Shreyas Doshi+ Your Authors @shreyas early product mgr & first lead PM @stripe. frmrly @twitter @google @yahoo. I don't have a substack. tweets useful for some, useless for many, not for everyone❤️ Aug. 09, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

Some observations about organizations & culture, for modern leaders:


Most products don’t HAVE to launch on a certain day. Use the designated launch date as a compass not as turn-by-turn navigations. Don’t drive your team or product into a ditch just to launch “on schedule”.

When one 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 thinks about it, “strong opinions weakly held” doesn’t actually mean anything. It just gives people an excuse to be unrigorous & overbearing.

If a leader in your company unabashedly blames “incentives” as the reason for allowing major damage to customers/teams/culture, that person should not be a leader in your company.

Company culture has the same effect on people as money. It doesn't change people, but it grants them the license to be more of who they already are

For almost every trait, people can operate within a range, not just at a fixed point. Culture sets the point within their range.

Drama is the silent killer of products, teams, and ultimately, company culture. And drama usually spreads top→down not bottom→up.

Avoid Implicit Functional Hierarchy: Support isn’t inferior to Engineering, Product Mgmt isn’t superior to Sales. They're equal, but not the same. Implicit Functional Hierarchy might not prevent financial success, but it’ll definitely make your company Not-Fun for many people.

An exception to a pattern doesn’t make the exception the pattern.

It’s astonishing how often a rigorous discussion gets derailed when someone says in a meeting “well, but this doesn’t apply to <edge case X> [and therefore the pattern is useless]”

Some degree of uncertainty is a part and parcel of any complex business. The pressure for Certainty Theatrics at high-stakes meetings is at the root of many bad decisions.

As a leader, when you notice that people aren’t bringing their authentic selves to high-stakes meetings, their presentations are a little too polished, their intent is to impress not to inform & debate, don’t blame them. Ask what you’ve done to create this pressure & undo it.

Hiring people just like you is a tempting but unsustainable way to replicate your thinking across a growing organization. Expressing & documenting your frameworks & principles is better. People can’t read your mind. Hence, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Back to the top of this thread:

Regarding tweet #2, "strong opinions, weakly held", this is an excellent post by @michaelnatkin that I'd recommend reading in its entirety: 

A recent thread on good managers and leaders, along with dozens of additional resources in the footnotes, including book recommendations:

You can follow @shreyas.


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