Postcard 6: Vacation
Hello from Connecticut; I hope you had a great week.
This week I managed to take my wonderful wife out of the house for her birthday. In the process, I remembered how much I miss vacations. Although this was a short getaway, it got me thinking about how badly we all need time off to disconnect and recharge.
The pandemic has locked most of us up, and the remote work has made it even harder to disconnect and take an actual vacation. This does a great deal of good for our bodies and minds. I fully plan to get some longer getaways in the books, and I hope you can find some time to do the same.
My Most Recent Article
In a timely way, although unplanned, I wrote about the perils of trying to squeeze too much efficiency out of everything we do in life in this week's post. I go through a few examples in my blog post where this can fail us and why leaving some slack in the system is so important for ourselves, our teams, and our organizations.
What happens if we squeeze too much?
The top tweets from this week:
This particular tweet struck a nerve so I thought I would share, again reminding us all of the vacation thing.
Two tweets that remind us how hard simplicity actually is and that we need to keep at it to reduce complexity in our teams, products, and everything else.
This is a great tweet thread on how to improve meeting cadences. I am trying hard to get better at this and found this timely.
Top 3 Articles from others:
Stock Market Returns Are Anything But Average by Ben Carlson
Great article on the average returns of the market for the last 90 year period, analyzing everything with very long time horizons. An interesting tidbit berried in the end of the article:
"Also worth noting the 30 year return starting from the year 2000 could end up being the worst of all time. As of right now the annual return from the start of the century is 7.1%. You can thank the tech bubble for such a horrible entry point."
Nobody cares about your beautiful code by Felipe Lima a software engineer at Stripe.
Felipe highlights the price we pay for hypergrowth at startups and discusses a topic that is sure to fire up a lot of developers. An excerpt of the price:
“eventually you reach a point where maintaining that large (usually monolithic) codebase becomes so unbearable, so hazardous that you have to stop and rethink the entire design. I’ve seen that both at Airbnb and Stripe, both very successful companies, nevertheless. This all comes at a cost, obviously. It all leads to a combination of developer frustration, slower productivity, bugs, incidents, etc. I’ve experienced it myself time and time again. In the end it’s just a tradeoff that companies are willing to make.”
You don't need a product road map by David the creator of Ruby on Rails
An old article but incredibly timeless in terms of the contrarian thinking with products. Product roadmaps are like debt that you promise to build later that may make no sense to build at that time but you've made a promise to stakeholders and your users and are trapped to deliver.
Thank you for reading. Please reach out if you want to discuss any of these articles, ideas, or any of my other writings. My inbox is open; feel free to reply.