Talent Waste

Especially during these times when companies are growing slowly and organically, each person on your team is incredibly important. However, I regularly see leaders shying away from providing the proper feedback and speaking candidly with their people, wasting away potential talent. For an industry obsessed with talking about (tech) debt and who makes sure to […]

Debugging Leadership Growth

If you look at the leaders under you in your organization and are unsatisfied, remember that you are what they all have in common. I’m not saying it to chastise you but to realize that you have more agency and influence than you might recognize. For example, when it feels like people don’t have broad […]

Sucking Agency

A genuinely autonomous team that takes the initiative can be a game changer for most startups. This isn’t an exaggeration. However, there are many founders and executives who routinely cripple their team’s agency “momentarily” without realizing the long-term effects. Most talented people cannot be “turned on and off” at will. Are you sucking the agency […]

Creating Discomfort Zones

So many modern leaders have gotten things all wrong. They have turned the team’s “well-being” into their primary objective, confusing comfort for success. However, the purpose of all modern perks in the tech industry should be to make everything other than the actual work comfortable, precisely so that your people can exert themselves where it […]

Founder Defocus

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “founder attention” or “founder focus” thrown around. Maybe you’re even using it yourself. However, this is often a short-term thing that misses out on longer-term gains. Let’s debug it. First, with a definition: Founder Focus (noun): The deliberate and strategic emphasis placed by a company’s founder(s) on certain areas or […]

FinOps Flops

If you’ve been paying attention, I’ve been writing about profitable product-engineering teams recently. As part of that, some people reached out to me to talk about FinOps. Ostensibly, that’s part of it, right? Well, not really. That’s because focusing on cloud optimization wins does help with the bottom line, but it’s purely cost-centered thinking. FinOps […]

Futility of Shortening Iterations

Many of us in the tech industry have experienced the dread of working in environments with prolonged development cycles reminiscent of the archaic waterfall processes. The instinctual reaction is to swing the pendulum to the other extreme, advocating for the release of software as early and as frequently as possible. While this approach has its […]

Scaling Out Product-Engineering

In recent years, spurred by the era of zero interest rate policies (ZIRP), startups have been on a hiring spree, scaling up their teams with little regard for the impending complexities and inefficiencies. This approach has often led to bloated organizations with layered hierarchies, slowing down innovation and decision-making processes. However, as we pivot away […]

Tech Ahead of Business Fallacy

“Oh, we’re doing great on our end; tech isn’t the bottleneck for us.” Have you said anything along those lines recently? Many startup tech leaders have boasted about this situation in the past. Now, I’d hate to be a bottleneck, but truth be told, in most cases where I witnessed the described situation, things didn’t […]

Dropping Vanity Metrics

🎶 You’re so vain, you probably think these metrics are about you 🎶. Having just wrapped up a series about profitable R&D organizations, I realized there’s one added aspect that we need to cover, and that’s aligning your own personal sense of progress, achievement, and impact with actual business value. To do that, let’s quickly […]