More on Leadership
9 months ago
Comparing poor and excellent managers
carrying out 1:1s
1 year ago
Steve Jobs' Secrets Revealed
From 1984 until 2011, he ran Apple using the same template.
What is a founder CEO's most crucial skill?
Presentation, communication, and sales
As a Business Angel Investor, I saw many pitch presentations and met with investors one-on-one to promote my companies.
There is always the conception of “Investors have to invest,” so there is no need to care about the presentation.
It's false. Nobody must invest. Many investors believe that entrepreneurs must convince them to invest in their business.
Sometimes — like in 2018–2022 — too much money enters the market, and everyone makes good money.
Do you recall the Buy Now, Pay Later Movement? This amazing narrative had no return potential. Only buyers who couldn't acquire financing elsewhere shopped at these companies.
Klarna's failing business concept led to high valuations.
Investors become more cautious when the economy falters. 2022 sees rising inflation, interest rates, wars, and civil instability. It's like the apocalypse's four horsemen have arrived.
Storytelling is important in rough economies.
When investors draw back, how can entrepreneurs stand out?
In Q2/2022, every study I've read said:
Investors cease investing
Deals are down in almost all IT industries from previous quarters.
What do founders need to do?
Storytelling talents help.
The Steve Jobs Way
Every time I watch a Steve Jobs presentation, I'm enthralled.
I'm a techie. Everything technical interests me. But, I skim most presentations.
What's Steve Jobs's secret?
Steve Jobs created Apple in 1976 and made it a profitable software and hardware firm in the 1980s. Macintosh goods couldn't beat IBM's. This mistake sacked him in 1985.
Before rejoining Apple in 1997, Steve Jobs founded Next Inc. and Pixar.
From then on, Apple became America's most valuable firm.
Steve Jobs understood people's needs. He said:
“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
In his opinion, people talk about problems. A lot. Entrepreneurs must learn what the population's pressing problems are and create a solution.
Steve Jobs showed people what they needed before they realized it.
Present a Big Vision
Steve Jobs starts every presentation by describing his long-term goals for Apple.
1984's Macintosh presentation set up David vs. Goliath. In a George Orwell-style dystopia, IBM computers were bad. It was 1984.
Apple will save the world, like Jedis.
Why do customers and investors like Big Vision?
People want a wider perspective, I think. Humans love improving the planet.
Apple users often cite emotional reasons for buying the brand.
Revolutionizing several industries with breakthrough inventions
Everyone knows Apple in 2022. It's hard to find folks who confuse Apple with an apple around the world.
Apple wasn't as famous as it is today until Steve Jobs left in 2011.
Most entrepreneurs lack experience. They may market their company or items to folks who haven't heard of it.
Steve Jobs presented the company's historical accomplishments to overcome opposition.
In his presentation of the first iPhone, he talked about the Apple Macintosh, which altered the computing sector, and the iPod, which changed the music industry.
People who have never heard of Apple feel like they're seeing a winner. It raises expectations that the new product will be game-changing and must-have.
The Big Reveal
A pitch or product presentation always has something new.
Steve Jobs doesn't only demonstrate the product. I don't think he'd skip the major point of a company presentation.
He consistently discusses present market solutions, their faults, and a better consumer solution.
No solution exists yet.
It's a multi-faceted play:
It's comparing the new product to something familiar. This makes novelty and the product more relatable.
Describe a desirable solution.
He's funny. He demonstrated an iPod with an 80s phone dial in his iPhone presentation.
Then he reveals the new product. Macintosh presented itself.
Show the benefits
He outlines what Apple is doing differently after demonstrating the product.
How do you distinguish from others? The Big Breakthrough Presentation.
A few hundred slides might list all benefits.
Everyone would fall asleep. Have you ever had similar presentations?
When the brain is overloaded with knowledge, the limbic system changes to other duties, like lunch planning.
What should a speaker do? There's a classic proverb:
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn” (— Not Benjamin Franklin).
Steve Jobs showcased the product live.
Again, using ordinary scenarios to highlight the product's benefits makes it relatable.
The 2010 iPad Presentation uses this technique.
Invite the Team and Let Them Run the Presentation
CEOs spend most time outside the organization. Many companies elect to have only one presenter.
It sends the incorrect message to investors. Product presentations should always include the whole team.
Let me explain why.
Companies needing investment money frequently have shaky business strategies or no product-market fit or robust corporate structure.
