Author: Aadil

  • Productivity Tip – Text Shortcuts

    My favourite recent productivity tip is using text replacement which is built into to MacOS natively (System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Text). These rules also sync with iOS so you can use it on the go with your iPhone. It’s native in the operating systems so you can use these shortcuts in whatever program you’re […]

  • Trends Accelerated by Covid-19

    Covid-19 has led to significant changes in how we live, work, and interact with each other. In some cases, they have accelerated trends that were already in motion, and in other cases forced changes that we did not anticipate or expect. In the next few years, I think we will go through a rapid pace […]

  • Hiring Product Managers at Scale

    In this post, I summarize a process that I recommend for hiring product managers at a growth company, adapted for a distributed hiring environment (most applicable to a company that will hire multiple product managers). I’ve hired and trained over 40 product managers over the course of my career, and this draws on my experience […]

  • Hiring your First Product Manager

    When you’re running a small startup, you may ask yourself when to hire your first product manager and what you should look for in the candidate. This is a question I get from founders fairly often. Startup founders in technology companies usually are great at least one of the following things; making stuff and selling […]

  • My Home Office Set Up

    My current home office set up is a little bit makeshift as we are living with our in-laws (temporarily). I figure that a lot of people would be in a similar situation and thought it would be worth documenting and sharing as I’ve already helped a few friends and family members with their home office. […]

  • Evolution of Megacities

    I live in New York City, and have been thinking about how I think large, densely populated cities (in developed markets) will evolve after Covid-19. I don’t think the soul of the city will change, and reading Here is New York (by E.B. White) from the 1940’s affirms this, but I do think the city […]

  • Performance Management

    This post will summarize my personal learnings for managing performance in both a distributed and non-distributed environment. I recently hosted a discussion on ‘Remote Performance Management’ with engineering and product leads at other companies (through Enrich) and these were some of the topics we covered. Performance management in a distributed environment is very similar to […]

  • Managing Distributed Teams

    At Automattic, I lead a fully distributed product development and engineering team. This post will cover some of my personal practices for managing teams and if/how this is different in a distributed environment. These practices are probably more useful to newer managers running distributed teams for the first time. I recently listened to Matt (Automattic’s […]

  • Cycle Touring in New Zealand

    In 2015, I went on a 5-week bicycle tour around the South Island of New Zealand with my cousin, Hanif. It was a great trip and I have really fond memories of exploring the country on two wheels. Most people do a similar route in a car, but if you have the time and are […]

  • 20 Books in 2020

    This is a list of the last 20 books I read in chronological order, and a * next to the book means I particularly recommend it. For each book, I write 1-2 takeaway points while I’m reading, not necessarily at the end. I enjoyed almost all these books, and learned a lot from them. I […]

  • Better Audio for Distributed Work

    tl;dr: A wired USB headsets with a mic that is a consistent distance from your mouth is the best option for most people. This is one we recommend at Automattic. Many of us have transitioned to working from home, and spend a lot more time talking to people over video and voice – we usually have […]

  • Angel Investing Learnings

    In this post I’ll share some advice and learnings from my experience angel investing for about 10 years to help others get started or improve their own process. In general, I’d advise investing in companies where you have some asymmetric advantage – either because you know the founder(s) well or because you know the space […]