Why Group Meetings Can Be Time Wasters with Lawrence Krubner

Lawrence KrubnerOver the last 18 years, Lawrence Krubner  has been the technical co-founder of 3 different startups that he has led to success. He has also seen millions of dollars wasted on poorly run projects that he have had to turn around and save. Turning around a failing project can go smoothly, so long as everyone on the team can be completely honest about why a project was failing up to that point. He is a proponent of the “train fast, fire fast, fail fast, iterate fast” philosophy — a team should improve itself as much as possible, through training or replacement, and thereby maximize the speed with which it delivers products.

Contact Info:

http://www.smashcompany.com/

Show Notes:

One-on-one meetings are underrated, whereas group meetings waste time

I Done This

Why Can’t They Just by Lara Hogan

how to destroy a tech startup in 3 easy steps

Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker Books on Amazon

Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s

Ship It!

Read Full Transcript

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:00] Good afternoon Lawrence welcome to the show.

Lawrence Krubner:
[0:03] Christian it’s really going to be talking to you.

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:05] Excellent well it’s my pleasure to have you on the show Lawrence where you dialing from today.

Lawrence Krubner:
[0:10] I’m driving into New York City.

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:12] Excellent you know this is kind of surprising you’re my third guest in a row that I’ve actually had from New York City it’s heard of like a mini cohort of New York City engineering experts in leadership on here in the next in the beginning of 2018 so that’s all.

Lawrence Krubner:
[0:25] And I think it represents the fact that the old city is maturing as an echo system for startups.

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:32] Yeah now I definitely agree and as I as you some I guess we’ll hear in the previous episodes I actually grew up in New York Long Island and every side so I’m definitely looking forward to getting back there soon as well.

Lawrence Krubner:
[0:44] Where are you right now.

Christian Mccarrick:
[0:46] I’m in San Francisco.

[0:50] That’s right so I’ll Lawrence let’s start the show here with a little bit of background about how you got to be where you are today.

Lawrence Krubner:
[0:57] I’ve been OCT 3 startups in the way I got into this in the first place is I actually way back in the 1990’s I initially thought.
I would be a writer so I was working in the magazine bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in at the beginning of my career and I thought that.
Metal magazine needed to get on the web this is around 1999 and of course the the first grade.
Comwave was sweeping the world,
and the magazine lacked the Technical Resources person in the office and I was able to do that and I found that I had a certain,
gift for that and enjoy the problem-solving aspects so I develop some software that became the main thing that I did for the next,
2 years and will writing code,
for that magazine and then some other magazines and then some journalists I got some easy software for creating websites and that was just one of the sort of mania,
Roblox started,
that was my first start up myself in a fella named Peter at the last show we incorporated in 2002 and for the next 6 years we.
We we had some tennis and we had some challenges we we both had company up to the point where it was a modest success or though in the end.

[2:29] As with so many startups the thing that was the most successful was not necessarily the thing that we started with.

Christian Mccarrick:
[2:36] Sure yeah yeah I think that’s the case with that a lot of companies you no slack being one of them in a couple other ones right just going to Pivot into something hey this actually might be worth more than what we started.

[2:49] Yeah I made it early in the days I started a company called parking Karma and I remember sitting on a bunch of us for we are whiteboarding something,
and this is a no kind of back in the day and we whiteboard it out this thing was this amazing device it was a phone and how to color screen it has GPS on it had Maps tribe huh it always should have hit it right then and created an iPhone instead of app.

Lawrence Krubner:
[3:10] I like it I like it.

Christian Mccarrick:
[3:13] So from there you know how did you get into sort of being that the kind of a check lead and getting into management of engineering.

Lawrence Krubner:
[3:23] We racing money wait wait on web logs is a pay-as-you-go time.
It was successful and raised in 23 million,
we can do this to him and trying to move quickly.
At that time I had the.
Impression which may have been incorrect I had a theory and I think a lot of us when we build start up to a building from a Assyria what’s going to work and sometimes that theory is wrong.
Mysterious that time around say 2003 was that we would win if we could add more cool features.
Faster than anybody else and three years later I was very surprised to see something like.
Twitter because both of those were successful but having less features plus those were successful by being so minimalist.
And when they came along it was a revelation to me because all three 2003-2004 my attitude was let’s raise money the field features let’s build a future Rich environment and I think that we build something that was maybe too.
Complicated too overwhelming every time we went to pitch to investors they would want to see.
Features and so we got in the habit of delivering a certain amount of eye candy.