Investors solely bet on a team's ability to implement ideas and make a profit.
Early team involvement helps investors understand the company's drivers. Travel costs are worthwhile.
But why for product presentations?
Presenters of varied ages, genders, social backgrounds, and skillsets are relatable. CEOs want relatable products.
Some customers may not believe a white man's message. A black woman's message may be more accepted.
Make the story relatable when you have the best product that solves people's concerns.
Best example: 1984 Macintosh presentation with development team panel.
What is the largest error people make when companies fail?
Saving money on the corporate and product presentation.
Invite your team to five partner meetings when five investors are shortlisted.
Rehearse the presentation till it's natural. Let the team speak.
Successful presentations require structure, rehearsal, and a team. Steve Jobs nailed it.
1 year ago
Even In a Crazy Market, Hire the Best People: The "First Ten" Rules
Hiring is difficult, but you shouldn't compromise on team members. Or it may suggest you need to look beyond years in a similar role/function.
Every hire should be someone we'd want as one of our first ten employees.
If you hire such people, your team will adapt, initiate, and problem-solve, and your company will grow. You'll stay nimble even as you scale, and you'll learn from your colleagues.
If you only hire for a specific role or someone who can execute the job, you'll become a cluster of optimizers, and talent will depart for a more fascinating company. A startup is continually changing, therefore you want individuals that embrace it.
As a leader, establishing ideal conditions for talent and having a real ideology should be high on your agenda. You can't eliminate attrition, nor would you want to, but you can hire people who will become your company's leaders.
In my last four jobs I was employee 2, 5, 3, and 5. So while this is all a bit self serving, you’re the one reading my writing — and I have some experience with who works out in the first ten!
First, we'll examine what they do well (and why they're beneficial for startups), then what they don't, and how to hire them.
First 10 are:
Business partners: Because it's their company, they take care of whatever has to be done and have ideas about how to do it. You can rely on them to always put the success of the firm first because it is their top priority (company success is strongly connected with success for early workers). This approach will eventually take someone to leadership positions.
High Speed Learners: They process knowledge quickly and can reach 80%+ competency in a new subject matter rather quickly. A growing business that is successful tries new things frequently. We have all lost a lot of money and time on employees who follow the wrong playbook or who wait for someone else within the company to take care of them.
Autodidacts learn by trial and error, osmosis, networking with others, applying first principles, and reading voraciously (articles, newsletters, books, and even social media). Although teaching is wonderful, you won't have time.
Self-scaling: They figure out a means to deal with issues and avoid doing the grunt labor over the long haul, increasing their leverage. Great people don't keep doing the same thing forever; as they expand, they use automation and delegation to fill in their lower branches. This is a crucial one; even though you'll still adore them, you'll have to manage their scope or help them learn how to scale on their own.
Free Range: You can direct them toward objectives rather than specific chores. Check-ins can be used to keep them generally on course without stifling invention instead of giving them precise instructions because doing so will obscure their light.
When people are inspired, they bring their own ideas about what a firm can be and become animated during discussions about how to get there.
Novelty Seeking: They look for business and personal growth chances. Give them fresh assignments and new directions to follow around once every three months.
Here’s what the First Ten types may not be:
Domain specialists. When you look at their resumes, you'll almost certainly think they're unqualified. Fortunately, a few strategically positioned experts may empower a number of First Ten types by serving on a leadership team or in advising capacities.
Balanced. These people become very invested, and they may be vulnerable to many types of stress. You may need to assist them in managing their own stress and coaching them through obstacles. If you are reading this and work at Banza, I apologize for not doing a better job of supporting this. I need to be better at it.
Able to handle micromanagement with ease. People who like to be in charge will suppress these people. Good decision-making should be delegated to competent individuals. Generally speaking, if you wish to scale.
Great startup team members have versatility, learning, innovation, and energy. When we hire for the function, not the person, we become dull and staid. Could this person go to another department if needed? Could they expand two levels in a few years?
First Ten qualities and experience level may have a weak inverse association. People with 20+ years of experience who had worked at larger organizations wanted to try something new and had a growth mentality. College graduates may want to be told what to do and how to accomplish it so they can stay in their lane and do what their management asks.
Does the First Ten archetype sound right for your org? Cool, let’s go hiring. How will you know when you’ve found one?
They exhibit adaptive excellence, excelling at a variety of unrelated tasks. It could be hobbies or professional talents. This suggests that they will succeed in the next several endeavors they pursue.
