Year: 2015

The Network Man. Enjoyed reading this New Yorker feature on Reid Hoffman a couple days ago. One section stood out to me, particularly given the rise of Slack for these kind of networks.

The keeper of your career will be not your employer but your personal network—so you’d better put a lot of effort into making it as extensive and as vital as possible.

Functional Chameleons

The best in customer care are functional chameleons, becoming conversant as product managers, marketers and salespeople to bring resolution to customers.

Lessons from the Woman Who Built Squarespace’s Customer Care Team.

We Hire The Best. Solid article about building better hiring processes. One of the takeaways: the later in a process you consider diversity the bigger the problem you face.

Maciej on advertising

Advertisers like to use moralizing language when their money starts to flow in the wrong direction. Tricking people into watching ads is good; being tricked into showing ads to automated traffic is evil.

What Happens Next Will Amaze You.

College Calculus

“To be clear, the idea is not that there will be a big financial payoff to a liberal arts degree,” Cappelli writes. “It is that there is no guarantee of a payoff from very practical, work-based degrees either, yet that is all those degrees promise. For liberal arts, the claim is different and seems more accurate, that it will enrich your life and provide lessons that extend beyond any individual job. There are centuries of experience providing support for that notion.”

What Is College Worth?

Turkle, Times, Technology, Trauma–Yet Again. Good critique of a recent New York Times essay and book review on the influence of technology in our lives. Related reading.

Working Remotely and the Virtue of Aggressive Transparency. Simon writes about the value of aggressive transparency in a distributed team. Great structure for thinking about expertise and performance at work.

The Startup Guide to 1-on-1s. Nice overview of how to think about one-on-one chats in a growing company. Includes a bit about how to do them effectively and an overview of questions that can help prompt conversation.

Talk-to-Think, Think-to-Talk, And Leadership. Two-pronged framework for thinking about communication styles within a team or company. The post is a helpful overview and set of ideas without being dogmatic about the two models.

Stop apologising

When there has been a deliberate change though—one that is important for future development and that almost certainly won’t be changing back—then that sort of apology can be counter productive. If you know that a feature has been removed and is gone for good, it’s unhelpful to offer false hope to a customer of “recording your feedback” and “voting for that to be returned”. It will probably never happen.

Stop apologising to customers and start leading them – Mathew Patterson.