Chaos and Sandboxes

I know the temptation that every manager has to micromanage and repeat the obvious “just to make sure” but I have learned that I can do a much better job of simply getting out of the way and letting the great people that I have trusted to do great work do just that: Do great work.

Continue reading

An Exit Interview

All companies will inevitably walk through the process of relieving someone of their role within the company. Whether this is a part of the natural order of a company being acquired and being streamlined for resources or a breach of contract or simply natural attrition as your staff finds that it’s time to leave for the next adventure, it is inevitable.

I think leaving well (and ending well in the larger scheme) is vitally important for the employee and the organization. The chief motive for an exit interview is simply this as it is an opportunity for the ex-employee and the organization to create one final and explicit moment of critical learning.

Continue reading

To All of My Past Motherships…

I’m sorry to say this but most of my previous “motherships” were not kind to me and so I must confess that I do not love nor miss them. Besides, I don’t expect that they’d remember me anyways.

But, I want to say that I appreciated you, you previous motherships, at the time, for who you were when I said “Yes” to the opportunity. Things changed and our relationship status couldn’t weather the inevitable shifts that occurred. It wasn’t anyone’s fault (or at least in a few circumstances…) – it is just what was (and is).

Continue reading

What a Management Team Does

It can be difficult, at times, to know exactly what one should do with one’s time when in leadership. Sure, there are the global mission-critical functions that each role has but those can often be more strategic in nature and less tactical.

This is especially challenging for the software programmer who is now faced with executive leadership. It is worth repeating that not all software programmers should look to find themselves in management (see this classic startup sin here).

Continue reading

3 Fundamental Theories to the IT Industry

I can’t remember where I first heard these (it may have been from the founders of Linux and/or Red Hat…) but I’ve been thinking about them recently as I’ve been coaching a number of new startups that we’ve invested in as well as more than a handful of young entrepreneurs through local programs like Endevvr.

Here as three fundamental theories in the IT industry:

  1. It all happened by accident
  2. It was done by amateurs
  3. Nothing has really changed


Continue reading

What Makes Your Job So Special?


Out of the blue my oldest asked me a very simple question as we were finishing up dinner last night:

Appa, what makes your job so special?

I told her that that was a really easy question to answer and I gave her these three reasons (she was specifically talking about The Iron Yard):

Continue reading