[4:53] But when we went to talk to customers that you know this can be a rather just have to talk to customers and if you describe the features of them they might say oh that’s really cool and especially back then when I was still somewhat inexperienced.
And I got a customer retention customer.
Of course once you’ve done that a few times what you realize is this quite a huge difference between.
Potential customers in your customers and potential customers will very often say that sounds really cool.
The converting those into real customers is very difficult and what people are actually willing to pay for is often very very different.
From what city say is cool.
I realize that sounds very obvious now I’m almost embarrassed to admit that at one time I was so naive as to fall into that trap but I will throw it out there because I do think a lot of people.
When they start their first business fall into that mistake.

Christian Mccarrick:
[5:55] Yeah no I think I’ll be just you two chasing a feature out if I just get this one more thing I’m going to nail that they customer he’s going to sign and you know we’ll get funding and XY and Z and.
You know I think that’s a very good point instead of really doubling down and focusing on what the product has today and really trying to sell it as it is.

Lawrence Krubner:
[6:11] Absolutely I think we would have been in retrospect we would have been so much more.
Successful if we had kept the original feature set minimal if we had focus on just a very clean and simple interface and if we had gone out and look for people who just looking for the simplest on ramp.
Onto the web I think that would have respected hindsight is always 20/20 but knowing now that you haven’t seen the success of things like Tumblr and Twitter in the the more Mentalist minimalist approaches that became so successful,
in retrospect that I wish we had chase that cuz we were.
What are out there sooner you know we were out there a few years before Tumblr or should have got started so we had more of the the field Square shelves earlier on.
But you know live and learn I mean we.
What actually happened in the end as we kept adding one more features and we built the rich set of tools for creating websites and we were able to in the end.
Focusing on some buildings and Community sites it with an e-commerce tangle so for instance we built by hanuman.com which is still to this day of very vibrant.
Community Focus to run health and yoga and it is a place where yoga instructors cell.
Videos and it’s right immediately we lost it in August of 2007 it was almost immediately cash flow positive it’s remain so ever since.
And an application to one real success that came out of those six years of hard work.

Christian Mccarrick:
[7:43] Sure will great I guess I live and learn I think that’s that’s kind of model that we all have to do and then every opportunity we have in the past is one for really kind of learning from to improve upon the future.

Lawrence Krubner:
[7:55] Especially if you’re in if you don’t start making each other.
The Cutting Edge of whatever industry you’re in and that would be very much like skiing down an expert slow.

[8:08] The slope comes up at you and unless you’ve done that stuff before it does off an unexpected train this one expected going to trip you up until you learn that path of course.
When you doing startups if you really on The Cutting Edge there’s an element that there’s always an element of surprise and and being on the edge.
Those prices are in a sense a fundamental part of being on the edge and in fact or an indicator of you being on the edge years later in 2015.
When I was working on a startup that was focused on using natural language processing to build an interface for Salesforce there were some of the same.
Surprises I mean they were of course completely different surprises but there was the same sense of surprise in the spring of 2015 I did not know that Amazon.
Was going to move forward aggressively with Alexa and build some very interesting features into Alexa and then say it’s another personality that fax it device.
The Experience 2015 2014-2015 in particular I think that was in space that change very very rapidly because 2015 was the year when I feel like Googling.
Amazon both got very serious about their voice interface devices so when you are on the Cutting Edge those kinds of unexpected surprises come up with you and even if you.
Go to conferences even if you follow Tech forums even if you eating /. And Hacker News there’s still quite a lot coming around you that will 6 months later hit you as a bit of a surprise if it’s almost guaranteed.

Christian Mccarrick:
[9:39] Yeah I know absolutely and.

[9:43] As you kind of Traverse through that career and running at startup and then moving it to some other positions what,
as it relates specifically kind of two running teams in and managing people what were some of which one of the mistakes erythema mistakes that you think you know you you’re guilty of making really on.

Lawrence Krubner:
[10:02] Right so one mistake that I can highlight cuz I just see it being so common it’s where the you’re the head of a team.
And you know that you’ve got some catching up to do with your team so you think okay well I’ll just get it ready until room and I’ll talk to you in person.
And they’ll give me an update and that’s very efficient for my time and that’s true if you’re the manager in that situation and you have a big group meeting it’s very efficient for your time but it is very.
For everyone else cuz most of them are sitting around not talking just waiting for their chance to talk to you and it’s a very lazy.
Manager who relies on group meetings it is far more efficient.
For the team overall if the manager relies mostly on one-to-one conversations and you learn so much more than this is something I want to emphasize because I don’t think people.

