Post-it note reminders I keep on my office monitor.

It’s a beautiful moment when someone you manage comes to you and says:

I moved forward with this hard/important decision by myself without blocking for approval or advice because:

We were aligned on vision/outcomes,


I had the necessary decision-making tools/framework for reasoning about complex issues like this,


I was empowered to do so without fear of any consequences from my manager.

On this occasion, the person that is providing the feedback to the leader, has decided to rise to a leadership role herself:

Everyone has potential to lead, It’s not something you are, or something that you necessarily get training on, or a role that someone assigns to you.

Leadership emerges at the moment between a problem arises and someone says I am going to solve it. — Nick Caldwell

Image source

“Use agile principles, not practices”

Quote taken from Author Q&A: from Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams and applies to any domain, not just Agile.

One of the biggest challenges occur when experienced agilists try to apply the same practices to distributed teams as they do for collocated teams. A typical practice like the retrospective can become complicated and painful depending on the distribution of your team members and their hours of overlap. Instead, we recommend going back to principles and looking at how the practices you want to use were trying to apply those principles. …

Partnership and collaboration opportunities can be very beneficial to your organization and/or personal growth. But exploring these opportunities can feel awkward if they are approached as an unstructured chat over a cup of coffee.

Here’s a small framework that could help these exploratory discussions to happen more efficiently:

  • Research the other party: Feel free to ask the other party for data before the meeting and be proactive providing data about your organization or yourself. Every collaboration is based on trading differences, and that depends on the willingness of both parties to share information.
  • After the initial research fill-in the Needs…

A few months ago I got a demo from a company that provided lead gen services to customers and I had to turn them down because I was not comfortable with the practices they used for collecting personal info. Even though there would have been no liability, I still chose not to work with them as a matter of principle.

When faced with ethical choices like this my rule is to think about the following points before making a decision:

  • Legacy: Would you feel bad if this is something you’d be remembered for?
  • Publicity: Would you feel bad going on…

There are many definitions of what Organizational Culture is, but most of the ones I’ve come across are fuzzy and hard to communicate.

Here’s one that I really like that uses high school physics and feels intuitive:

These are 5 things to considerwhen evaluating UI/UX (designs, flows, apps, etc.):

  • Visual rhyme: Usually vertical and horizontal alignments.
  • Accessibility: Is it easy to read and recognize all elements?
  • Affordances: Does the UI offer clues about how it should be used?
  • Mistake-proofing (“Poka-yoke”): Is the user protected from trivial mistakes?
  • Defensive design: Are consequences of mistakes minimized?

Bonus point: Try to identify early if the stakeholders' team goes into bikeshedding mode, and push the discussion forward.

If you are having challenges managing you tasks, here’s a short list of tips that can change your life!

1. Get familiar with GTD

Getting Things Done is a time-management method described in a book of the same title by productivity consultant David Allen. It is often referred to as GTD and contains some very insightful ideas like separating the actual collection of tasks from the actual process of prioritizing, categorizing and adding dates, etc.

Even if you choose not to implement all of them, I promise that GTD has the potential to change your life.

2. One inbox (and only one)

Having messages comes through many channels — email, social…

A few years ago I had worked with an experienced designer/UX person that has taught me a very quick, but powerful UX/marketing test which I refer to as the Bistrian test — Bistrian was his name.

This test applies well to both UX elements and marketing messaging and it’s very simple.

It goes like this:

  • After observing the dominant UX element/message, or
  • Reading the first marketing message sentence

…imagine being the user and say out loud:

“Why the f@#$ should I care?”

There is something magical in that phrase that maps perfectly to the short attention span of the user and relentlessly challenges your copy or design decisions.

Free your mind — challenge product “best practices”

I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable when people use terms like “best practises” or “industry standards”, and this post is about a real world example of why everyone should be cautious of such claims.

One of the tools that are often mentioned in the context of growth hacking is life-cycle emails (aka “drip emails”). These are usually employed for user on-boarding and aim to raise the awareness of the user for your product and potentially let him in to features he might not know yet. …

Dio Synodinos

Helping dev teams succeed by adopting new technologies and practices - &&

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