background preloader

Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule

Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule
July 2009 One reason programmers dislike meetings so much is that they're on a different type of schedule from other people. Meetings cost them more. There are two types of schedule, which I'll call the manager's schedule and the maker's schedule. The manager's schedule is for bosses. When you use time that way, it's merely a practical problem to meet with someone. Most powerful people are on the manager's schedule. When you're operating on the maker's schedule, meetings are a disaster. For someone on the maker's schedule, having a meeting is like throwing an exception. I find one meeting can sometimes affect a whole day. Each type of schedule works fine by itself. Our case is an unusual one. I wouldn't be surprised if there start to be more companies like us. How do we manage to advise so many startups on the maker's schedule? When we were working on our own startup, back in the 90s, I evolved another trick for partitioning the day. Related: Related:  Product Management ArticlesFood for thought

Cradle-to-cradle design Cradle to Cradle design (also referred to as Cradle to Cradle, C2C, cradle 2 cradle, or regenerative design) is a biomimetic approach to the design of products and systems. It models human industry on nature's processes viewing materials as nutrients circulating in healthy, safe metabolisms. It suggests that industry must protect and enrich ecosystems and nature's biological metabolism while also maintaining a safe, productive technical metabolism for the high-quality use and circulation of organic and technical nutrients.[1] Put simply, it is a holistic economic, industrial and social framework that seeks to create systems that are not only efficient but also essentially waste free.[2] The model in its broadest sense is not limited to industrial design and manufacturing; it can be applied to many aspects of human civilization such as urban environments, buildings, economics and social systems. Introduction[edit] Biological and Technical Cycles Biological and technical cycle Health[edit]

Do Things that Don't Scale July 2013 One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don't scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don't. You build something, make it available, and if you've made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised. Or they don't, in which case the market must not exist. [1] Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off. Recruit The most common unscalable thing founders have to do at the start is to recruit users manually. Stripe is one of the most successful startups we've funded, and the problem they solved was an urgent one. Startups building things for other startups have a big pool of potential users in the other companies we've funded, and none took better advantage of it than Stripe. There are two reasons founders resist going out and recruiting users individually. The other reason founders ignore this path is that the absolute numbers seem so small at first. Fragile Fire

How to Do What You Love January 2006 To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We've got it down to four words: "Do what you love." But it's not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated. The very idea is foreign to what most of us learn as kids. And it did not seem to be an accident. The world then was divided into two groups, grownups and kids. Teachers in particular all seemed to believe implicitly that work was not fun. I'm not saying we should let little kids do whatever they want. Once, when I was about 9 or 10, my father told me I could be whatever I wanted when I grew up, so long as I enjoyed it. Jobs By high school, the prospect of an actual job was on the horizon. The main reason they all acted as if they enjoyed their work was presumably the upper-middle class convention that you're supposed to. Why is it conventional to pretend to like what you do? What a recipe for alienation. The most dangerous liars can be the kids' own parents. Bounds Notes

La démocratie par tirage au sort Campagne présidentielle ou non, le couple démocratie-élections s'impose aujourd'hui comme une évidence. D'autres systèmes de sélection sont pourtant possibles, notamment le tirage au sort, comme le rappelle Jean-Paul Jouary, chroniqueur iconoclaste. Le suffrage par le sort est de la nature de la démocratie ; le suffrage par choix est de celle de l’aristocratie. – Montesquieu. Il peut paraître choquant aujourd’hui de se demander si suffrage universel et la démocratie sont identiques, tant le droit de vote a été difficile à acquérir, et tant il est évident que les peuples qui en sont privés sont pour cela même privés de démocratie. Cela signifie-t-il pour autant que tout suffrage universel soit démocratique ? On ignore trop souvent qu’au XVIIIe siècle encore, Montesquieu pouvait écrire comme une évidence que “le suffrage par le sort est de la nature de la démocratie ; le suffrage par choix est de celle de l’aristocratie”. A lire sur ces questions :

How to Get Startup Ideas November 2012 The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It's to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself. The very best startup ideas tend to have three things in common: they're something the founders themselves want, that they themselves can build, and that few others realize are worth doing. Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook all began this way. Problems Why is it so important to work on a problem you have? I made it myself. Why do so many founders build things no one wants? At YC we call these "made-up" or "sitcom" startup ideas. For example, a social network for pet owners. The danger of an idea like this is that when you run it by your friends with pets, they don't say "I would never use this." Well When a startup launches, there have to be at least some users who really need what they're making—not just people who could see themselves using it one day, but who want it urgently. You don't need the narrowness of the well per se.

Take college and university courses online completely free In recent years massive open online courses (MOOCs) have become a trend in online education. The term was coined in 2008 by David Cormier, manager of web communications and innovations at the University of Prince Edward Island. The first MOOC was created the previous year, at Utah State University. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of courses available online at no cost. You can study anything from business to zoology in your own home at no cost. MOOCs are designed like college courses but are available to anyone anywhere in the world, at no cost. Coursera is perhaps the most well-known of the online education facilitators. EdX is another non-profit course site created by founding partners Harvard and MIT and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has their own open courseware, where most of the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT's subjects are available on the Web, free of charge. European institutions are also getting in on the act.

