We hear a lot of talk about the first employee at a startup or on a team. Nikita Dyer Miller has made a specialty of being the fourth product manager. It may not sound glamorous, but that’s a uniquely challenging — and impactful — space to occupy.
Uber is committed to delivering safer and more reliable transportation across our global markets.
Welcome to Reading Lists, comprehensive book guides from the Strategist designed to make you an expert (or at least a fascinating dinner-party companion) in hyperspecific or newsworthy topics, from microdosing and psychedelic therapy to French cooking.
Many people in the world and business still see ‘Design’ as that thing which makes things look good, function well, and perhaps have an emotive quality.
Do your days seem like a continuous blur of busyness, and yet you don’t seem to get much done, nor remember much about how you spent your time? As a former employee of Google, my guest today worked on the very apps and technology that can often suck away our time.
If you’re looking for lightweight chairs that can be moved around easily, then look no further than these perfect patio chairs. These smartly cushioned chairs are extremely comfortable, and the arms are designed to be wide enough to rest your drink or a small snack plate.
As a project manager, you wear many hats and juggle one too many balls in the air. You could consider yourself a modern-day jester. But sometimes the depth and weight of your responsibilities are not something to laugh about. Building a project from A to Z requires you to:
It can feel tremendously frustrating to expect a particular kind of support of your manager, and have them fail to deliver it, or even acknowledge it.
Last week, I interviewed Tien Tzuo, the former CMO & CSO at Salesforce, and founder/CEO of Zuora. During our conversation, he spoke about one of the major challenges facing fast growing startups. He called it recognizing the breaking points of management.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.
Here’s something that baffles me: the fact that most companies don’t invest in helping their employees develop effective workflow systems. Most people don’t dedicate much thought to such systems.
Consider the daily schedule of famed novelist Haruki Murakami. When he’s working on a novel, he starts his days at 4 am and writes for five or six continuous hours.
Our Exl-Plan range of integrated monthly/quarterly planners includes Exl-Plan Basic which uses annual assumptions to generate comprehensive 5-year projections. This simple, low-cost version (US$29) will meet many business planning needs. Get details, download free trial copy or buy & use now.
There’s an all-too-common cycle in tech these days. Startup avoids management. Founder makes all the decisions. Startup gets traction. Hiring takes off. Management is suddenly needed. Founder turns to his best engineer: “I’m drowning. Can you manage this team for me?"
Labor intensive. Most consulting services rely on humans as the fundamental source of research, analysis, recommendations, process definition, process management, and facilitation. Billable time-based business model.
We live in an age of “total work.” It’s a term coined by the German philosopher Josef Pieper just after World War II—describing the process by which human beings are transformed into workers, and the entirety of life is then transformed into work.
For many of us, work can feel like a never-ending cycle of long meetings, overflowing inboxes, and urgent demands. No matter how fast we go or how hard we work, there’s far more to do every day than there is time to do it.
It’s National Preparedness Month, which means it’s time to make sure you’re ready for whatever life throws your way. Emergency preparedness isn’t about doomsday prepping, though, it’s about being ready for the realistic events that can disrupt life at any time.
One reason programmers dislike meetings so much is that they're on a different type of schedule from other people. Meetings cost them more. There are two types of schedule, which I'll call the manager's schedule and the maker's schedule. The manager's schedule is for bosses.
Welcome to engineering management. It’s fun, it’s exhausting, it’s rewarding — but most importantly it’s new! What worked for you before won’t work now. You’ll have to acquire a new set of skills, and shed some bad habits in the process. Here is a short guide to get you started.
Get more done with the Google Tasks mobile app. Manage, capture, and edit your tasks from anywhere, at anytime, with to-dos that sync across all your devices. Integrations with Gmail and Google Calendar help you get tasks done—faster.
Explained in 10 sketchesAssigning TasksDelivering NewsConducting 1:1sGiving FeedbackDealing with TurbulenceFor more detailed reads of the sketches above:Managing with Martians — or, why frameworks are better than answersSo, You Think You Want to Manage — what is management? and why woul
You have a new goal. Maybe it’s New Year’s and you’re ready for a fresh start. Maybe it’s July and you’re ready for change. Regardless, you’ve got the vim and vigor to make this happen. But then you worry. People abandon their goals all the time.
“When you’re juggling a lot of tasks, things will fall through the cracks, and lists are amazing for keeping yourself on target and getting things done,” says Paula Rizzo, author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to Be More Productive, Highly Successful, and Less Stressed.
