I don’t know everything. Actually, let me rephrase that. I don’t know very much. Despite that, I somehow manage to get things done from time to time. From an external observer, it may appear that any success I have comes from some special ability for a particular job or task. However, the reality is that anything I may have accomplished has come much more from grit and determination than magical powers. In fact, I would say that the only real skill I have is for being painfully aware of how imperfect I am and where there are inefficiencies or imperfections in my work. It can be a little torturous at times, especially when there is a tight deadline and I don’t have the time to work think things through and come up with the best solution or when there is a bug I am trying to fix and it is taking way longer than I expected. Working for a small startup, MESH01, I have found that there is always a deadline. There are also so many expectations and so much opportunity that however fast you work, it isn’t fast enough. Continue reading “Just-in-Time Expertise: My Secret Weapon for Success” »
Mar 14, 2012
Feb 29, 2012
“Baseball isn’t just numbers, it’s not science. If it was then anybody could do what we’re doing, but they can’t because they don’t know what we know. They don’t have our experience and they don’t have our intuition…there are intangibles that only baseball people understand.” - Grady Fusion to Billy Beane in Moneyball
Moneyball is a great book and a great movie. In many ways it is more about business than it is about baseball. Billy Beane was the first GM that fully embraced a numbers-driven framework for managing a baseball team. This flew in the face of conventional wisdom which at the time relied on the “gut instincts” of scouts like Grady Fusion.
In a similar way, many business people rely on the gut instincts for success instead of performing any deep statistical analysis. While I have always been a fan of statistical analysis, I fall into the same trap as everyone else. When things get busy, you can’t help but think there is no time to do a full analysis of the situation, so just go with your instincts and move forward. I have been successful (in spite of) doing this in the past, but I knew I had to force myself to be more methodical when I joined a small startup, MESH01, as the CTO. Fortunately, I came across a phenomenal book that helped quite a bit.
Jan 9, 2012
Imagine that you were lucky enough to find a job at a large, powerful organization that:
- Has great pay and benefits
- Has a great boss who actively helps you get better and wants you to succeed
- Is extremely stable
- Is challenging and rewarding
- Would allow you to do many of the things you love to do including building and leading an awesome team of smart developers
Now imagine that you decided to leave that job after investing 6 years of hard work even though the greatest opportunities for success were yet to come. And, the reason why you are leaving this high-profile job at a big organization is to work at a 3-person, 2-year-old startup that is still working toward profitability. Why in the world would anyone in the right mind do that? It’s sort of like if Gene Hackman’s character in Hoosiers decided to quit the team right before the state championship so that he could coach a local middle school. How does that make any sense?
Well, it turns out quite a bit. Let me explain.