After 20 years leading engineering, product, and as CEO, and nearly 15 years working in the bay area with the best engineering leaders in the world, I’ve come to appreciate how quickly management culture has evolved in the past decade, and how little has been written about the operating details of practical modern engineering management. This post tries to shed some light on basic roles, responsibilities, and practices on a modern engineering team with distributed responsibilities, and is hopefully especially helpful to all those right now learning how to work in a more distributed and remote setting during the COVID19 crisis. The content has benefited from review and input from more than ten of the best folks I’ve encountered over the years who currently own large chunks or all of engineering at places like Google, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and fast growing startups, all thanked at the end of the post.
Startup CEOs and Product leaders often fancy themselves as Steve Jobs types, launching the iPhone on stage to a wave of shocked and adoring applause. When startups conflate the destination (the marketing launch) with the journey (the product build), we call it the Big Bang Launch.
PM fit, or zero to one, is an important but murky concept. I think that ‘one’ is supposed to refer to ‘repeatability of sales’ in the case where there is a clear product that meets a market need and scales well enough to create a venture-backable startup.
This guide aims to present you with an easy way to understand and apply empathy better. It will hopefully be useful to everyone, and is written especially for leaders.