[10:57] Get this enough especially if you have backgrounds in Indian tech as a programmer and then something you move up to management I think this is an easy mistake to make you maybe don’t see.
From the point of you having a whole bunch of one on one can seem time-consuming and seem like,
you know why do I why don’t want to spend all this time it’s so much more efficient for me to just get it one in the same room but you learn so much more people are much more open when there’s no one else around if there’s a problem they can talk about it more honestly if there’s a success if you dealing with someone who’s,
been unexpectedly brilliant it’s a chance for you to really get to know the more and if you if you’re in a manager position and you really think that’s a waste of time then you’re going to have to stop and ask.
What do you honestly think your job is when if your head of that team really what is your job except knowing who is good knowing who is having a problem you’re really getting into the details that you understand what’s going on.

Christian Mccarrick:
[11:53] And I think that dovetails into a blog post that you had written that was recently featured on the soft word suffer.
Lead weekly email list called wondering what meetings are underrated where his group meetings waste time.
Right and I think you’re not setting a good Segway into talking about some of the points you make in that article for some of my listeners here on the show right so first off kind of went what prompted you to write that article.

Lawrence Krubner:
[12:19] What kind of meat to write that was just recently who was having exactly this problem far too many group meetings and the team.
Members were grumbling one thing that I like to do when I’m working at a place or if I’m a consultant or if I’m part time helping out what whatever my relationship to a client one thing I like to do is I like to invite people out to lunch.
Just want to want to end this might be once a month or even once every two months but just I like to get to know each person on the team I like to take them out to lunch I like to talk to them so I get to hear the Grambling and I think that’s so quiet.
Irritation that doesn’t rise the level where they would ever make a phone call.
Most of the people on a team you know that team is missing a chance to sort of achieve a high level of productivity.
And actually I’m glad you mentioned the article let me just talk about that for a minute some of the responses that I got.
Number people subscribe heavily to an agile philosophy.
That says there needs to be a daily scrum and one of the points that people made on certain websites where the article was discussed is they said you know I.

[13:38] I need that social pressure as a computer programmer I need that social pressure I know I’m going to go into that meeting we’re going to meet at 9:30 a.m.
And I have to tell people what I did the day before and if I can’t tell my co-workers that I got a bunch of work done if I got a bunch of tickets knocked out.
If I can’t see that then I’m going to be embarrassed and it’s an interesting and revealing remark because if you think about it what they’re actually saying is that they.
They know that they can’t get anything past their co-workers but they wouldn’t feel that kind of pressure if they didn’t.
Have to have that meeting which is to say they’re not feeling that pressure from.
The manager of the team and they’re not really feeling that pressure what embarrassment from the head of a team and it’s a revealing remark because it’s theirs.
Suggestion that the head of the team doesn’t really know what’s going on not in the suite of detailed way that your co-workers do.
And if you were manager you really have to stop and ask yourself do you want to be that manager do you want to be the head of the team.
Where the people on the team know that they consider hide stuff from you because you’re not really paying attention.
To the details and what I’m suggesting you don’t don’t let that be true for you if you’re the head of a team.
People on the team should know that you’re following things that you can freeze them when they do well but also see you can step in and help them when they’re having a problem work.

Christian Mccarrick:
[15:14] And I think as you go to that article in one of the things you talk would you just mention right as about productivity,
and it’s about optimizing not just for your productivity but trying to optimize for your team as a whole productivity as well as a manager you need to take.
Both of those things into account.

Lawrence Krubner:
[15:32] That’s absolutely true then I think maybe if you read oh I don’t know if ink magazine Fast Company the there’s a.
Just letting you know you these 10 cool things and,
make sure your inbox is at zero and you know you can be the most productive manager in the company which is kind of true but maybe a little bit misplaced right.
When the emphasis should be a little bit more on the overall team productivity rather than just your individual productivity.

Christian Mccarrick:
[16:04] Oh that’s right I think it’s a manager know you become a Force multiplier both good and bad for the people that report to you and then potential the people that report to them.

