Category Archives: Leadership

Details Matter in Presenting Narratives

Narratives are written documents used to present clear thinking. Narratives enable readers to quickly understand the author’s ideas in order to drive robust conversations and decisive decision making. Details matter when it comes to printing narratives for others to read. …Continue reading

Merit Badges – A Mental Model for Success

Today I celebrated my 5th-year anniversary working at Amazon. Woot! It’s also the 5th anniversary of me announcing I was going to Amazon as an April Fool’s joke. Tee-hee. (Yellow Amazon employee badges indicate 5-year tenure) This milestone given me …Continue reading

What it Means to Be Great Product Manager

A Tweetstorm of mine from earlier in the week: https://twitter.com/natbro/timelines/611337333711843330 Piling on a comment @natbro made about PMs: Besides customers, there are two groups of people involved in building tech products: Engineers and everyone else. Only the engineers actually produce …Continue reading

Attention is the Currency of Leadership

Great leaders optimize how they spend their attention. They are skilled at turning up the heat to get others to focus their attention on the right things at the right times. Attention is the currency of leadership and each person …Continue reading

Find Work That Does Not Feel Like Work

The first thing I ask people who are looking for a new job is “What work do you want to do in your ideal job?” It is interesting how few people answer this question. Almost everybody wants to answer different …Continue reading

Once I was Afraid

Once I was afraid to ride a bike. Then I did it. Once I was afraid to program in BASIC. Then I did it. Once I was afraid of getting married. Then I married Julie. Once I was afraid of …Continue reading

Be Excellent At Saying No

Steven Sinofski has written another great post on his “Learning by Shipping” blog. In this one, titled “8 steps for engineering leaders to keep the peace” he focuses on things an engineering leader can do when his or her ‘manager’ …Continue reading

Have a Plan

Yesterday someone asked me to share my thoughts on the secret to building excellent things. I summarized what I know as: “Put the customer first, have a plan, create a shared mission, get early victories, remove process, and make it …Continue reading

Businesses Buy Differently

My post on Why Nobody Can Copy Apple has become one of the most read posts I’ve ever written (thanks @gruber). Commenters are asking me “Can you describe more what the behaviors are that are different when building for business …Continue reading

"Write Once…" is Anti-Customer

Just as in the ’90s, there’s a bunch of hype these days around solving the cross-platform development problem. Mobile platform fragmentation is killing developers, and if only every device supported some common language or technology engine we could all Write …Continue reading

Why Nobody Can Copy Apple

Horace Dediu has written another brilliant piece titled “Why doesn’t anybody copy Apple?”. As he points out, Apple is fairly unique in its command of vertical integration and many people point to that as the “why”. However, Horace also admits …Continue reading

Don’t Make Your Team Say No To You

Leaders are often visionary “idea people”. The difference between success and failure is how good these leaders are at training their teams to say No. Idea People often forget they are disrupting their own teams by voicing their ideas. If …Continue reading

Be as Excellent at Saying No as Saying Yes

While in Amman Jordan last month, I had the opportunity to speak at Amman Tech Tuesdays, a local startup event held every month there. I was asked to talk about what I’ve learned in my career to an audience of …Continue reading

Four Things I Learned in Jordan

I wrote a guest post for the Huffington Post on Dec 7, 2012. You can read the full post here, but here’s the TL;DR: If the Middle East can stay relatively stable for just 10-15 more years, entrepreneurship will have …Continue reading

Paying Developers is A Bad Idea

The companies that make the most profit are those who build virtuous platform cycles. There are no proof points in history of virtuous platform cycles being created when the platform provider incents developers to target the platform by paying them. …Continue reading

Retail Pricing, Markup, and Margins

Tom’s Hardware is generally really solid. But they should stay focused on technology because this post is seriously absurd: “More than two years after the introduction of the iPad, Samsung appears to be very confident in the tablet market and …Continue reading

A Mouse and Keyboard Don’t Make a Hardware Company

Microsoft is not, and never will be, a hardware company. Please don’t go off saying “what about Xbox or mice & keyboards?” Microsoft does not really want to build & sell hardware. Surface is akin to Google’s Nexus; a ‘north …Continue reading

Apps Must Be Cross Platform

This is a copy of a guest post I wrote for GeekWire. View the original here. Maybe there are a few Robert Scobles out there who still believe that a significant number of successful apps in the future will be …Continue reading

Wanna Compete with Apple? Focus on Experiences.

TL;DR Apple’s insane profitability has the other big guys jealous and freaked out. None are stupid enough to try to compete with Apple on Apple’s terms. The way to beat Apple is to redefine the game by making apps irrelevant …Continue reading

Congrats to the Seattle Angel Conference and Illumagear!

Yesterday we held the first ever Seattle Angel Conference. At the event, Illumagear, a scrappy Seattle startup with a vision for radically improving construction worker safety took home a check for $100K. By all measures the conference, as Bob Crimmins …Continue reading