“Google now has some layers but not as many as you might expect in an organization with more than 37,000 employees: just 5,000 managers, 1,000 directors, and 100 vice presidents. It’s not uncommon to find engineering managers with 30 direct reports. Flatt says that’s by design, to prevent micromanaging. “There is only so much you can meddle when you have 30 people on your team, so you have to focus on creating the best environment for engineers to make things happen,” he notes.”
An entertaining account of Google’s founding from one of the earlier (non-technical) employees. The guy seemed in over his head, but then again so was everyone else. It’s interesting to think how many times Sergey Brin and Larry Page would have been fired in a normal company. The management event discussed here is discussed in detail for example.
“Only become an astronomer if nothing else will satisfy you; for nothing else is (approximately) what you will receive.” and “The popular conception of scientific research: “You must be so very clever to be able to do it” could not be wider of the mark. Real investigation is not the reception of a transcendental vision, a process thought beyond the power of the ordinary mortal. The prayer of the scientist might well be: Lord, show me the obvious.”
Repeat after me: no one is irreplaceable, no one is irreplaceable. Say that to yourself when you feel that you are making foolish life decisions for your work. Be passionate, be committed, be clever, be the best. But remember, no one is irreplaceable. Don’t overdo it.
Stop the discrimination against men in science! Kidding aside, if you are a talented woman in science, you will have a better chance of getting a permanent position than your equally talented male colleague. Maybe this will result in better departments overall both in culture and productivity, maybe it is appropriate as a cure of past bias, or maybe it sucks. Remember though, the path is not easy for anyone: it’s a long hard slog with few prestigious positions available. Talent, timing, and luck all play a role (and not equal ones). No matter who you are, don’t get sucked into a victim mentality. See here and the journal article.
“Males in particular became more tranquil during this period, less likely to fight over territory and belongings, and more willing to make alliances, evidenced by exchanging goods and ideas, that benefited each and all. The change in attitude was tied to reduced hormone levels, namely testosterone, resulting in noticeable changes to the male craniofacial region.”
A nice, unique, and personal perspective from the blog of an ex-Intel exec and tech veteran. What makes this man (Jobs) so alluring? Are we all jealous? The man was a force; he made things happen. How was he so successful at it? It wasn’t just because of his vision, or his personality, or his timing.
Welcome to the parenting police state. We don’t know each other beyond our next door neighbors (if that). We’re scared of everything. We don’t know our police; they don’t know us. Our (small, local) government employees can’t make common sense decisions with compassion. We live in an anonymous society. How are we going to create a better community to raise our kids in?
I would say that people are morons but this is biological, intrinsic to our brains. I guess we need to use that fact for good and not evil (aka, Candy Crush) and learn how to defend ourselves against people trying to use these tricks on us.
Possibly the best thing David Brooks has ever written. “It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?” In this age of LinkedIn, Twitter, and all the rest, we should all be working on our inner CV as well as our outer one.