This evening I spent some time helping a former colleague find a new job. He joined a startup a few months back that has been particularly hard hit by the Covid-19 economic slowdown. While I am generally happy to support the job search of a trusted colleague, this one was
Our offices around the globe went to work from home March 11th, making today my 11th day in captivity… I mean operating remotely. The transition has gone surprisingly smoothly, with technology enabling me and my team to be very productive. But it is also clear the high anxiety that exists
My Tips for Working from Home in a Pandemic
As the CTO and founder of CloudHealth Technologies (acquired by VMware in 2018), I am intimately familiar with the razors edge existence on which startups live. A startup typically derives its revenue from a single product or service, spends more cash than it takes in, and lives on the law
The Black Swan Entrepreneurs
With the coronavirus, a volatile stock market, shrinking 401Ks, and the upcoming US election, it’s hard not to be a little on edge of late. I’m not saying we are headed for a recession, but it’s hard not to sense a change in the winds right now.
5 Tips To Weathering a Downturn as Technical Professional
When CloudHealth was still a private company, I would regularly get congratulations from people over the performance of our business. If we were raising money, it would be common for a potential investor to say: “Congratulations on a really impressive business.” Or if I were at a networking event, I
My Hot Red Sports Car
Early in my career I worked on a new service called Venues at an MIT Media Labs spinout called FireFly. The service was an early version of a social network like MySpace that was focused on engaging consumers in chat, message boards, and content around user-driven topics. I poured my
My 1st Lesson In Incremental Delivery
There is a truism about all disruptive innovations: when they are first introduced to the market, they almost always appear like their predecessor technology. It is only after a disruptive innovation has fully matured and customers are familiar with it that we see its true form. It is then that
The 2.0 Cloud
I re-listened to Reid Hoffman’s Masters of Scale episode 4 (Imperfect Is Perfect) on the walk from the office to North Station last night. This episode highlights the criticality of putting your product in front of customers early and often. The topic is an obvious one for Reid, who
Iterating In the Presence of Customers
It's official: Boston submitted a 218 page bid to be considered for Amazon's second headquarters. I'll confess to having mixed feelings from the start. On one hand, an Amazon headquarters with 50K new jobs would be transformative for the city. On the other hand, I'm not sure we're ready support
#Amazon2HQ: Revere Isn't Boston
I despise story points. Not dislike: despise. I’ve tried to like them, almost always driven an internal evangelist who’s convinced a team cannot truly adopt agile without story points. I’ve used story point poker, fibonacci sequences, and burndown charts in more teams than I care to admit.
Have You Ever Sold a Story Point?
Last summer over lunch with the CTO & co-founder of Care.com, Dave Krupinski, we got to talked about the challenge of managing new products innovation inside an existing growing business. Dave, a former colleague from Easel days, had done what every entrepreneur dreams of doing: building his idea into
Book Review: Zone To Win
I like to think you can simplify the building of products in our industry into the management of four things: people, projects, process and content. The people are the engineers, designers and product managers who produce the product. The projects are the initiatives being executed in support of the creation
Content Over Process
The big news of the week is the massive DDoS attack against the US internet, which impacted several major cloud providers. The attack was reportedly executed by supporters of WikiLeaks in response to the government of Ecuador taking away Julian Assange's internet link. Yes, you read that right: our internet