business

The Red Hat ethos

The URL contains a statement of the Red Hat ethos. A couple of good quotes:

Open source is a development model, not a business model. Red Hat is in the enterprise software business and is a leading provider to the Global 500. Enterprise customers need products, not projects and it’s incumbent on vendors to know the difference. Open source projects are hotbeds of innovation and thrive on constant change. These projects are where sometimes constant change happens, where the development is done.

Best Buy Should Be Dead, But It’s Thriving in the Age of Amazon alvin July 23, 2018 - 9:59am

Bloomberg has a nice article about business strategy titled, Best Buy Should Be Dead, But It’s Thriving in the Age of Amazon.

The three things a Business Analyst should think about during meetings

Table of Contents1 - The three concerns of the business analyst2 - “Um, but I just write software requirements ...”3 - “But I don’t do database design or prototypes ...”4 - “But what about ...”5 - A fourth element

When it comes to working as a business analyst, I’ve learned that there are just three things you need to keep in your mind when meeting with your customers (the project sponsor (gold owner) and domain experts (“goal donors”)) to gather requirements. These three thoughts will keep your meeting on track, lead you to the next question, and will help you know when your work is done.

“Every person in your company is a vector”

“Every person in your company is a vector. Your progress is determined by the sum of all vectors.”

That’s a quote from Elon Musk. In this context a vector is what I know about from my engineering background, a company of both a speed and a direction, something like this:

case class Vector(speed: Double, direction: String)

The correct thing about that quote is that the worst employees I ever had pulled in a direction that was somewhere around 180 degrees opposite of the direction we were aiming for. For example, if nine out of ten employees are rowing a boat that’s headed east, an employee that’s rowing towards the west is going to slow everyone else down.

Unfortunately I never had much success turning those people around, so they were always fired or encouraged to find other work. Over the years we had everything from people whose work had to be completely re-done to people who had agendas during the 8-5 work hours that had nothing to do with the company’s agenda.

The Parable of the Carpenter

Way back in 2005 I read an SI.com article about football coach Dick Vermeil, and the article mentioned a story called, The Parable of the Carpenter. I’ve never found an official version of the story, but here’s a version I cobbled together from multiple sources, including that SI article:

Google’s Oprah Winfrey Rule

There is a mistake technical and scientific people make. We think that if we have made a clever and thoughtful argument, based on data and smart analysis, then people will change their minds. This isn’t true. If you want to change people’s behavior you need to touch their hearts, not just win the argument. We call this the Oprah Winfrey Rule. (It’s also the way good politicians operate, but Oprah does it better than anyone.)

~ Google’s Oprah Winfrey Rule, from the book, How Google Works