Retrospecting Retrospectives

I shudder when considering the thousands upon thousands of hours wasted by teams going through the motions and playing pretend agile. A big part of that is all the different rituals and ceremonies done without understanding what they’re supposed to achieve. When was the last time that one of your retrospectives actually resulted in a […]


As you evolve into an effective tech executive, you’ll navigate through various stages of bottlenecking. On your journey to becoming a well-rounded leader, it’s crucial to identify your current needs and equip yourself with the right attitude and tools to address the current bottleneck stage. This process empowers you to effectively unclog your organization’s pipes […]

Coaching for Sanity

When helping startups improve, especially when adjusting for new growth phases, I often find that leaders don’t really understand how to use coaching internally. When you don’t apply coaching properly, you miss out on the ability to have your people step up and increase their positive impact on the organization. For example, you might be […]

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 […]