Category: Management

  • Startup Hiring

    I’ve been helping a few startups with hiring, have hired large teams and have been a candidate on the other side. Labor is getting more and more competitive and the best candidates have lots of options so it’s important to have a good process. To hire the best people you need to see a lot […]

  • The “Why” Behind Work

    Aligning on “Why” for product development work is always important, but it’s especially important for distributed teams. When the “Why” is consistently missing, projects end up feeling like a list of context free tasks from ‘up above’ and teams can become demotivated and resentful – no one likes being told what to do all the […]

  • Measuring Productivity of Distributed Teams

    Measuring productivity is hard, especially for knowledge workers and craftspeople who are building software products.  People are typically the most expensive asset for technology organizations, yet it feels like the internal systems for defining and measuring productivity are archaic and don’t match the methodical approach we use for external product development (iterative, data+gut) in customer […]

  • 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 […]

  • Manage Energy, not Time

    I read the HBR article in 2009 called ‘Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time‘ and it really resonated with me. I’d felt similarly for a long time but did not have a framework to describe it. I’ve since shared this article and this method of thinking with dozens of colleagues and friends and many have […]

  • A few Management Frameworks

    As a manager or manager of managers of product development teams, it can be hard to focus on the right things and to make sure that you’re making progress on your ever growing list. To help others overcome the same challenges, I am sharing a few of my personal frameworks that have helped me focus […]

  • Early Thoughts on Distributed Work

    I recently joined Automattic which is a fully distributed company. We have ~900 people (in all functions) working in ~70 countries, with no central office. We are one of the largest, if not the largest fully distributed company in the world. I wanted to share some of my thoughts about the advantages and challenges of […]

  • Individual Contributor to Manager

    In my last role at Pocket Gems, I transitioned from an individual contributor (IC) to a manager and then to a manager of managers. It was a hard transition as we grew from 5 people to 150 in less than a year and a half, but I learned a lot along the way. I was […]