Lawrence Krubner:
[16:12] That’s exactly right I don’t want to be in the situation where people think of you as a as a roadblock and and yet if you monopolize people’s time and ask him to go in the meetings.
Where they don’t really need to be then of course you are becoming a little bit of a Roblox.

Christian Mccarrick:
[16:28] Yeah absolutely we we are rented out when I when I took over the kind of engineering team at my current company and you know it.
It does also what I found two does a concept of I think trust a little bit right if the trust necessarily wasn’t there then.
You know everyone in the team needs wants to go because they don’t feel maybe they’ll get to have their input heard via the proxy or they don’t think maybe look at the information back to them so suddenly you have a meeting that should have,
two or three people in it maybe the leads and it said you have a meeting with 12 people and they’re all sitting around having them on their laptops just in case right they they need to add something.

Lawrence Krubner:
[17:04] Christian I’m so glad you said that that’s an excellent point.
You’re right A lot of times when you see dysfunctional behavior in a company it is because of a lack of trust at some level it’s because people feel their contributions won’t be recognized,
or they’re worried that some Plum assignment is going to be handed out to whoever shows up at that meeting.
Kind of have to show up at the meeting which isn’t necessarily the purpose of that meeting.

Christian Mccarrick:
[17:31] Yeah I was talking to other gas I came over who was right now you never there instead of talking about having a a.
Meeting cost clock or something like in the room like up on the screen and it in your depending on how many people in the room and how long the meeting is going it would just look for either show like the dollar amount or.
You’re the man hours that were being wasted an opportunity cost or something just really also.

[17:53] Call out there’s a real cost involved in having meetings with people that you know might not necessarily need to be there.

Lawrence Krubner:
[18:00] That’s absolutely right and some companies have small tools to.
Do people wear to keep track and also communicate with her getting done there’s an email to haven’t used it the last 5 years I think it’s called what I got done today or something similar to that.
Nicole thing there is that some kind of daily email like that could very easily be adjusted.
I thought you also do what you just said and I think what you just said is really key you want to keep track of the actual cost of.
The meetings and I have one client 5 years ago in particular.
That was so excessive with the meeting since my meetings were very large for the meetings for like 20 people in a room and with three people for people talking during the duration of the entire meeting so 1617 people in the room.
Didn’t really have anything to say they may have gained some benefit by hearing the information exchange but they didn’t.

[18:56] Necessarily need to be there and some of that information could have been sent to them.
Me email anyway in a situation like that we’re trying to promote we’re trying to promote efficiency in your trying to push the client a little bit to realize the cost of all those meetings one thing as a simple survey what you can include in any kind of.
Daily or weekly email will you simply ask if you have a meeting today did you find it useful did you speak.

[19:23] Did you hear anything that you actually needed to hear.
And then you can just try to take that survey and you don’t have to do it forever but even just for a few months it’s interesting the survey everyone and to see what the percentage is muscle just see what the.

[19:36] The trend is to see if those numbers change over time cuz if you got a lot of people saying yes I was in a meeting today and now I didn’t find it useful then obviously that’s a metric that you would like to see go down over time.

Christian Mccarrick:
[19:49] Yes no definitely absolutely and the other one of the other items that you point out in your article.
Is about sometimes people have meetings just to sort of feed there you go there and you talk about ego is the enemy of productivity when you explain a little bit about your thoughts on ego and meetings especialista man.

Lawrence Krubner:
[20:09] Thank you for that yeah I said to say I mean I definitely seen this and I think I think any of us you spend.

[20:18] Enough time to let corporations eventually see this it comes a point where the manager I’ve seen two cases one.

[20:25] I don’t function am I my extra business partner from 12 years ago he fell into this.
When he had moments of panic and he needed to reassure himself he didn’t he didn’t always have a great ability to.
I just heard of talking to self down what what work for him was together everyone together and then talk to the whole group.
And there were moments when I felt that that was a little bit.
Therapy for him personally and help him deal with the stress and help them deal with the Panic it wasn’t necessarily useful for the people in the room it was mostly just about him.

[21:08] Kind of controlling his own stress and that’s again that’s a situation where to the very efficient for him but not necessarily for the team and the other thing I’ve seen is a manager comes in.
And a manager feels the need to sort of assert their control over the team some.

