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Introducing "day one" - a newsletter to keep you curious...

dayone - helping you stay curious
Introducing "day one" - a newsletter to keep you curious...
By Marc Kermisch • Issue #1 • View online
You have probably heard this phrase if you pay attention to Jeff Bezos and his annual shareholder letter. Bezos and Amazon believe it is always Day One of their company. Day One of what is to come, Day One, so you always stay hungry. I believe strongly in this concept and have held it as a central principle throughout my career. It keeps me learning, it keeps me from becoming too comfortable, it inspires me to stay competitive and push through hard times. Join me, as I share my curiosities, intuition, and learnings.

Autonomy or Anarchy?
by Marc Kermisch
If you ask most software engineers what they want, they often will answer with “To build the best software, with the latest tools, without being bothered.” In other words, they want to build what they want and how they want, without lots of distractions or input. Couple that with the trends in Agile and the ever promoted self-organizing team’s concept and you can end up with anarchy, instead of autonomy.
Many of the software engineering teams I have worked with over the years promote the self-organizing, antonymous team concepts. They champion that it drives engagement and ultimately better (and even faster outcomes). I am all for autonomy but in at least established companies, that structure and discipline create better results. That doesn’t mean hierarchical command and control, instead, it means teamwork, collective thought, respectful debate, compromise, and results. Corporations are there to create value for their customers. In turn, that value provides jobs and profits to the corporation and its employees. That cycle of value creation, with the customer at the center, is important to keep front and center. I cringe when I hear engineers push to cut scope for the sake of delivering software on a predefined date, without the guardrails of value.
The challenge I have seen with self-organizing teams is that they struggle to come together on their own, let alone within a collection of teams in a larger enterprise. Say, one team picks a pattern for a contract between systems without collaboration with the other teams. When those other teams go to pick up that contract, they realize the pattern doesn’t match theirs. A debate ensues with tempers rising, feelings hurt and teams moving further apart vs. closer together. Autonomy can be interpreted as absolute. The concept of the people taking care of themselves and organizing turns into tribalism. Tribalism can turn into anarchy…. [Read the rest here]
Articles of Interest
McKinsey Looks Ahead At Marketing
Photos: Homepages then and now, how websites have evolved since 2010 - Business Insider
The 10 Tech Products That Defined This Decade | WIRED
TECHdotMN Launch Minnesota: Cultivating Capital, Talent, and Culture in 2020 - TECHdotMN
What I am Reading and Listening too
Team Topologies
Vox Media: Podcast Network | Pivot
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Marc Kermisch

I believe in the concept of relevancy as a key ingredient to success. Relevancy requires constant learning, challenging norms, and embracing the future. Welcome to Day One, where we cover a wide variety of topics, with a personal perspective, weaving in our own experiences to bring the topics to life. Our topics vary based on reader input, social and life events, and topics that may be just top of mind for us.

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