I’ve been managing and leading remote and distributed teams and vendors for years (my first project chat tool was not Slack, not even Hipchat, but Pidgin(!)) — and now that coronavirus has suddenly reminded us all that we are not suddenly as adept at working together digitally as we thought we were, I thought it helpful to share the biggest issues that I see most companies not understand in creating a positive remote work culture (especially when using Slack).
1. Be clear on the times when you need to be available for each other, and make them explicit. During those times, you should not be away from your machine (for an unreasonable amount of time), or take hours to respond. This problem creates decision delay, where something that might have been handled in 15 minutes takes a series of message, delay, message, delay, and so on — until it becomes hours and even sometimes days. …
I don’t generally write on politics. It’s because:
However, I do understand games. And winning games. And the strategy of complex games. And this is where my shower thought, inspired by a tweet, came to me: Donald Trump is a raid boss… and winning an election against Donald Trump requires staggering aggro. …
I’d once read about a designer who’d made his life’s mission the creation of one object. I think he was Japanese, which was interesting given his fascination and commitment to cutlery that wasn’t even natively common in his country. His passion centered upon a singular focus: making the perfect spoon.
His work sought to answer all of the necessary questions on the quest to make the perfect spoon. What is the right weight of the spoon — heavy, tactile, so it feels as if there is a sense of quality and history. What is the right polish? Matte, or shiny? The right material and density of that material. A blend — stainless, or other materials. The tensile strength. How does the spoon rest when placed down, rested sideways, or in a stack of its siblings? The curve of the handle so that there is an intrinsic ergonomic sense of comfort and no rough, displeasingly sharp edges, and of course the size, curve, depth and basin of the spoon bowl itself, to ensure it excelled in the delivery of all types of liquids, but could also hold food, without easily letting a small meatball roll with growing panic right onto one’s lap. …
When I think on the sort of culture we desperately owe it to our teammates, partners, customers and organizations to bring to the table — I always come back to curiosity. More than anything else it’s this trait that I want to shepherd at Jakt and that I want to surround myself with both professionally and personally.
I believe that digital organizations (those with designers, developers or product people) must all create safe spaces for the curious creative. I’m not sure I can imagine a driving mentality or default mode that is more valuable to an organization than that of a curious individual. …
I have seen founders live and die by their spreadsheets. As if all of the meaning and promise of their goals and desires were accurately predicted by a series of small numbers in a series of small cells. The meticulously crafted formulae migrating data from sheet to sheet representing guarantees of what is and what must be. Color-coded rows and bold text indicating the fulfillment of grand ambitions. …
Somewhere between Silicon Valley and Silicon Valley.
Between Steve Jobs and Tim Cook.
Between the first Uber we hailed and the last Lyft, wherein the driver was nice but we felt gross at how we knew this Lyft Line was only worth about $4.50 to him.
Between jeans and tees because damn-the-Man to Jeans and Tees(TM), officially licensed wardrobe of The Man, available in small supply at nationwide Targets in the GoodFellow collection.
Between tech millionaires and tech billionaires.
Between Deep Blue just beat Kasparov and oops… our AI thinks you’re a gorilla.
Between “bro I just landed a kickflip” and “bro I just landed the last commitment on my series A bridge round for $3.4M.”
Between Farmville and Fortnite.
Between a healthy, full collegiate beard and Beardbrand’s $120k monthly revenue selling beard oil to the nation-state of Brooklyn.
Between Bush, when we were so hype to use tech to save the world, and Trump, when we realized saving the world was far more complex than we could have imagined… and maybe we’re not the right people for the job.
Between Facebook requiring a college on the sign up form and Facebook requiring your liberty on the sign up form.
Between Mountain Lion and High Sierra.
Between sex robots in the latest tech noir cyberpunk thriller and sex robots, trending 🔥HOT🔥 in this month’s Vogue Hottest Trends matrix.
Between the news is such a downer and I’m not really sure what the news is anymore, but this all sounds bad af.
Between Edward Snowden directed by Oliver Stone, and James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty, coming soon to a Barnes & Noble near you.
Between Vine, by Twitter, and Trump, by Twitter.
Between How.com’s four step answer to ‘How do I bake a potato?’ and Best Bite’s 60 second demonstration of elegantly manicured hands making Bacon, Mac & Cheesecake, 3.7 million views.
Between the Kindle, the new home for your books, and Amazon Prime, the new home for every other thing in your home. Coming soon: Your home, shipped to you in two days, via Amazon Prime Plus Mortgages.
Between the height of the Occupy movement and the approximate two months it took us all to prematurely spurt out all of our radical energy and get back to chasing that paper.
Between seeing our first angel investor as an actual angel and seeing venture capitalists as actual, literal vampires.
Between thinking, how cool we might get a 401k match this year to thinking what’s the point of my salary I just need Ethereum to hit 2000, nothing else matters.
Between the occasional all-nighter to get some shit done and 90% effective time microdosing to capture maximal creative output in the Flow state.
Between getting Facebook ad targeting down to less than $0.01 and getting Facebook ad targeting down to living, breathing Nazis.
Between Air Force Ones and Yeezys.
Between adding a share button to a product page and adding a randomly-generated tier-based reward system powered by microtransactions.
Between hoodie Zuckerberg and suit Zuckerberg.
Between the X-Pro II filter makes all of my pictures look stunning and filter or #nofilter this Insta feed makes my entire life look stunningly unworthy in comparison.
Between let’s whiteboard some shit and wait, I don’t think we’re using Integrated Design Thinking by IBM’s formal fourth step in the how-to-think-about-shit process.
Between our baby Siri’s first words and her latest motherfucker.
Between Hollywood, we’re really banking on Christoper Nolan, and Disneytown, formerly known as Hollywood, sponsored by Duane the Rock Johnson’s Instagram feed and Marvel Comics.
Between Morpheus offering Neo the red pill and pretty much everyone saying no dude, no thank you to r/theredpill.
Between $500k seed rounds and $6M seed rounds.
Between Color Labs’ $41 million and Magic Leap’s $2.3 …
I asked a question to Reddit’s r/startups recently, wondering how the community overcame the challenge of transience when working on startups, and often software or web-based products in particular. I’ll admit… I don’t have THE ANSWER, but I thought to share here some of the gist of what I was feeling and what others suggested as well.
I’d been suffering some existential angst, inspired by the realization that every few years so much of my work product vanishes. …
I remember a simpler time (like… one whole year ago). As a hobbyist consumer of multiple eSports properties (and a designer for an eSports product), I knew what it took to keep up with my games and their communities. It played out something like this…
It’s been a good year.
In April this past year, working on five different startup projects at one time, I knew I was wildly over capacity and starting to drown in the details. While I could institute a healthy system for a software product team or launching a startup, I didn’t have a practice that could help me keep track of all the things I needed to do that DIDN’T fit in to the engineering lifecycle. I built that system, it’s based on four words, and since it isn’t rocket science, I’m sharing for y’all — but also, sharing some notes on productivity in general. Some admissions. Some lessons. …