Archive for 1999

The past 30 days

Back! Back I say!

I was giving a talk at a conference about go to market strategies for entrepreneurs.

“We’re afraid of announcing too soon and giving the competition an edge.” interrupted the entrepreneur during my presentation.

“You’re afraid of giving your competition an edge?” I scoffed. “You want to know who your competition is? Your competition is the fucking back button. Nobody gives a shit about your product, least of all your non-existent competition. If you’re afraid of giving your competition an edge if you announce too early then you don’t have a product that is worth a damn.”

Make a note of this: I should always ensure I eat before engaging with a room full of people.

Why Wait Until The Last Moment?

We realise that competition for software developers in the Bay Area is intense, so as part of our on-boarding process, and to save time, we like to go through both the welcome kit and the termination package at the same time.

Dressing down

Company policies are written over-reactions to one-off situations and occurrences whose likelihood of the problem ever happening again are so ridiculously slim that it boggles the mind anybody would have even thought to write out such a policy in the first place.

Somebody wore casual clothes around the office and it wasn’t Friday?

You don’t need a written policy for acceptable dress-code.

You just need to talk to the person.

Go on. Give it a go. Try being human for once.


Misplaced optimism

Engineers of all stripes – software developers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, even civil engineers – are inherently optimistic.

They have to be, because I have yet to ever meet an engineer that didn’t believe that there was a workable a solution.

And also a solution that is better than the workable solution someone else came up with.

Encouraging results

Encouraging software developers to learn how to design is a valuable skill even if they will never be designers.

The software developer that learns design may never be a great designer, but by being able to understand the elements of design, being able to understand how a design (the form) changes the features (the function) is critically important.

And it also lets the software developer understand the process the designer has to go through to make something.


Not for me

I don’t have a gym membership.

I am quite happy to go for a walk or “work out” at my treadmill desk.

“I’d never use a gym and so I don’t see the point of a gym” is an opinion. “

“I’d never use a gym, but I can see how it would appeal to others” is not an opinion.

The first engenders a viewpoint that assumes because “I don’t like it” then nobody will like it, and therefore whatever the product or service is, will ultimately fail.

The second is an entirely different viewpoint.

One where you can listen to the feedback.

Good investors will have the ability to see the potential for success, even though the product or service doesn’t interest them.

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