Successful risk-taking is doing something that wasn't certain to succeed, sometimes more than once, and making it do so. It's an attitude.
Rapid Rise: They regularly change roles and get promoted. However, they don't leave companies when the going gets tough. Look for promotions at every stop and at least one position with three or more years of experience.
You can ask them:
Tell me about a time when you started from scratch or achieved success. What occurred en route? You might request a variety of tales from various occupations or even aspects of life. They ought to be energized by this.
What new skills have you just acquired? It is not required to be work-related. They must be able to describe it and unintentionally become enthusiastic about it.
Tell me about a moment when you encountered a challenge and had to alter your strategy. The core of a startup is reinventing itself when faced with obstacles.
Tell me about a moment when you eliminated yourself from a position at work. They've demonstrated they can permanently solve one issue and develop into a new one, as stated above.
Why do you want to leave X position or Y duty? These people ought to be moving forward, not backward, all the time. Instead, they will discuss what they are looking forward to visiting your location.
Any questions? Due to their inherent curiosity and desire to learn new things, they should practically never run out of questions. You can really tell if they are sufficiently curious at this point.
People who see their success as being the same as the success of the organization are the best-case team members, in any market. They’ll grow and change with the company, and always try to prioritize what matters. You’ll find yourself more energized by your work because you’re surrounded by others who are as well. Happy teambuilding!
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1 year ago
How Do Discord's Trillions Of Messages Get Indexed?
They depend heavily on open source..
Discord users send billions of messages daily. Users wish to search these messages. How do we index these to search by message keywords?
Let’s find out.
Discord utilizes Elasticsearch. Elasticsearch is a free, open search engine for textual, numerical, geographical, structured, and unstructured data. Apache Lucene powers Elasticsearch.
How does elastic search store data? It stores it as numerous key-value pairs in JSON documents.
How does elastic search index? Elastic search's index is inverted. An inverted index lists every unique word in every page and where it appears.
4. Elasticsearch indexes documents and generates an inverted index to make data searchable in near real-time. The index API adds or updates JSON documents in a given index.
Let's examine how discord uses Elastic Search. Elasticsearch prefers bulk indexing. Discord couldn't index real-time messages. You can't search posted messages. You want outdated messages.
6. Let's check what bulk indexing requires.
1. A temporary queue for incoming communications.
2. Indexer workers that index messages into elastic search.
Discord's queue is Celery. The queue is open-source. Elastic search won't run on a single server. It's clustered. Where should a message go? Where?
8. A shard allocator decides where to put the message. Nevertheless. Shattered? A shard combines elastic search and index on. So, these two form a shard which is used as a unit by discord. The elastic search itself has some shards. But this is different, so don’t get confused.
Now, the final part is service discovery — to discover the elastic search clusters and the hosts within that cluster. This, they do with the help of etcd another open source tool.
A great thing to notice here is that discord relies heavily on open source systems and their base implementations which is very different from a lot of other products.
1 year ago
10 Predictions for Web3 and the Cryptoeconomy for 2022
By Surojit Chatterjee, Chief Product Officer
2021 proved to be a breakout year for crypto with BTC price gaining almost 70% yoy, Defi hitting $150B in value locked, and NFTs emerging as a new category. Here’s my view through the crystal ball into 2022 and what it holds for our industry:
1. Eth scalability will improve, but newer L1 chains will see substantial growth — As we welcome the next hundred million users to crypto and Web3, scalability challenges for Eth are likely to grow. I am optimistic about improvements in Eth scalability with the emergence of Eth2 and many L2 rollups. Traction of Solana, Avalanche and other L1 chains shows that we’ll live in a multi-chain world in the future. We’re also going to see newer L1 chains emerge that focus on specific use cases such as gaming or social media.
2. There will be significant usability improvements in L1-L2 bridges — As more L1 networks gain traction and L2s become bigger, our industry will desperately seek improvements in speed and usability of cross-L1 and L1-L2 bridges. We’re likely to see interesting developments in usability of bridges in the coming year.
3. Zero knowledge proof technology will get increased traction — 2021 saw protocols like ZkSync and Starknet beginning to get traction. As L1 chains get clogged with increased usage, ZK-rollup technology will attract both investor and user attention. We’ll see new privacy-centric use cases emerge, including privacy-safe applications, and gaming models that have privacy built into the core. This may also bring in more regulator attention to crypto as KYC/AML could be a real challenge in privacy centric networks.