That's basically my mantra: I may not be as talented, or educated, or experienced as other people... but I can always try to out-work them. But we can all work smarter, too. That's the real key to success: working harder and smarter.
When individual contributors are tapped to manage large-scale projects, oversee direct reports, or participate in strategic planning, they need to develop new skill sets on the fly — skills such as interpersonal dexterity, emotional agility, and communication savvy.
NEXT year marks the 500th anniversary of the event which, more than any other, gave birth to the modern world: Martin Luther promulgated his 95 theses and called the Catholic church to account for its numerous theological errors and institutional sins.
I’m not surprised that Jeff Bezos didn’t recognize the Amazon depicted by Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace, a NYT exposé on its culture. Jeff would never have heard those stories, because nobody would ever tell him.
I love lists. I’ve sung their praises tirelessly. Lists help you feel in control, because you’re no longer relying on your brain to keep track of your to-dos; lists help you see your work more objectively, so you know when you’ve taken on too much.
Time is the raw material of getting anything worthwhile done. Time is precious and valuable. More valuable than money. Time is the only element in the world that is irretrievable when it’s lost. Lose money and you can make more. Lose a job and you can find another.
Enacting Pichai’s advice is easier said than done. But Google is sharing some tools that might help. Its Re:Work blog is offering a series of instructive documents used by managers at Google.
I once had a boss who would send me a series of two-word emails throughout the day, each one bearing the same message: “Call me.” Each time I received one of these emails, the hairs on the back of my neck would stiffen and my stomach would churn violently.
At this time, The Review traditionally reflects on the extraordinary people we’ve interviewed and long-form articles we’ve published over the last year.
Last week, we ran a piece with Adil Ajmal, CTO of LendingHome — the 300-employee strong startup remaking the mortgage industry — in which he focused exclusively on how to hire (and close) the best engineering candidates for your team.
There are so many things to do in a startup. The things you choose to do and don’t do, ultimately determine success or failure. Prioritization is crucial. Unfortunately, not everything on the to do list is fun. Sometimes you have to do “shitty” work. I built the product in just a few weeks.
People constantly think about improving their quality of life. If they spend their days doing useless things, such as watching the Kardashians or Big Brother reality game show, sooner or later they start feeling guilty about the way they waste their days.
Back in the days of paper based planners, I depended on mine to help me stay on top of my to-do list and commitments. Making the switch to electronic tools was difficult and disruptive, and initially I didn’t want to do it.
Journaling can be really relaxing, as can talking through your day with a partner or friend.
If you’re the kind of person that takes pleasure in building a computer—choosing the case, finding the best processor (and cooling system so that you can overclock it), doting over all of the components to maximize your rig and topping it off with LED lighting—then you should probably know Lin
Three years ago, Jessica McKellar and a group of friends from MIT started stealthy chat startup Zulip. Less than two years later, it was acquired by Dropbox. And this wasn't an anomaly. They'd done it once before, selling Ksplice to Oracle just as fast.
I remember talking with an acquaintance a few years back who had recently graduated from college about how she envisioned her career progressing. Here’s how she broke down the steps: Get a job. Master that job. Manage other people doing that job. “Run sh*t” (her exact words).
Humanity has a track record of wielding some serious project management chops. From building the Great Pyramids to landing on the moon, humanity's greatest endeavors have required thousands of people working together on common goals. That requires intricate project management to pull off.
When you think about it, a personal brand is one of the most useful things you can build. It’s powerful. It’s valuable. It’s killer.
In Real Leaders Don't Follow, Steve Tobak explains how real entrepreneurs can start, build, and run successful companies in highly competitive global markets. He provides unique insights from an insider perspective to help you make better-informed business and leadership decisions.
Recently, at our consulting firm, we were scheduled to begin strategy work with a new client. But, the night before our session, he emailed us, asking to postpone the meeting until the next week. He had something come up at the last minute that he felt couldn’t be put off.
Google has opened its trove of management processes to one and all, for free. It might not feel that surprising — after all, Google has created plenty of free tools for the world to use, from internet search to email. Management tools may not seem that different.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham recently published findings from their exploration of 83 separate studies on energy and self-control. What they found will change the way you start your day.
Estimated Reading Time: 1 minutes, 8s. I recently got chatting with an executive who leads around 150 employees at a large company.
Getting rid of managers may seem like just another tech trend, but much of the skepticism around going “bossless” or flat is due to misleading terminology.