[21:27] Managers of course I mean there’s all different kinds of managers.
There’s different approaches some managers try to be rather hands off some managers feel the need to be micromanaged so managers feel the need to be controlling their Stephanie a certain type that wants to see.
Open displays of difference.
To them within the team and in that situation they’re putting should have their own ego in front of the needs of the team they’re certainly hurting team,
are the tivity they’re probably hurting team morale but unfortunately Dulce especially in large corporations that are some managers who should have put their own.
Their own self-aggrandizement ahead of what the the team actually needs to be doing and what the actual goals of the company are.

Christian Mccarrick:
[22:14] And you know one of the things and I agree with part of this is.
It’s very effective if you have some information to get out to put that down make sure that is persistent in an email or whether it’s you know you have a front page of a Blog whatever it is that you.
Company uses the most frequently for persistent type communication maybe not slack but and.

[22:41] Instead of necessary always having to get up get up people together and you know talk about kind of something that you could just put in an email right.

[22:55] Not the one the one thing I had a question for you on that comes to and I don’t know yet that sometimes a lot of people gather these meetings around a lot and people sit around what how do you feel then is the best way to get.

[23:08] You’re very clear and very timely questions and answers from people who you don’t maybe it’s a big announcement of the company.
And it might stir a whole bunch of questions what is this mean what did you think about this how does this affect,
the groups that kind of stuff and you can’t as you mentioned it was a larger group have one-on-ones that every single person so how do you feel that the best way to handle getting that immediate in a question-and-answer feedback loop should be the putting place not kind of situation.

Lawrence Krubner:
[23:36] Christian I’m so glad you asked that that’s really an excellent question,
for sure we’re not whatever that article I was focused more on operational teams which tend to be anywhere in size from 5 to 20 people there’s definitely a case to be made,
for those moments when you have a Company announcement,
and you might have a hundred or 200 or 500 people in your company but if they’re only one office as much as possible you want to get them all together and make an announcement,
the entire entire company wants a small growing successful startup and you just closed around that’s an announcement that moment celebration is probably,
you want to get everyone together,
so you can celebrate or if things are going really badly then probably there might be some bad news that you want to deliver to the entire company at once just to avoid an ugly situation where people are hearing rumors from other people,
but nobody’s talked to me directly yet so there’s absolutely a good case for that five six years ago I worked at a company.
In New York city where the company had a rule was only one office to the company had a rule that once a month they got the whole company together for just a sort of small.
Party with pizza and soda and beer and just a chance to chat and any announcements it needs to be making me decide time is a chance to praise.
Those teams that have been doing exceptionally well I’ve been delivering on schedule it was a moment to.
Says they’ve been doing great work or San Martine team is done the fantastic job pulling in new volume of the traffic and then decreasing conversions it was a chance to celebrate that.

[25:14] But in general if you’re talking about a small operational team like he’s 5 10 15 people.

[25:22] There I think something like slacker email is generally more efficient.
You just trying to get Dad out there if you want to be like we are you know we said we’re going to do 300 points worth of tickets.
At the sales team and we promise we’re going to close to hundred thousand.
Worth of samples in the next week or two and work in a 20% behind me made by email and then follow up with one to one.

[25:52] Meetings I think is often.

[25:55] The most so we can.
Talk and.
Your information about techniques that work for us what we’re saying is these techniques work for us most of the time but it’s seventh managing is always going to be more art than science so,
you know they say that part of being a great Master artist is knowing when to break the rules and that’s certainly true for managing as well hopefully.
If you experience with managing you kind of know when to go with your gut and I have to get the whole team together because you really think that’s the best way but as a general rule I would say I would see managers default to that mode.
More than they should and they ignore the benefits of one-to-one conversation.

Christian Mccarrick:
[26:44] Yeah absolutely I think it absolutely agree with the $1 ones and the importance of having them and certainly have been consistent without them consisted in doing them you mention a quote to,
in your article which I thought was very interesting that you talked about going out to be a generalist or anything with French managers don’t have meetings they have dinner.

[27:11] And it’s and it’s true and you also talked about 9 and I believe this to invite some of my wanted ones,
you know if it’s a nice day out or something you can go for a walk around the block you know it kind of encourages going to get your blood flowing get you out of that environment of the office where people might be just psychological it a more willing to open up that since you’re outside and everything else.

