Having founded a startup before and being now a manager of a small engineering team in another fast-growing startup, I’ve been leveraging the opportunity to experiment with a decision-making framework designed to be scalable, in the hope that the learnings we get will help our engineering organization scale on those learnings in the long run.

What I mean by “scalable”: ensuring things keep working well (better?) after growth that’s already been achieved, and also precipitates future growth not yet achieved.

Obviously, my personal values about scale took a big role in designing this:

• From my time at Apple, I…

Did you know that the name “Chicago” was coined by a Frenchman?
Robert de la Salle heard local tribes call a swamp “shikaakwa” (“wild garlic”) because of the distinct bad smell the plant emits (yes, the initial location of Chicago initially stinked!), so he tried to write it down phonetically for the French in his memoir in 1679 and called it “Checagou”.

But let’s comes back to 2018, and celebrate another high profile historical Francophone event in Chicago, with the opening today of the while42 Chicago chapter!

Those are my definitions, and not meant to be universal; but they have served me well in my past years navigating and advising tech companies of various stages. I hope they’re useful to you with regard to your own definitions.

This is part 2 of 2, check out part 1 here: “Opinion: What is a tech company? — What is technical innovation?”.

How to generate technical innovation? — Ownership

Since technical innovation is the current Far West gold, there are many models out there attempting to reliably generate it. …

Those are my definitions, and not meant to be universal; but they have served me well in my past years navigating and advising tech companies of various stages. I hope they’re useful to you with regard to your own definitions.

What is innovation? — An intersection of two things

I tend to call innovation something that matches both those criteria:

  • It is done in some kind of new way. It doesn’t need to be crazy disruptive or visionary, but there is something about it that doesn’t fully match how other players do it.
  • What is new about it makes it have more scalable business value, that is monetizable and…

One of the least successful and yet most strategic advice I used to give my students at Holberton School was: when hunting for engineering jobs, no matter how hard it was to get your first offer, don’t ever accept it right away. Of course be clear that you’re not refusing either, simply ask for more time. It was unsuccessful advice, not only because it is a very hard thing to do once presented with the moment, but also because I was never very good back then at conveying why. …


This think piece was inspired by Jen Myers’s talk “Move at a Reasonable Speed & Balance Things” at Front-End Camp Chicago, in which she discussed, among other things, the human risks behind the “move fast & break things” approach.

I’ve been bumping my head against a crazy paradox lately: I feel like I’ve never been so productive an engineer as today; and yet, I notice that I’ve never worked fewer hours in a given week. …

As a French transplant in the US, and after experiencing both the American and French presidential elections the past few months, I’m finding myself noticing a lot of similarities between the 2 initial situations, but very little in common about what ended up happening. I think it makes it reasonable to attempt a comparison, and try to learn from it.

If you are only familiar with the American electoral process, you first need to understand more about how French elections typically happen, and what happened during this election that made it very different, particularly during its first round.

Typically, …

… on…

Une fois le choc passé de ce résultat d’élection, fortement inattendu du monde entier (y compris d’une majorité d’Américains), nous voyons tous se révéler au grand jour une certaine réalité américaine que les médias n’ont jamais vraiment couverte.

Mu par mon besoin de comprendre au mieux les gens derrière tous ces votes, j’ai décidé de me plonger dans des points de vue réels de “Trump voters” qui ne sont pas alignés avec les valeurs personnelles de Trump (femmes, noir-américains, latinos, homosexuels, et même des immigrés comme moi). …

L’un des intérêts à lire la presse en ligne de deux pays différents, c’est de pouvoir observer leurs tendances respectives de manière un peu plus objective. Et ces temps-ci, dans la presse française, j’observe une quantité grandissante de dramatisation et de haine, qui est extrême dans les commentaires, mais qui est aussi fortement attisée par les contenus des journalistes, y compris dans les organes de presse les plus respectés.

Je dois avouer que de l’autre bout du monde, je regarde tout ça avec passivité et distance ; mais une nouvelle haine française qui m’atteint et m’intrigue nécessairement, c’est la quantité…

Rudy Rigot

Eng boomerang @salesforce. Ex-@Apple. Co-founder / advisor @holbertonschool @techmeabroad. Wrote @ProgrammerEnGo. Startup mentor @techstars. Root @while42_chi.

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