Last updated: April 26, 2022
These are just a few things I’ve found to be true and useful through hard-won experience. I use them as a counterbalance against my own tendencies.
What have you shipped lately? Tell the world. Publish. Ship. Otherwise, you may as well have never worked on it as far as anyone else is concerned.
Take the truth you know and pass it on. Don’t just hold on to it.
Even if you spend only half your time doing actual work because you use the other half to write about what you did, it’s time well spent.
Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions. Clarify with courage.
You need to be effective, not to fit in. Your best practices will seem weird. Prepare to stand out.
Explaining is draining. If you can find people to work with who are already on the same wavelength, you don’t have to spend time explaining.
Have difficult conversations. If it’s really hard, don’t plan anything else for that day.
There is such a thing as listening too much. Know when you’ve heard enough.
Distribute power eagerly, and by default. Centralize it reluctantly–and only after a lot of deliberation that makes a very good case for it.
When everyone’s responsible for it, no one’s responsible for it.
Be proactive. Go to people. Don’t expect them to come to you.
Consider no task beneath you. Take your own notes, communicate proactively, and follow up. Deep dive and spot check processes.
Identify good things in people they don’t see in themselves.
Have fun. It’s a great way to become good at what you do and makes you an easier person to be around.
Knowledge changes the way you do things for the rest of your life.
Until you’ve built it, you don’t really understand it.
The small things in technology make a big difference. Be detail-oriented and pay attention to tiny innovations that could one day change entire industries.
Tactical capabilities enable strategic possibilities.
Take everything out of the box. Then put it back in. Laying everything out on the table means you can assess and consider everything with some mental space.
Shorten your iteration cycle.
Internal consistency at each step. Whatever you build should be working at the end of each iteration. Don’t do big projects with a shotgun approach.
Focus. You can get more done with two hours of full, uninterrupted concentration than with two days of scattered effort. The effect is even more magnified when the problems get harder.
Write it down. So let it be written, so let it be done.
Impose structure. If you’re building the future, you’re going to need something to hang it on.
A-players don’t work until the last minute. Get it done ahead of time.
Compound interest is a powerful force. Don’t be caught on the wrong side of it.
Know the state of your flocks. Proverbs 27:23-24. Review and take stock. Walk the floor. Audit frequently and dive deep.
Make something beautiful.