The survival of the fittest is the ageless law of nature, but the fittest are rarely the strong. The fittest are those endowed with the qualifications for adaptation, the ability to accept the inevitable and conform to the unavoidable, to harmonize with existing or changing conditions. Dave E. Smalley.
Don’t let the process become the goal. As we try to think about our own process at Percolate I want to make sure we don’t end up down this road. As a company grows it’s natural for people to desire more documentation, clarification, and general process, and all of those are good things. However, as you go down the road of designing process you always run the risk of losing sight of the real objectives, […]
As its name implies, Supercell is organized as a collection of small, independent teams called cells tasked with developing new games or building new deep features for existing games. Cells are given complete autonomy in terms of how they organize themselves, prioritize ideas, distribute work and determine what they ultimately produce. Describing himself as the “world’s least powerful CEO”, Ilkka encourages cells to exercise extreme independence and prides himself on having no creative control over […]
What’s changed is that competitive advantage is no longer the sum of all efficiencies, but the sum of all connections. Strategy, therefore, must be focused on deepening and widening networks of information, talent, partners, and consumers. Brands, in effect, have become more than assets to be leveraged, but platforms for collaboration. Greg Satell
What managers don’t do is give orders, set goals, and define processes. The expectation is that engineers, motivated by Airbnb’s mission and equipped with enough information by their managers, will figure those things out themselves. “It’s not your manager’s responsibility to tell you how to have impact,” says Curtis. […] Where Airbnb has standardized around processes, it’s generally a bottom-up process, lightly steered by management. In meetings, Curtis and his engineering managers tell stories about […]
Data should be accessible, easy to discover, and easy to process for everyone. Whether your dataset is large or small, being able to visualize it makes it easier to explain. The longer you take to find the data, the less valuable it becomes. Excerpted from this slideshare by Jeff Magnusson, Manager, Data Platform Architecture at Netflix.
This is the reality that Brad and I stared at in 2003 as we were developing our initial investment thesis for USV. We saw the cloud coming but did not want to invest in commodity software delivered in the cloud. So we asked ourselves, “what will provide defensibility” and the answer we came to was networks of users, transactions, or data inside the software. We felt that if an entrepreneur could include something other than […]
So, we as individuals and as leaders should actively promote dissent in group decision making, not for the sake of dissent itself, but for its ability to spark divergent thinking and to guide people past the sharing and preference biases lurking in the dark shadows of our minds. Constructive uncertainty is a required skill for the 21st century.
Here’s a simple but powerful exercise: Put your company’s or your client’s key stakeholders in a room together. Have the person with the most senior title agree that it’s a safe place for the next hour or so. Like Switzerland. First ask everyone what their next year’s objectives are. Write them down. Next ask everyone what they’re measured by. What their compensation is tied to, what makes their boss happy, what empty cells in a […]
I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com. Literally billions of dollars of failures. You might remember Pets.com or Kosmo.com. It was like getting a root canal with no anesthesia. None of those things are fun. But they also don’t matter. What really matters is, companies that don’t continue to experiment, companies that don’t embrace failure, they eventually get in a desperate position where the only thing they can do is a Hail Mary […]
Late Friday, CNET reported that Nike had made the decision to turn away from wearable hardware: Nike is gearing up to shutter its wearable-hardware efforts, and the sportswear company this week fired the majority of the team responsible for the development of its FuelBand fitness tracker, a person familiar with the matter told CNET. Here’s why Nike did it: Wearable tech is innovating faster outside of the company than it ever will inside the company. Wearable sensors are […]
Classically, the marketing department’s role within the larger organization has been to spread value. To take the raw product of the organization and to distribute a product or message across geographical boundaries and into the hearts and minds of a target market. Today, more and more, the role of the marketing department has become one of creating value (from entertainment to service). Market shares have solidified, mediums have matured, attention spans have shortened – and […]
This is a business model framework I adapted for network or platform based businesses from an original IDEO slideshare. The goal is to be able to plot a business model across these buckets that not only creates value for customers – but creates value FROM customers, as well. Some explanation … Costs: here I’ve broken down costs into two camps, stealing from the software engineer Fred Brooks, accidental vs essential. Essential costs (and complexity) are […]
In the 1960′s, the historian, Alfred Chandler, crystalized his vision of corporate organizational theory with the phrase, “structure follows strategy.” Times have changed, markets have changed, the inherent usefulness of the corporation has changed, and strategies have evolved – thus it’s time again to address the structure of organizations around the globe – ours and especially our client’s. Chandler, the first true business historian, studied how the chemical company Du Pont, the automobile manufacturer General Motors, […]