Notes to self

Not gold alone brought us hither

Jun 17, 2011

15 minutes a day

Getting started on something new can be challenging. While it is surprising, it is true, that one would find it difficult to get started on a project of their own choosing. Typical examples of new projects are: exercise, new business, new job, new skill, quitting a bad habit, etc. Why would it be difficult to embark upon a journey that you actually want to begin? The strongest reasons are the fear of unknown, and the fear of failure.

15 minutes a day method helps overcome the inertia and helps one get over the hump. Simple rules to follow:

  • Spend 15 minutes every day on your new project
  • During this phase, avoid rating your experience of performing that activity
  • Do not miss a single day
  • Even if you start enjoying your new project/activity a lot, resist the temptation of going beyond 15 minutes

It takes 21 days to form a habit. In those 21 days, follow this rule of 15 minutes a day and get over that hump.

Jun 15, 2011

Industry awards

Businesses covet industry awards for multiple reasons. These help boost visibility of the company or the award winning product to different audiences, for instance:

  • Existing and potential customers; and
  • Potential employees

Upon receiving an award, it is perfectly normal and even desirable to turn to any of the above and make sure they are aware of this award. It is a moment of pride, and should be relished as such. It should also be advertised as such.

But if you want an award that you can bring to your existing employees to make them proud and happy, then stop. That industry award will not cut it. [I am assuming you have all the other variables under control: salary, work/life balance, good work environment etc.] Your existing employees want just one award: being proud of what they produce. Unless that experience trumps all their other experiences at work, they will never quite feel as rewarded as you want them to do.

Jun 14, 2011

Mission statement

We don’t have investors to impress, so we don’t need a “mission statement.” We enjoy writing and shipping great products that address the needs of ourselves and our customers.

Jun 4, 2011

7 rules for making more happiness

  • Thinking about ideas and content freely - with the deadline far away
    • Traveling to new places
    • Using a wide variety of tools and techniques
    • Working on projects that matter to me
    • Having things come back from the printer done well
    • Getting feedback from people who see our work
    • Designing a project that feels partly brand new and partly familiar

Jun 3, 2011

Great company

Everybody wants to work for a great company. Few want to make a company great.

Jun 3, 2011

Who do you work for?

Who do you work for? The company that employs you, or the business within the company that you are part of, or the team that you belong to, or the technology that you work on, or any of the people in the management chain all the way up to CEO of your company? The answer to this question is never straightforward and changes from time to time, and from situation to situation. The simple answer is: it depends.

My view is that all of the above matter. Not necessarily to the same degree but they all matter nonetheless. You are lucky if what matters most to you results in the best outcome for you — both in terms of compensation and job satisfaction.

However, you need to pick one out of the above so you can check from time to time if its still worth continuing in your current job. I think, happiest are those who focus in their job on creating a great product or technology.