Internet-era ways of working

Internet-era ways of working” is an excellent collection of points (somewhere between the design principles and TODO list items) on how to organize the work / business / project in the modern age. Some of these are obvious and well-known, others are a bit less so. Read the whole article for more details, but here are the main items:

  1. Design for user needs, not organisational convenience
  2. Test your riskiest assumptions with actual users
  3. The unit of delivery is the empowered, multidisciplinary team
  4. Do the hard work to make things simple
  5. Staying secure means building for resilience
  6. Recognise the duty of care you have to users, and to the data you hold about them
  7. Start small and optimise for iteration. Iterate, increment and repeat
  8. Make things open; it makes things better
  9. Fund product teams, not projects
  10. Display a bias towards small pieces of technology, loosely joined
  11. Treat data as infrastructure
  12. Digital is not just the online channel

I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject over the last few years. Some of the items above I practice almost religiously (7, 8, 9, 10). Some I think I do, but I’m not sure (2, 3, 4, 6, 11, 12). Some I’m still figuring out (1, 5, 11, 12). But overall, I think the article is insightful as much of this, even the most obvious parts, are quite difficult to put in words.

The Tool that Will Help You Choose Better Product Ideas

Itamar Gilad, of ex-Google fame, has an excellent post – The Tool that Will Help You Choose Better Product Ideas – which describes a process for selecting better product ideas and implementing them with confidence, minimizing the risks and maximizing the team efficiency.

Unlike many other similar posts, this one is very practical, detailed, and relies on iterations, feedback, communications, and ties together different roles within the company or the team.

Tim O’Reilly : Networks and the Next Economy

I consider Tim O’Reilly to be one of the smartest people around.  Whether you agree with that or not, or whether you worry about his education agenda being pushed too much, the “Networks and the Next Economy” slides are still worth the time.  These are both current and futuristic at the same time.

How to build a minimum viable product (MVP)

I came across this somewhere on the interwebs.  Which also reminded me of this article (in Russian), which discusses the “progressive JPEG” approach to projects.  The idea being for a project to always be 100% ready, but with varying degree of details being worked through.

Hiring Sucks.

The other day I came across this story by Guy Shachar, in which he shares his experience with hiring people and the lack of candidates.

The struggle is real. All the different startups are competing over the same human resource and let me tell you, the list of proficient talent isn’t as long as you might think. Or as someone once told me, the problem with going after the top 1% of talent, is that there is only 1% of top talent. In fact the only thing that’s harder than finding top talent employees, is finding top talent employees that are interested in working in your startup.

This reminded me of a long rant I wrote about ten years ago – Where did all the PHP programmers go? And I wasn’t even looking for the top 1% of talent at the time.  I have been continuously involved in hiring for a number of companies since that blog post.  I’ve tried a variety of different approaches with varying success.  But the problem is real and it’s getting worse.  There’s huge demand, insufficient supply, and the quality of the supply seems to be dropping as well, with many educational institutions falling behind the progress.

And it’s even tougher for the startups, as they don’t have much to throw into the competition with the larger established companies.