How to influence culture when you’re not the CEO

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“Culture starts from the top,” it’s often said. But is that really true? Surely, it is easier to influence company culture when you’re at the top. As a CEO, founder, or business owner, people are already looking to you for example and guidance around what’s important within the team. (I wrote a bit about how you… keep reading

The value of human, exploratory testing

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Ann and Michael find things programmers never would have. Since unit testing and test-driven development burst onto the programming scene in the early 2000s, too many programmers have deluded themselves into thinking that they could ship high-quality software with automated testing alone. It’s a mirage. Don’t get me wrong. The industry took a big leap forward… keep reading

Rules of Business

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Photo by Daniela Rey Someone asked me if I had any rules of business I follow. I have quite a few, but I shared a handful with them. Learn to tell a story I have a three year old daughter. At night she pleads for a story I make up before she goes to bed. After food… keep reading

Can You Sell Water?

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Selling is a core skill. You have to know how to sell, whether it’s a product, an idea, or yourself. In 2012, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried saw the results of a bottled water-selling challenge at Techstars Chicago, a bootcamp program for startups. That one-day competition is the starting point for a conversation that includes the… keep reading

Inactionable advice

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Enough with the actionable advice, already. Let’s see some questionable advice instead. Rather than guide with steps, stump with challenges. Fewer answers, more questions. Less following, more foraging. More wonder, less known. Figure it out yourself.

The Also/Or Dilemma

posted on is the result of OR, not ALSO. For three years, we wrote, produced, recorded, and published a podcast called The Distance. Over nearly 60 episodes, we told stories about small private companies that had been in business for 25 years or more. The premise was that there’s a lot to learn from businesses that have… keep reading

How Do You Focus?

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Especially when you have a lot to do Photo by Tim Gouw A friend of mine, Lachlan Campbell, recently asked me how I focus, especially when there’s so much going on. It’s a great question and I’m sure very apropos to Lachlan’s life. They’re a student, budding entrepreneur, and just a busy busy person. One thing I… keep reading