Making Profitable Software

My latest article about highly profitable R&D teams got a lot of attention, and thus, we’re continuing with that subject. We’ll start and cover first aid: how can you quickly stop the bleeding in your already unprofitable software? Unprofitable Software? First, I feel this is something we have to tackle. I still come across startup […]

Highly Profitable Engineering Teams

Up until a year or so ago, less than 5% of startups would even consider the concept of engineering being a profitable and healthy organization. ZIRP and the financial climate meant that wasn’t really a consideration. You could continue piling up more and more coders. As the industry is going through a healthy correction, you […]

The Mediocrity Limbo

As part of the new year, I’d like to see more people being proactive and not waffling on decisions. One of the major issues is of having things that don’t suck enough. That’s when you can trick yourself into believing it’s not that bad. However, once too much time passes, it definitely is taking a […]

Why The CTO Sucks: Part 2

Seeing that the first part got some people thinking and that I managed to share some non-trivial examples of problems, here are some instances of issues you might be having and not aware of. A bit of follow-up on comments: Yes, probably the most common argument I hear is that the tech leadership is plainly […]

Why The CTO Sucks

I know the title might be a bit provocative, but life’s too short to always sugarcoat harsh feedback. This article is a collection of real things I regularly hear from CEOs, other executives, and employees. Too often, people don’t feel comfortable saying these things to your face, so you can be wasting precious months and […]

Ego Paralysis

I’ve rarely seen anyone honestly admit to being controlled by their egos at work. I’m sure you never partake in irrational thought, it’s just everyone else around you, right? The fact of the matter is that often, when I’m working with executives about issues, they already have a hunch about the right way to address […]

Refactoring Feedback

One superpower every leader needs to wield effectively is super coaching. Past the buzzwords, that means providing people with timely, sincere feedback and buttressing a support system to ensure it helps people grow and maximize their potential. Many leaders, though, suck at this. Poor feedback has a trifold negative impact on organizations. First, you’re squandering […]

Leap or Sleep

Sometimes, it seems that there’s an inverse relation between the number of people with leadership titles in a startup and how much initiative the startup actually has. Part of the responsibility of being a leader is to help your company take the lead (or maintain it). As you’re honing your 2024 roadmaps, let’s consider whether […]

Sparing the Midnight Oil

So many startup leaders bemoan that their team seems to “lack a sense of urgency.” As a freelance coder, clients would regularly comment I was getting more done in two days a week than their FTEs. Is that (solely) due to my awesome coding skillz? Nope. The path to making your team more badass often […]

Leadership Debt

If you have an engineering background, you’ve doubtless spoken of tech debt more than you ought to. For developers, tech debt is a trap that often steals more time than provides real value. It’s the path of least resistance where we can exert our cleverness without anyone else being the wiser about the real importance […]