More than you can chew

“… only pausing to remark that many find it unnecessary to fill the mouth to its utmost capacity.” Misquotation of Pip in David Lean’s Great Expectations Eyes > Stomach I’ve more or less mastered the art of not taking more than I can eat.* Controlling portion size isn’t a problem, even if the number of portions I go back for…

Close to hand

It is far, far easier to use a tool that you’re in the way of using regularly, that you can just pick up and do a job. We have no trouble just picking up our phones to look something up, sending a message, use a map. We use email services, favourite apps and websites almost without thinking. If you’ve ever…

How to set salaries

Some ways of thinking about setting salaries: Market Rate You pay the lowest price that the market will bear. The bigger the market (the more appropriate candidates that you can reach), the lower the price is likely to be. This is commodity pricing: an average sort of price to attract average (or cheapest possible) candidates. Market-plus You pay the market…

Ben Horowitz – The Hard Thing About Hard Things

This is a great cut-the-crap book about management and building a company. It’s most relevant to the the tech world, but there are plenty of gems here that are relevant to anyone – he’s especially good on shaping your culture (hint: yoga at work is not your organisational culture). Here’s the introduction: Every time I read a management or self-help…

Seth Godin: freelancing and the hard work of being an entrepreneur

Freelancers get paid when they work. Using our own fingers, our own skills, we do the work. So when I’m making a podcast, it’s me. When I’m writing, it’s me. When I’m giving a speech, it’s me. We get paid when we work and that’s the only time we get paid. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, build something bigger than…

No breakthroughs

The water breaks through because upstream – far enough up that there isn’t any stream – there’s a drip, drip, drip. Enough drips to puddle, to pool and start to trickle and then to run: a rivulet, a stream to cool your feet in. Further on* lakes, rivers, waterfalls, floods, torrents to burst banks and blow your socks off. All…

Matt Mullenweg on distributed work

Here’s a short video with Matt Mullenweg, founder and CEO of Automattic*. He talks a bit about lessons he’s learned in running a distributed company, and why he calls his workforce distributed rather than remote. These are his tips for physical companies interested in transitioning to distributed work: Document everything – so that key information like the reasons for decisions…

Toolkit (v0.1)

My last post got me thinking again about the toolkit for making change and building a good future. What follows started out as the tail of that post but grew too long, so I’ve cut it off and put it here as a springboard to bounce off (or a wave to ride) later. So here are some tools… There are…

Peter Drucker on management as a discipline

If you can’t replicate something because you don’t understand it, then it really hasn’t been invented; it’s only been done. When I published The Practice of Management fifty years ago [in 1954], that book made it possible for people to learn how to manage, something that up until then only a few geniuses seemed to be able to do, and nobody could replicate…

Just in time (2): “I’ll just…”

There’s another kind of just in time. This is the kind when you lie to yourself: “I’ll just squeeze this extra thing in, and I’ll get there just in time.” Pro tip: things that start with “I’ll just…” cost more than you think. “I’ll just…” jobs usually end up taking longer, or they leave you dissatisfied because you didn’t do…