Some bits about entrepreneurship
For the past decade we’ve invested in and celebrated companies through the lens of network effects, Amazon’s power in retail, and measuring the potential of a brand by its scale and path to category dominance. We assumed that antiquated monolithic brands would be attacked by new modern brands that take over consumer consciousness enmasse. But instead, old and big brands are fighting against thousands of tiny brands with low overhead, high on design merchandise, and supremely efficient customer acquisition tactics. Many of us failed to recognize the collective impact of the long-tail of micro brands.
A lot of questions here: how many of these brands will survive the test of time? Isn’t it too risky to build a business on top of a single, closed platform? How can you tell which brand is authentic and which is not? Does it even matter? Only consumers hold the answers.via medium.com
People in our industry think they stopped doing waterfall and switched to agile. In reality they just switched to high-frequency waterfall.
Agile became synonymous with speed. Everybody wants more, faster. And one thing most teams aren’t doing fast enough is shipping. So cycles became “sprints” and the metric of success, “velocity.”
But speed isn’t the problem. And cycles alone don’t help you ship. The problems are doing the wrong things, building to specs, and getting distracted. (…)
If a team works to a spec, there’s no point in iterating. The purpose of working iteratively is to change direction as you go. Defining the project in advance forces the team into a waterfall process. If every detail of the plan must be built, teams have no choice when they discover something is harder than expected, less important than expected, or when reality contradicts the plan.
Fundamental read on some of the most common misconceptions about product management and software development.via m.signalvnoise.com
Profits focus the mind. There are so many things we could do as a company, but far less that really constitute the essence of why we’re here. Profits helps us concentrate on what to do and what not to do. It helps us shed things beyond the scope, it helps us keep the company fit, without accumulated layers of fat from chasing a thousand potential directions at once.
Jason Fried, Founder & CEO at Basecamp on the benefits of building a profitable business and living outside the tech bubbles.via m.signalvnoise.com
A politician, as well as a chemical engineer and entrepreneur, Olivetti had a philosophical view of entrepreneurship, one that put people and communities at the center of a business. He was a firm believer in the competitive advantage of treating workers fairly and investing in their wellbeing. Andrea Granelli, president of Associazione Archivio Storico Olivetti (Olivetti’s historic archive association), told Quartz “the profits from sales were invested in innovation, expansion, higher salaries, social services.”
Looking back at the rise and fall of Adriano Olivetti’s vision for sustainable and socially responsible entrepreneurship is both depressing and extremely inspiring at the same time. So many lessons to learn from that experience.via qz.com