Category: "Management"

The Dip: knowing when to quit and when to stick

I just finished reading "the dip" by Seth Godin. I actually didn't really know what the book was about and I basically picked it up just because it was less than $10 and because I loved previous books by Seth Godin (no doubt he's one of the greatest marketers of our generation!)

Well I'm glad I did. This is a small 76 page book, so it was pretty easy and fast to read! Actually, it could probably be even shorter and still make its point! But wow! More than making a point this book will actually pep you up and motivate you to hang in with your projects... or to quit before wasting any more time. Basically it tells you that the worst thing is to stay on a dead end track...

But for me, the most interesting part was the motivational part about how the dip before success is a normal thing to experience. If a project didn't have that painful phase where nothing seems easy and where you feel like you want to quit, then that project probably wouldn't be worth pursuing anyway... since just anyone else could do the same.

This is exactly the kind of stuff I want to read right now, with the down economy and everyone around loosing their energy.

Of course, the book also made me realize that a couple of my projects were sort of dead ends and that I should quit them right away. But that's part of the process! Reading this book over the last 2 days made me feel better about prioritizing my projects and cutting dead branches!

Minimum cash & time investment. High motivational return. Check it out! :)

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) — Buy it now at Amazon.com

Quote of the day - Strategy

"Giving up the illusion that you can predict the future is a very liberating moment. All you can do is give yourself the capacity to respond... the creation of that capacity is the purpose of strategy."
- Lord John Browne
Chairman of BP

Quote of the day - Projects

“The middle of every successful project looks like a disaster.”
– Rosabeth Moss Cantor

Offshoring/outsourcing software development

This thread in Ask Joel is the most interesting discussion I've ever read abut offshoring/outsourcing software development!

It's getting incredibly long though, so it's really hard to read through. But the first 25 comments are definitely worth reading.

My personal take on the subject is roughly this: I believe software is art more than science. I think the best approach to make it look like engineering is something along the Unified Process - that's what the IT world has learned the hard way for the last 30 years! One golden rule of UP is to have the users and the coders communicating, to have them understand each other's constraints...

This doesn't mean I think nothing can be outsourced, but you certainly cannot carelessly offshore a whole IT department to a place with a radically different culture and expect that communicating with specs will "just work"! :|

If offshoring software development is ever going to succeed we'll need a whole new set of skills and tools (internet being one of them) to master it, and we're not even close! However, I think the experience of open source software projects developped by an international community are an interesting experience to this.

I would probably elaborate on this if I wasn't this busy reading the thread at Joel's right now! :>>

Focus on the First Derivative

In his latest post about Career Calculus, Eric Sink explains how you should constantly monitor your personal learning curve by focusing on the first derivative instead of the curve itself.

Very interesting post. Wise advice.

I actually believe this is not only applicable to career calculus, but there are a lot of things in life which value you should only evaluate by its first derivative over time!