Author: Michael

The three kinds of leverage that anchor effective strategies

Asides / Strategy

Jason Cohen writing on A Smart Bear about one of the fundamental concepts of strategy, durable, differentiated strengths. “Leverage” means generating a large effect from a relatively small effort, created by riding tailwinds of natural abilities or hard-won assets, rather than fighting a battle for which you are ill-equipped. […] Leveraging strengths is the only way to do great work. (Not “fixing weaknesses.”) Better yet, leveraging differentiated strengths means you beat the competition. Best is […]

Everything Must Be Paid for Twice

Asides

One financial lesson they should teach in school is that most of the things we buy have to be paid for twice. There’s the first price, usually paid in dollars, just to gain possession of the desired thing, whatever it is: a book, a budgeting app, a unicycle, a bundle of kale. But then, in order to make use of the thing, you must also pay a second price. This is the effort and initiative […]

… and then?

Asides

Interesting contemplation about how recent advancements in AI will make us all more productive: You rush through the writing, the researching, the watching, the listening, you’re done with it, you get it behind you — and what is in front of you? … But in the more immediate future: you’re zipping through all these experiences in order to do what, exactly? Listen to another song at double-speed? Produce a bullet-point outline of another post that AI can […]

The plateau of meh

Leadership

Most successful careers contain actually quite a few plateaus once observed up close. Wikipedia entries of famous people fascinate me, because they show that their paths are not as clean as one might remember. There is a variant of the hero’s journey that is often overlooked, because it is far less dramatic and more mundane. One where the hero does not fight the fierce monster or rises up to the insurmountable challenge. Rather, one where […]

The Internet Isn’t Meant To Be So Small

Asides

Nice essay by Kelsey McKinney to remind us that the internet has – despite growth and broad adoption – become too small and limiting in recent years. It’s a call to action for us to break out of our echo chambers and embrace the vastness and potential for growth that the internet can offer. It is worth remembering that the internet wasn’t supposed to be like this. It wasn’t supposed to be six boring men […]

God Did the World a Favor by Destroying Twitter

Asides

By far the best paragraph that I read this week came from Paul Ford: How will these smaller groups of happier people be monetized? This is a tough question for the billionaires. Happy people, the kind who eat sandwiches together, are boring. They don’t buy much. Their smartphones are six versions behind and have badly cracked screens. They fix bicycles, then they talk about fixing bicycles, then they show their friend, who just came over […]

The OKR Operator’s Manual

OKRs / Tips and Tricks

I’ve recently come across the Operator’s Manual, a post by Ian McAllister. It’s a compilation of tips for communicating data, dates and deliverables. Basically, how to live up to “be bright, be brief, be gone”.  Taking inspiration from that post, below are some tips that I frequently share when it comes to OKRs. My standard line is “OKRs are deceptively simple, but tricky to get right” or as I just recently heard from Isaac “a […]

Embrace the red

OKRs

One of the biggest success factors for OKRs is culture. A healthy team culture of trust is fertile ground for successful OKR implementations. One of the core principles is to “embrace the red” in OKR reviews. It’s important to celebrate what teams are doing well. At the same time, learning and growth happens in areas that are blocked or need attention. As teams create new categories, targeting new audiences and inventing new products, there will […]

My new blogging machine

Technology / Tips and Tricks

A few months ago I tried out ChromeFlex. This is a version of ChromeOS that’s easy to install on traditional laptops. I had an old Surface Pro 3 machine which was collecting dust. It just waited for me to carry it to electronics recycling. As it turns out, ChromeFlex gave it another lease on life. The installation was easy. You create a bootable USB drive via a Chrome browser extension. Then you can choose whether […]