The to-do list and the calendar are like square pegs and round holes. With the rare (or deadline-driven) exception, the time spent completing a task doesn’t fit into polite half-hour chunks.
Julie Long, a senior developer at a software company, was identified by her manager as a high performer. When she was asked to coordinate a team of three junior developers on a project, Julie was excited about the opportunity to finally move into a management role.
Nancy started her day feeling prepared to brief her executive team on a high-stakes project she had been working on for the past two months. She had rehearsed her slide deck repeatedly, to the point where she had every level of content practically memorized.
Alex Le and Kavin Stewart have a fairly unusual “how we met” story. Today, the two are oddly (but aptly) co-VPs of Product at Reddit. But when they first encountered each other eight years ago, they were founders of competing social gaming startups.
What if everything you’ve been taught about time management has been wrong? You were told to keep a task list for your “to-dos” and your calendar for phone calls and appointments. Meetings at work, doctor’s appointments, kids’ dance recitals and soccer games.
The best productivity methods keep your to-dos in front of you and prioritized so you never wonder what to work on next. Some are complicated, but others make it easy to see everything, organized by priority—so easy you could use Post-It notes if you wanted.
If you’re like me, you work long hours every day and are constantly busy.
A coaching client of mine is managing partner at a very large law firm, and one of the issues we’ve been working on is how to cope more effectively with the intense demands on his time—clients who expect him to be available, firm partners and other employees who want him to address their concer
Change management is having its moment. There’s no shortage of articles, books, and talks on the subject. But many of these indicate that change management is some occult subspecialty of management, something that’s distinct from “managing” itself.
I first started managing people seven years ago, three years after I graduated and got my first design job. At the time, I was woefully unqualified. I barely had any experienced being managed, let alone managing others. I remain grateful to my then-manager for her leap of faith in me.
I often get asked what a product manager is. What do they do? Where do they come from? Why do they like sharpies so much? In his book Inspired, Marty Cagan describes the job of the product manager as “to discover a product that is valuable, usable and feasible”.
When talent is in short supply, business leaders see HR as a valuable strategic partner. But when the labor market loosens up, HR suddenly seems like a nuisance, because we don’t like being told how to behave—and we see no immediate benefit to complying.
Burnout is, unfortunately, a very real phenomenon in software development — especially when creating and maintaining open source projects with large numbers of users. I've experienced it, and I wanted to share my personal experience with the subject.
Congratulations - you’re a new manager! No, really, I’m being sincere. You can hear the sarcasm in my voice? Sorry, I tried, but I know that along with some excitement, there’s plenty of doubt and angst. You have likely followed a path that’s similar to mine and many others.
By 2010, Bill Haynes had spent almost four decades under attack from the inside of his skull. He was fifty-seven years old, and he suffered from severe migraines that felt as if a drill were working behind his eyes, across his forehead, and down the back of his head and neck.
So much of being successful at your job has little to do with the actual work you do. A lot of success comes from how you approach your workday: Are you optimistic? Curious? Productive? Did you get enough sleep?
Projects can quickly take on a life of their own, spiraling out of budget and taking far more time than planned. Project management software can help—but it adds an extra item to your already-strapped budget. Don't worry. There are still great, free project management apps for you.
The fog of war envelops every battlefield.
You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more. Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.
When your to-do list becomes a monster, and an item next to a checkbox will actually take a long time and multiple people to complete, you need more than a checklist to keep track of it. What you really have is a project, and you need a tool designed to manage them.
It’s hard to imagine a living room — or board room — where Netflix needs an introduction. Today, it boasts over 65 million subscribers across more than 40 countries. Even its culture document went viral to become part of startup canon. It spurs hundreds of cable cancellations daily.
Research shows that managers matter. They can have a significant impact on business outcomes and employee engagement. But many organizations do not adequately select or develop their managers, and miss a great opportunity for business advancement.
Meetings are a part of nearly everyone’s work life: some of us have more than others, but we all have days when we feel it’s nearly impossible to get uninterrupted time to do work.
The average tech CEO works about 300 days a year, 14 hours a day. That’s 4,200 hours a year. The stats for most other tech leaders and startup employees aren’t too far off. It sounds like a lot of time, but for most, it’s not enough. Nearly 30% of that time gets sunk into email.
Trello is a terrific tool for project management and task management. The visual Kanban boards are flexible, shareable, and let you pack a ton of detail into each card. But Trello isn't just for work. You can use it to organize just about anything, perhaps your entire life.