4. Regulated Defi and emergence of on-chain KYC attestation — Many Defi protocols will embrace regulation and will create separate KYC user pools. Decentralized identity and on-chain KYC attestation services will play key roles in connecting users’ real identity with Defi wallet endpoints. We’ll see more acceptance of ENS type addresses, and new systems from cross chain name resolution will emerge.
5. Institutions will play a much bigger role in Defi participation — Institutions are increasingly interested in participating in Defi. For starters, institutions are attracted to higher than average interest-based returns compared to traditional financial products. Also, cost reduction in providing financial services using Defi opens up interesting opportunities for institutions. However, they are still hesitant to participate in Defi. Institutions want to confirm that they are only transacting with known counterparties that have completed a KYC process. Growth of regulated Defi and on-chain KYC attestation will help institutions gain confidence in Defi.
6. Defi insurance will emerge — As Defi proliferates, it also becomes the target of security hacks. According to London-based firm Elliptic, total value lost by Defi exploits in 2021 totaled over $10B. To protect users from hacks, viable insurance protocols guaranteeing users’ funds against security breaches will emerge in 2022.
7. NFT Based Communities will give material competition to Web 2.0 social networks — NFTs will continue to expand in how they are perceived. We’ll see creator tokens or fan tokens take more of a first class seat. NFTs will become the next evolution of users’ digital identity and passport to the metaverse. Users will come together in small and diverse communities based on types of NFTs they own. User created metaverses will be the future of social networks and will start threatening the advertising driven centralized versions of social networks of today.
8. Brands will start actively participating in the metaverse and NFTs — Many brands are realizing that NFTs are great vehicles for brand marketing and establishing brand loyalty. Coca-Cola, Campbell’s, Dolce & Gabbana and Charmin released NFT collectibles in 2021. Adidas recently launched a new metaverse project with Bored Ape Yacht Club. We’re likely to see more interesting brand marketing initiatives using NFTs. NFTs and the metaverse will become the new Instagram for brands. And just like on Instagram, many brands may start as NFT native. We’ll also see many more celebrities jumping in the bandwagon and using NFTs to enhance their personal brand.
9. Web2 companies will wake up and will try to get into Web3 — We’re already seeing this with Facebook trying to recast itself as a Web3 company. We’re likely to see other big Web2 companies dipping their toes into Web3 and metaverse in 2022. However, many of them are likely to create centralized and closed network versions of the metaverse.
10. Time for DAO 2.0 — We’ll see DAOs become more mature and mainstream. More people will join DAOs, prompting a change in definition of employment — never receiving a formal offer letter, accepting tokens instead of or along with fixed salaries, and working in multiple DAO projects at the same time. DAOs will also confront new challenges in terms of figuring out how to do M&A, run payroll and benefits, and coordinate activities in larger and larger organizations. We’ll see a plethora of tools emerge to help DAOs execute with efficiency. Many DAOs will also figure out how to interact with traditional Web2 companies. We’re likely to see regulators taking more interest in DAOs and make an attempt to educate themselves on how DAOs work.
Thanks to our customers and the ecosystem for an incredible 2021. Looking forward to another year of building the foundations for Web3. Wagmi.
9 months ago
Shifting from Obsidian to Tana?
I relocated my notes database from Roam Research to Obsidian earlier this year expecting to stay there for a long. Obsidian is a terrific tool, and I explained my move in that post.
Moving everything to Tana faster than intended. Tana? Why?
Tana is just another note-taking app, but it does it differently. Three note-taking apps existed before Tana:
simple note-taking programs like Apple Notes and Google Keep.
Roam Research and Obsidian are two graph-style applications that assisted connect your notes.
You can create effective tables and charts with data-focused tools like Notion and Airtable.
Tana is the first great software I've encountered that combines graph and data notes. Google Keep will certainly remain my rapid notes app of preference. This Shu Omi video gives a good overview:
Tana handles everything I did in Obsidian with books, people, and blog entries, plus more. I can find book quotes, log my workouts, and connect my thoughts more easily. It should make writing blog entries notes easier, so we'll see.
Tana is now invite-only, but if you're interested, visit their site and sign up. As Shu noted in the video above, the product hasn't been published yet but seems quite polished.
Whether I stay with Tana or not, I'm excited to see where these apps are going and how they can benefit us all.