically send current and potential customers the exact right email at the exact right time to get them to buy more things. I just perused a food delivery service this week and started the signup process before abandoning. The robots dutifully sent me follow-ups with… keep reading

How to prepare for a one-on-one meeting as an employee

posted on

Many managers say flat-out that their biggest frustration is when employees are not prepared for a one-on-one meeting. Yikes, really? Over the past four years, I’ve heard countless of managers, CEOs, and business owners say a version of this to me: “During a one-on-one, I’ll ask a question and there’s silence on the other end.… keep reading

Move Slowly and Fix Things

posted on 1 Comment on Move Slowly and Fix Things

Ruminations on the heavy weight of software design in the 21st century. Synoptic Table of Physiognomic Traits Recently I took a monthlong sabbatical from my job as a designer at Basecamp. (Basecamp is an incredible company that gives us a paid month off every 3 years.) When you take 30 days away from work, you have… keep reading