When Product Fails

I’ve been using the term “Product Engineering” to describe software production, even though it is still separated into two different departments in most companies. That’s because these cannot stand without the other. Like a two-headed mythological creature, both succeed or fail together. Yes, as a tech executive, your partnership with your product counterpart is the […]

Making Space for Success in 2023

We’re in a season where it’s customary to throw a bunch of suggestions at you about what you ought to be doing or for people to pontificate predictions about the upcoming year. Assuming your feeds and inboxes are full of those, let us take a different look at the year ahead. You’ve undoubtedly got notes […]

Your First Managers

I happened to work with a lot of earlier-stage startups recently. It seems clear that a major cause of issues for tech executives at these companies revolves around the initial steps to “scale” the team. For some reason, even experienced founders make mistakes in installing the company’s first managers. Especially given the current market climate, […]

Strategic Superposition

Your ambiguity about the direction forward is harming your staff and their ability to do the best work possible. Too many leaders, especially at times of volatility like recently, have given up on the task of creating a coherent narrative. Without such a narrative that pulls the team together and aims their efforts toward a […]

Tech Decelerators

As I say at the start of every podcast episode, our goal here is to triple impact-per-engineer. Many times, spotting the right steps forward for a company is straightforward. Nevertheless, not a week goes by without another startup admitting they never realized a particular mindset was bringing them down or that a low-hanging fruit was […]

Surviving Startup Adolescence

Each startup is its own unique snowflake, and there’s no denying that. Nevertheless, after working with and talking to hundreds of founders, one can pick up many recurring patterns. While these might be harder to observe from the inside, an outsider’s perspective—which is naturally less entrenched in the details—can shed light on which problems are […]

CTO Ergonomics: Stop Shrugging!

Over the years, people have described my work in different manners: bridge, therapist, coach, shadow adviser, zipper(?!), Babelfish, etc. One part of my work no one has verbalized yet is sort of a masseur. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t touch my clients, and most of my work is done remotely anyway. But since so […]

The Bright Side

More than a decade ago, I was at an open-air metal festival in Germany for a few days. The highlight for me was seeing Iron Maiden live. As they finished, the PA system started playing Monty Python’s Always look on the bright side of life (that’s from that concert. The internet is amazing). It was […]

Upstream Tech

Technology is a wondrous thing. We type on our keyboards and create things that impact people’s lives. A handful of talented engineers can move mountains. That’s precisely why I can’t help but cringe whenever I see another company where technology is too downstream. When the tech team and its leaders are not “brought into the […]

Feeling the Void

That’s not a typo. A secret for highly impactful leaders is that they have learned how to sense a vacuum around them and address it. Whenever there is a gap, motivated people are not likely to just sit idly. They fill it with something. If you are unaware of it and can feel where it […]