March 01

What you could learn from ‘The Business Case for Curiosity’ this months HBR (Sep/Oct 2018)

Re-evaluating incremental innovation Does 10X thinking work? Research of top consumer packaged good companies suggests not. When comparing two large companies (P&G and Reckitt Benckiser RB), RB had a much higher hit rate for new product innovation, despite the smaller R&D budget. The author argues this was due to RB focus on improvements to their […]

February 22

What you could learn from ‘The Hard Truth About Innovation’ HBR Jan/Feb19

Rivalry whets our appetite for risk Leaders can icnrease or decrease feeling of rivaly. The authoers aruge that when you want bold moves, you should increase the feeling of rivalry (e.g., pitting evenly matched employees against eachother). When you want to avoid mistakes, leaders should see to dampen rivalry. How did the CEO of Survey […]

February 12

What you could learn from ‘Practical Monitoring’ by Mike Julian (2017, 137 pages)

Modern software architecture makes finding what is going wrong more complex than ever before. in his book ‘Practical Monitoring’ Mike offers good advice on how to find and diagnose faults, failures and errors. Monitoring anti-patterns Tool obsession – think about the mission and goal, rather than the tool or approach Monitoring is a job – […]

February 01


Making process improvements stick After the initial focus and xxx of a new process, the benefits soon ware off, over 44% of initiatves still show benefits after two years. To keep reaping the benefits of improvements, here are the authors top tips: Visible support from board members and senior leadership (35% improvement after one year […]

January 31

What you could learn from ‘The Decision Book’ by Krogerus and Tschappeler (2017, 149 pages)

Get better a decisions by using frameworks to help you gain a different perspective.

January 25

What you can learn from ‘Decode and Conquer’ by Lewis C. Lin (2013, 202 pages)

In his book ‘Decode and Conquer’, Lewis breaks down the separate roles of the Product Owner. His advice includes: Have a clear set of criteria for design (he likes Dieter Rams), these should be three of four criteria that you use to evaluate other/your designs The CIRCLES method of analysing design Comprehend situation (what, who, why, when, where and […]

January 25

What you could learn from ‘Lean vs. Agile vs. Design thinking’ by Gothelf & Seiden (2017, 39 pages)

Modern product development is rife with frameworks and philosophies. Many books and articles attempt to provide their own interpretation, mainly to sell books. In their book ‘Lean vs. Agile vs. Design, the authors do a great job in explaining the basics of each, and providing a good list of recommendations. The diagram below from Gartner […]

January 15

What you could learn from Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh (2018, 299 pages)

In their book, Reid and Chris argue that blitzscaling is a general framework and specific techniques that allow companies to achieve massive scale at incredible speed. The authors use examples of Airbnb, Google, Uber, Zappos and Tencent (among others) to bring their frameworks to life and rienforce thier asertions. The main tenant of blitzscaling is […]

December 28

What could you could learn from ‘Building Microservices’ by Sam Newman (2015, 250 pages)

When electricity replaced steam as the means of power in factories, there was initially little improvement in productivity. Factory owners just replaced their centralised steam engine, with a single electrical generator. Only factories when factories moved away from a centralised generator, to separate generators for each machine, where they able to operate machine independently, move […]

December 28

How to scale (5 of 5) – culture

In my last few posts I have discussed how successful scale-ups grow, and the fundamental components structure, process and architecture. In my final post, I look at possibly the most important aspect of company performance – culture.   Great culture means that you need less bureaucracy and control measures to protect your customers and your company.  […]

December 14

Leadership hack 026 – balancing delivery and discovery

As a leader you want your team to deliver and meet their objectives.   However, there is a problem with just blindly following a plan – the real world. In WW2 a group of soldiers got separated from their unit and ended up lost in the Alps.  Far away from friendly forces and in danger from […]

November 30

How to scale (4 of 5) – architecture

In my previous posts, I have talked about how start-ups scale, how to structure products teams and how to scale process.   Jez Humble suggests that architecture and culture are critical to scaling. On architecture Jez argues for: Build systems that are designed to be deployed easily into multiple environments, can detect and tolerate failures in […]