North Star

Successful companies usually have a secret sauce. It could be an algorithm or an insight. But whatever that secret sauce is, it is used to create or disrupt a market. Apple created the PC market when Steve and Steve figured out that affordable pre-built personal computers would be really useful for consumers. IBM disrupted the PC market […]

Volunteer Scrum Master Handbook

I have to disclose upfront that I am more of an Agile guy than a Scrum guy. Which is to say I feel more at home discussing Agile in general than Scrum in particular. (I’m not even sure how to capitalize it–SCRUM or scrum?) Over the years I’ve made my peace with Scrum and as […]

Managing the De-Motivated

It still amazes me how a process created by engineers for engineers can make so many engineers so unhappy. I’ve seen all kinds of responses to Agile from engineers. Some are immediately enthusiastic. Others are cautiously optimistic. Many are amused and cynical. And some are down right hostile. Over time the responses polarize and the […]

In Search of the Motivated

I’m doing a lot of hiring right now. So much that I’ve had to form a hiring scrum and treat it like an engineering project. The scrum is doing a great job. We now have a systematic way to write job descriptions, assign interviewers, evaluate resumes, perform phone screens, and conduct interviews. All this to […]

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

What can we learn from Dr. Peter Venkman about the Agile development process? It’s true that Venkman was the less technical member of his team. Clearly Dr. Egon Spengler was the blue-sky researcher while Dr. Ray Stantz was the practical engineer.  But Venkman brought a lot to the table: Charm, business acumen, and the ability […]

Improving Your Whuffie with Agile

Virtual currency like Cory Doctorow’s concept of Whuffie will probably replace real money in the next 100 years. Maybe sooner with the way our current economic crisis is going. Once all the hard currency in the world is spent it’s Gresham’s law FTW! You can get a head start by using Agile development principles to […]

The Shorter Timescale

I’m reading a very scary book right now: Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates. It’s a funny and informative look at how philosophers and religious thinkers deal with death. I don’t want to be a spoiler but the basic message of the book is that most people live in denial of their […]