Stop Competing to Be the Best - Joan Magretta by Joan Magretta | 12:09 PM November 30, 2011 With Cyber Monday, the tablet wars kicked into full swing. Which one is the best? Is it the iPad? But if you want to win, says Michael Porter, this is absolutely the wrong way to think about competition. Consider a business as prosaic as seating for airport waiting areas. If there is no “best” airport seat, now think about all of the industries in the economy. Yet, it’s a pervasive idea. In war, there can be only one winner. Here’s the problem: When rivals all pursue the “one best way” to compete, they find themselves on a collision course, trapped in a destructive, zero-sum competition that no one can win. Instead, Porter urges a different kind of competition: compete to be unique. Grasp the true nature of business competition and you’ll see that the performing arts provide a better analogy than war or sports. What’s your organization’s underlying model of how competition works?

Leading cross-functional teams - by Ken Norton By Ken Norton I first gave this talk at Berkeley's Haas School of Business in November 2005 and then again at the SVPMA monthly meeting in January 2007. I'm pleased that "bringing the donuts" has started to become synonymous with product management. Here's the original deck I used in 2005. About Ken Norton How to hire a product manager: What are the characteristics of great product managers, and how do you hire one? Ken is a partner at Google Ventures. World Mentoring Academy | FREE Interactive Learning OpenCourseware from MIT, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, U Houston, USC, UCLA, Khan Academy, NPTEL General description: Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication. The scientific study of language in any of its senses is called linguistics. The approximately 3,000–6,000 languages that are spoken by humans today are the most salient examples, but natural languages can also be based on visual rather than auditory stimuli, for example in sign languages and written language. Resources: OpenCourseware from Defense Language Institute, Foreign Service Institute, MIT, UC Berkeley, Stanford along with many of the World's finest University's. Other information: Get involved share this page also Language: English Free Professors: Default Professor, sierra Williams, Rick Ho, Andres Solis Total units: 19 Total units: 12 Other information: Total units: 66 Total units: 53 Total units: 21 Total units: 121 Total units: 35

First, Let's Fire All the Managers Management is the least efficient activity in your organization. Think of the countless hours that team leaders, department heads, and vice presidents devote to supervising the work of others. Most managers are hardworking; the problem doesn’t lie with them. The inefficiency stems from a top-heavy management model that is both cumbersome and costly. A hierarchy of managers exacts a hefty tax on any organization. Second, the typical management hierarchy increases the risk of large, calamitous decisions. Third, a multitiered management structure means more approval layers and slower responses. Finally, there’s the cost of tyranny. Hierarchies Versus Markets No wonder economists have long celebrated the ability of markets to coordinate human activity with little or no top-down control. That’s why we need corporations and managers. Wouldn’t it be great if we could achieve high levels of coordination without a supervisory superstructure?

How to hire a product manager - by Ken Norton Ken Norton Partner, Google Ventures Follow @kennethn It's been a while since I was hiring at a startup, and recruiting at a startup is very different from hiring at a big company. I started my career as an engineer and advanced pretty quickly into engineering management. Remember friend, nobody asked you to show up Product management may be the one job that the organization would get along fine without (at least for a good while). 1. So what do I look for in a PM? 2. Some managers I've known insist on hiring only PMs with computer science degrees. Why did you decide to move from engineering to product management? 3. This next category is highly subjective, difficult to evaluate, and extraordinarily important. Independently echoed some of my own concerns about my product - if you're a good PM, you've got a bunch of things that worry you about your own product. 4. Product managers are usually leaders in their organizations. Is consensus always a good thing? 5. 6. About Ken Norton

On Self-Promotion You are a shameless self promoter!” he said. I can’t speak to the “shame” part, but for the rest: guilty as charged. Self-promotion may appear revolting, but it’s the only promotion that’s guaranteed in this business. Love your work If you write or design, you must believe in what you do. Sometimes this takes the direct form of a case study. There is a difference between being arrogant about yourself as a person and being confident that your work has some value. The love you make But direct self-promotion is ineffective and will go unnoticed unless it is backed by a more indirect (and more valuable) form of marketing: namely, sharing information and promoting others. Is your Twitter feed mostly about your own work, or do you mainly link to interesting work by others? You can’t fake this. This may sound Jedi-mind-trick-ish, but never create a blog or a Twitter feed with the explicit idea of promoting yourself.

The Story of Stuff Project How to work with software engineers - by Ken Norton By Ken Norton I’ve worked in technology for twenty years, the past thirteen as a product manager. I’ve gained somewhat of a reputation for being effective at working with software engineers. This skill has earned me a place in history as one of the three greatest product managers of all time.[1] (On this exclusive list I am joined only by Steve Jobs and Niccolò Machiavelli.) For years I’ve kept my secrets close to the vest. But no longer: today I will share with you my Ten-Step Plan for Working With Engineers. Why should you listen to me, one of the three greatest product managers of all time? 1. As a PM, expect your successes to be recognized. 2. Occasionally something will go wrong. 3. Frivolous little technical details are for the engineers, and you have much better things to be doing. 4. Software engineers write code, that’s what they do. 5. The best way to demonstrate your value to the team is by introducing process. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. There you have it. Afterword And finally...