Water Melon Green

“He does know, we are 6 weeks behind schedule, right? – Well, I’m not going to be the one, who tells him, we are that far behind…”

Repeated on every level, this is the simple mechanism enabling projects to get incredibly, absurdly late, expensive and under performing without anybody noticing, or, to be more precise: Wanting a superior to notice.

A Recipe for Disaster

Every time a team member decides it is the better choice not to notify his or her superior about a threat to project success this is a crisis in the making. Every time a superior decides not to want to know about an issue, or even punishing the messenger, he encourages a culture that makes the imminent problems ever harder to solve. Until there is no going back and it all ends with a catastrophe or a very, very close call.

You are Going to Fail – Deal with It

If people refuse to take responsibility or worse, punish others for doing so, is going to make your project fail, in one way or another, sooner or later. Projects are hard, planning is hard, there will be delays, dead ends and workarounds, let’s acknowledge and deal with it, openly and transparently.

Loved all three seasons of Silicon Valley, by the way.

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A short history of #Google #Fails

Google Audio Ads, Google Print Ads, Orkut, Google Wave, Jaiku, Google Buzz, Google Video, Google TV, Nexus Q, Google Checkout, Google Glass and last but not least Google Plus – Steffan Heuer and Thomas Ramge try to write the story of #Google #Fails for Brand Eins.

Apart from giving rich testimony to the fact, that there might be no such thing as “the rules for success in the Internet century” (the tag line of a recent book by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt), it also offers a nice overview over Googles long and colorful history.

Bottom line: “It does not look like their ultimate goal is world domination.”

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You only know what the next piece is.

Superstar biographies, genius interviews, teachers advice and parental anecdotes, might lead us to believe that, success or failure in life depend only on us making the right choice(s), on tracing the right steps, from beginning to end. Unfortuntaly these well meaning advisors couldn’t be more wrong, as Tor Bair shows in a great piece: Your Life Is Tetris. Stop Playing It Like Chess.

Life is more like Tetris than chess, because it is neither causal nor a closed system. To the individual life and its challenges are chaotic and random. Well, there might be causalities, but their sheer number and interconnectedness makes it impossible to read them on more than a local or statistical level. “You only know what the next piece is.” It is therefore futile to tackle this mess with a mindset that assumes absolute visibility, causality and a well defined set of rules, such as chess. And a way better (and healthier) approach to assess each situation, each piece individually, and make the most of it, just as in Tetris.

And, while, the simple, the obvious truths about life are often the hardest to life by, with a Tetris mindset, you still got plenty of tries left.

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I think we can build this rocket ourselves.

“Ressi, a gangly eccentric, had been thinking a lot about whether his best friend had started to lose his mind, and he’d been doing his best to discourage the project. He peppered Musk with links to video montages of Russian, European, and American rockets exploding. He staged interventions, bringing Musk’s friends together to talk him out of wasting his money. None of it worked. Musk remained committed to funding a grand, inspirational spectacle in space and would spend all of his fortune to do it.”

Great piece by Ashlee Vancee on Bloomberg about Elon Musk and his attempt to fullfil his childhood dream of a space faring mankind..

Image: Bloomberg Business News

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