business management

Outdated Catchphrases

January 4, 2010

A hilarious take from Ron Rosenbaum: But don’t call it outside the box anymore, please. By now, the injunction to “think outside the box” has become inside the box airline‐magazine management‐guru cliché. Please, some of you should get back into the box, please, and take your quirky Power Points with you. What about thinking outside […]

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Counterproductive Hiring Practices

December 15, 2009

I am agnostic about pair programming. I believe that having strong programmers and a good code review process offers at least as much benefit as (if not more than) full‐fledged pair programming, but if it is working for someone, I don’t see any reason to object. Researching which brought me to Obie Fernandez’s strange self‐congratulatory article […]

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Growth is Required Even if There are No Network Effects

November 12, 2009

David writes in response to Joel’s worries about fast growth: All these business [Facebook, eBay, Oracle] rely heavily on the network effect: Their product is more attractive than the competition because of their market share. […] Do you know what kind of software doesn’t have the advantages of the network effect? Ours. One Highrise user doesn’t […]

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Fast Sales‐Driven Growth

November 8, 2009

A friend shared Joel Spolsky’s new column on Inc Magazine which asks if slow growth means slow death and suggests a couple of ways to grow faster: Step One, I think, is to pluck off our biggest competitors. We’re pretty certain that we’ve already built a great product that meets our customers’ needs — but […]

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Guide to Software Pricing

October 25, 2009

Highly recommended — “Don’t Just Roll the Dice”, a free e‐book by Neil Davidson. An excerpt: Although scientifically purer, it often doesn’t make sense to change a single variable at a time. Theoretically, you shouldn’t change the price of your product, your discounting strategy and the types of bundle that you sell, all at the […]

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Book Review: Young Guns, by Robert Tuchman

August 23, 2009

I recently had a chance to read “Young Guns”, a semi‐autobiographical book about entrepreneurship by Robert Tuchman. Usually, such books make one fundamental mistake, which is to try to be “inspirational” and make inaccurate sweeping claims. But Tuchman avoids this by getting more detail‐oriented and explaining the tough choices faced by entrepreneurs. Whether intentional or not, […]

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Anecdotes and Data

August 6, 2009

Joshua Porter had a good post on over‐relying on anecdotes: We take shortcuts, we tell anecdotes, instead of looking at the data. In the design world this happens all the time. People extrapolate from their own experience or stories they’ve heard about using the web, generalize it, and share it with others. That’s how anecdotes […]

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How Communism Broke People

June 29, 2009

via Shafeen, here is an article originally published in 1982 about a trip to the erstwhile Soviet Union by Edward Crane of the Cato Institute. But if it is hard to describe the economic wasteland of Russia to someone who hasn’t been there, it is even harder to describe what their totalitarian system has done […]

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Incentives Without Disincentives

April 9, 2009

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, of “The Black Swan” fame, writes: Do not let someone making an “incentive” bonus manage a nuclear plant – or your financial risks. Odds are he would cut every corner on safety to show “profits” while claiming to be “conservative”. Bonuses do not accommodate the hidden risks of blow‐ups. It is the […]

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Don’t be Too Quick to Judge

March 14, 2009

Sometimes, people can be too clever by half. When it comes to knowledge of understanding other people, everybody thinks they are an expert. They think they can understand the motivations of others based on one or two interactions when, in fact, they are drawing upon stereotypes and are making wrongful assumptions. People who are quick […]

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