When I was a junior engineer, I thought that it’s my manager’s job to manage me. It even says so in the name: manage-r. I just do my work, and my manager manages me.

In reality, the reporting relationship is a two-way street, no different from any of your personal relationships. It requires effort from both sides. As a reportee, you manage up:

Understand your team’s goals, which are the same as the manager’s goals. Then, understand what you need to do for the team to achieve its goals. Ask your manager explicitly, “What do you need from me for the team to achieve its overall goals?” Asking explicitly is good because managers rarely communicate it so directly [1]. In addition to the what, the how, which is the overall context, is also important. For example, if the goal is to launch an MVP ASAP with a low quality, and you take a lot of time to deliver something polished, you’re not fitting in to the overall plan. …

First, seek to understand before being understood. This is an area I need to improve in, too: I should listen to what the other person is saying, without looking for an opportunity to get my point in. …

Most blockchain applications are useless [1], built by people who have no clue what they’re doing, and funded by people who have no clue what they’re funding.

There are a few reasons for this:

First, a blockchain does away with the need for a central authority, but such an authority is often helpful. For example, someone proposed an Uber-like site that’s operated on a blockchain rather than having one company control the platform. But I want a minimum standard that I can expect from a taxi, and I want a central party to enforce it. …


Kartick Vaddadi

CTO, Squadcast. Earlier: IIT | Google | Founder | Advisor.