Archive for the ‘Success’ Category
Recently, Liz Strauss asked me via e-mail:
How do you delegate responsibility to inspire the best performance from people you work with?
and she asked the same question to a dozen other leaders and managers as well. The result was 7 tips for effectively delegating work.
In no particular order, they are: Read the rest of this entry »
The Internet-versus-books debate is conducted on the supposition that the medium is the message. But sometimes the medium is just the medium. What matters is the way people think about themselves while engaged in the two activities. A person who becomes a citizen of the literary world enters a hierarchical universe. There are classic works of literature at the top and beach reading at the bottom.
The lesson here was that when working on a project, you need to feel progress through small successes. Success feels good, so set yourself up to have lots of it, even if they’re small. When you’re having success, you’ll be having fun and want to keep on going. Success is a drug, it’s addictive, so organize your project to get the biggest high possible.
If I’ve said that once, I’ve said it a million times. It is one of my mantras: success begets success.
1. A little bit of success keeps me wanting more.
2. A little bit of success motivates me to keep on going when times are tough.
Last summer, I wrote a popular post about 3 Lessons I Learned About Development While Raking the Yard with My Son. Welcome back again to Lessons from the Yard, Volume II.
I used to make big plans for the yard. On a sunny weekend day in the spring I’d be inspired to go to the garden store and buy all sorts of supplies. An entire spring and summer’s worth of supplies. Plants and flowers. Soil and compost. Tools and equipment.
Oh, how I love to buy tools and equipment! Tools and equipment are the romance of the garden store. Tools and equipment fill my heart with songs of possibility and joy.
I had coffee this morning with a friend who is looking for work. (He’s a great guy…10 years at Amazon.com…if you’re looking for someone, let me know!)
As we talked, we came to the subject of “job listings” which are so impersonal. For a professional, they feel like a pretty bogus way of getting a job. Or, at least, uncertain and unreliable.
Of course, my thought was that it’s all about who you know…networking. Essentially, my view is that personal relationships are what will lead to the next opportunity.
Randy, as he often does, sent me some articles recently…this time related to the speculated arrival of an Apple tablet computing device.
We have some big plans for Cheezburger in the coming year, and there’s a lesson to be learned from these articles, in particular one from Daring Fireball:
I have a thousand questions about The Tablet’s design…but there’s one question at the top of the list, the answer to which is the key to answering every other question. That question is this: If you already have an iPhone and a MacBook; why would you want this?
Following up on yesterday’s post about how to make successful New Years Resolutions, I wanted to add some wisdom from the Agile community.
As background, Agile is a software development methodology. One part of Agile is that you take a big project and break it up into little pieces. (Have you heard this before? The journey of a thousand miles takes a million steps.) Agile refers to each of these little pieces as “stories”.
INVEST is a heuristic for writing good stories. In other words, it’s a way to effectively break the big journey up into little pieces. What is INVEST? Read the rest of this entry »
Randy just wandered into my office, as he often does, and made the comment:
I don’t make New Years Resolutions because they’re bound to fail. Look at it outside—how can you resolve to start exercising when it looks like that! Perhaps in May or June, but not now. They should be Mid-Year Resolutions.
He has a point: the weather is seriously ugly today, but I don’t think that’s why New Years Resolutions fail.
At Cheezburger, we embrace incrementalism. We’ve found that when we make changes in incremental, small pieces and there are several benefits:
- Things get done and ship faster. The result is regular progress and momentum. Success begets success.
- Things tend to be less late. It’s hard to have a 2 day project be 2 months late.
- You get the thing your making out to your customers faster. As a result, a) you start learning if it works sooner, b) your customers get to start using it sooner, and c) assuming it’s valuable, you start capturing the value sooner.
- There is less overhead (design, planning, etc.) in a 2 day project than a 2 month project.
- Incremental changes have fewer dependencies. Dependencies add complexity and can cause delays.
- Developers like small projects because they seem easier and more fun.
- A small project has less bugs and is easier to test.
- It’s easier to A/B test incremental changes.
- It’s less expensive to change your mind because changes cost less.
- Incremental changes are less jarring to customers.