Special links on the internet that are of interest.
Originally meant as an internal rant, it was accidentally made public on Google Plus and went insanely viral. It is a long read, but well worth the time if you’re interested in IT architecture and management.
Stevey’s Google Platforms Rant
I was at Amazon for about six and a half years, and now I’ve been at Google for that long. One thing that struck me immediately about the two companies — an impression that has been reinforced almost daily — is that Amazon does everything wrong, and Google does everything right. Sure, it’s a sweeping generalization, but a surprisingly accurate one. It’s pretty crazy. There are probably a hundred or even two hundred different ways you can compare the two companies, and Google is superior in all but three of them, if I recall correctly. I actually did a spreadsheet at one point but Legal wouldn’t let me show it to anyone, even though recruiting loved it. (more…)
You should fight for what is right and challenge bad ideas. Propose to test ‘hive-mind’ assumptions and support your logic with detailed data. Live on the edge and be ready to get fired every day. Here is another Google Plus post full of wisdom from a Google employee that went viral with thousands of readers:
Amazon War Story #1: Jeff Bezos
Over the years I watched people give presentations to Jeff Bezos and come back bruised: emotionally, intellectually, often career-ily. If you came back with a nod or a signoff, you were jumping for joy. Presenting to Jeff is a gauntlet that tends to send people back to the cave to lick their wounds and stay out of the sunlight for a while.
I say “presentations” and you probably think PowerPoint, but no: he outlawed PowerPoint there many years ago. It’s not allowed on the campus. If you present to Jeff, you write it as prose.
One day it came time for me to present to Jeff. It felt like… I don’t know, maybe how they swarm around you when you’re going to meet the President. People giving you last-minute advice, wishing you luck, ushering you past regiments of admins and security guards. It’s like you’re in a movie. A gladiator movie. (more…)
I love and believe every word of this inspiring goodbye note by Chamath Palihapitiya as he left Facebook:
i leave with incredible hope for how you will continue to make this place awesome. every tuesday, i talk to the n00bs. and i generally tell them the following, which i leave for you as a reminder:
its easy to get distracted. everyone thinks we are much better than we actually are. be humble and honest about the fact that more is left to do than has already been done. keep moving quickly and don’t get bogged down in the things that don’t matter.
we risk becoming like everyone else. the only chance we have is the discipline and resolve of the silent majority who needs to and MUST become more vocal as the company gets bigger. fight for the culture the way it should be…not the way it was or the way its becoming. (more…)
Traditional mass marketing is dying. There is a new breed of badass marketers coming up in the world; these guys are a mix between marketing and engineering. Conventional marketing campaigns take time to yield results, while engineering an experience built for growth or engagement is newer, faster and the future of marketing. Growth hackers manage to leverage ‘superplatforms’ and acquire millions of users within an extraordinarily short time.
These guys understand and see past technical capabilities and limitations. For them there are no dead ends, but exciting opportunities to get their hands dirty to start making, coding, hacking and delivering. When these guys integrate user experience, analytics and a viral marketing mechanism within the use of the product itself they expose their product to millions of users. Andrew Chen’s article supports this growth hacking revolution by an impressive case study of Airbnb and a Craigslist hack integration.
The Craigslist integration for Airbnb is geniusly integrated into the user flow, a simple bridge between the old and new way of finding a place to stay. Integrating a bridge between the old (your potential users) and your new service within a user’s flow, creates a viral engine of growth that operates every time your service is used.
How do you become a growth hacker? Read Andrew Chan’s follow up post here.
Exposing your service to these superplatforms is the key to quickly increasing your reach. But how did these superplatforms grow themselves? Contact importing was a key contributor. The most successful and fastest growing social networks in the world leveraged the superplatforms of their era – email contact lists.
A main acquisition priority is getting existing users to send invitations and referrals by enabling them to import their contacts then collecting, analyzing and tweaking each stage/action of the invited user until they sign up. A member of the Facebook growth team, Andy Johns, provided some valuable insight to the strategies they used over on Quora: Facebook Growth & Traction: What are some decisions taken by the “Growth team” at Facebook that helped Facebook reach 500 million users?. Another interesting answer by Andy summarizes the core expertise behind the growth team’s approach to the challenge, 1 billion or more active monthly users.
Finally a useful list of some great strategies recommended by Andy Johns for conversion optimization, also on Quora. Grow much and prosper. ;p
This hilarious post on Gizmodo showcases the dangers of copying, and how minimalist Apple’s ads really are. It brings Pablo Picasso’s quote on copying to mind, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. If you don’t understand the inspiration behind the development of the concept, then you won’t be able to incorporate a fresh perspective that portrays the original essence along with its newly adapted meaning. Check out the rest of the ads (more…)
Having a great computer wallpaper is like having a home or office with a great view. It gives your mind a break, provides some motivation and inspiration, reminds you of the principles that drive you to kick ass and is great for small talk and breaking the ice in meetings. I’m a connoisseur of fine wallpaper, I’ve spent endless hours seeking the right artistic balance between colors, contrast, noise and meaning. Read more to check out the collection and links to the resources. (more…)