It’s in this executive leap where judgement is rendered as much on all the things you did, as on all the things you didn’t do. If you’re leading the charge, almost everything that happens could have happened differently by the weight of your choices. You have to accept that if you want to play the lead part.
Where instincts clash with reality is when hiring senior-level people. There’s a natural assumption that someone who was already, say, a lead programmer or designer in their past job will be able to step right into that role anywhere. That just isn’t so. Organizations can differ widely. The skills and experience needed to get traction in one place may well be totally different somewhere else.
Nearly all product work is done by teams of three people. A team of three is usually composed of two programmers and one designer. And if it’s not three, it’s two or one — not four or five. We don’t throw more people at problems, we chisel problems down until they can be tackled by three people, at most.
What Jeff got was the same deal that Jason and I had: His share of the yearly profits. What a quaint concept! But also a profitable one. Over the more than a decade that Jeff has been onboard, we’ve paid him back his initial investment five times over through profit distributions! And he still owns the stake.
…th what I have right now?” This question re-focuses my energy on what I am in control of right now. Instead of idling in indecision and mulling over every possible path and course of action, the question “What’s the most I can do with what I have right now?” forces your hand. You must deal with the cards in front of you. And once you do, you’ll clear a path to move forward within the constraints you have. Now you can focus on what you can control.
Once a six week cycle is over, we take one or two weeks off of scheduled projects so everyone can roam independently, fix stuff up, pick up some pet projects we’ve wanted to do, and generally wind down prior to starting the next six week cycle. Ample time for context switching. We also use this time to firm up ideas that we’ll be tackling next cycle. More on this in a bit.
A lot of us are trained to think that our ability to grapple with ever-more-complex concepts is the measure of our intelligence. The more complicated the problem, the smarter the person needed to solve it, right? Maybe. Shannon helps us see how the opposite might be true, too. Achieving simplicity may actually be the more intellectually demanding endeavor.