Lawrence Krubner:
[27:29] Absolutely you don’t want to be I mean above us I think you don’t want to be the manager who’s out of touch you don’t want to be the guy that people.
Thank you know when your back is just doesn’t know what’s going on.
Understand the reality of the situation if if you let me in one of your two-year-old specially if your manager of a small team and then.
People there I mean Ichiro’s really to know what’s happening in the team,
and anything that helps you get more information is good and definitely when you get out of the office when you go for a walk go get a cup of coffee go get lunch sometime it does help people,
open up and share more than what they would share with you in the sort of formal environment of the office.

Christian Mccarrick:
[28:15] Yeah and you even going back to Canada or the writing written communication versus just having a staff meeting where you sit there and read off a book for your notes for 15 minutes and everyone looks at you yeah I think I think Laura Hogan Road a good blog post to that.
Did she sound from someone else’s while about really almost having the weekly update email as a manager to send out to your team that kind of talks about.
The winds for the week your thoughts and what’s going to happen next week and then you can kind of maybe have that out there and then it have a group meeting that then tackle some of the logistics of that instead of just you talking to your your direct reports for 15 minutes.

Lawrence Krubner:
[28:51] Yeah absolutely I mean if you have a meeting when there’s someone who does not talk the entire meeting there’s a good chance that they did not need to be there.
Communicating information then potentially then information could have been an email instead of wish they could have read when they had.
Start time to read it instead of it being like this 30 minutes you must give to me speaking.
Everyone’s headed.
Chance to speak it suggests that you got the right people in the room people who had something to to contribute if you get a big group of people together and have them are silent the whole time there’s a good chance half of them are just daydreaming and you can say oh that’s there,
personal flaw as a professional because as a professional they should have the self-discipline to listen whenever I talk but I mean I think the responsibility,
but you going to team productive has to be at least in a shared 50/50 the manager shouldn’t be.
Demanding people’s time on a regular basis if it’s a dragon people into a meeting with a donut.

Christian Mccarrick:
[30:01] Yep exactly and I do want to.
To point out one other thing that I think you you published a book it’s on Amazon it’s called how to destroy a text start up in 3 easy steps once you just kind of give her listeners a little you know two minute overview of what that is and kind of what’s that about.

Lawrence Krubner:
[30:20] Short so the basic point is the self-sabotage is remarkably coming and I’m hardly the first person to recognize as I think the greatest.
Business Bureau of the 20th century was Peter Drucker,
1985 book Innovation and Entrepreneurship chapter 2 entrepreneurs who sabotage themselves he gives the extended example of Alfred Longhorn,
who invented Novacane Novacane should be used as a general anesthetic it caught on with dentist and dentist. It was perfect for numbing in particular,
and I don’t want him. He hated that because Dentistry was such a small market so he went out actively campaign,
against the concept of dentist using Novocaine.
An injector includes a few other examples that one was perhaps the most extreme was some guy was actually going out and I’m going around trying to actively keep people from using his product.
But it definitely happens a lot,
it’s one thing to read a book like Joker who’s an excellent writer but whose stuff tends to be a little bit more theoretical I thought that it would be useful to sort of so to speak put some meat on the bones,
by telling Apple stories about entrepreneurs whose Behavior has been dysfunctional.
So in that book I a kind of cover two stories things that I’ve actually seen one was the original startup which I I spell got from 2002 to 2008.
I said I’d be somewhat honest about some of the limited some of our success that I think we could have reached and then the other.

[31:59] Well I Came Upon a startup that had a really brilliant idea to use the techniques of natural language processing.
To allow sales people to talk directly to Salesforce.
But they’re not necessarily good at software some sales people really hate Salesforce so the idea that they could just take their cell phone and send a text message.
As if they were riding their supervisor.
And that text message could be sent to our server and broken apart and we would understand what they had said we would put all the information into Salesforce.
For them you know if they said I just sold a million bottles of shampoo to help me hotels we would understand that the product was shampoo the client was Hilton Hotels and the amount was 1 million.
So it’s a brilliant idea and I really expect there to be a lot of successful startups doing something similar to that but the team was highly dysfunctional.
Are there were some people who probably shouldn’t have been on the team and there was some other people hired who were only part-time who are just so excellent and driven and ambitious and smart.
That they really should have been on the team full-time so the book covers that story in some detail I should have.
Reconstruct the things from the various emails and I think it’s it’s good to just see an example of day-to-day how stress.
Can cause people to become a rational and then how that conservative undermine what should be a very successful startup.

Christian Mccarrick:
[33:34] When your philosophy is you also talk about is train Fast Fire fast fail fast and it erased fast and how do you feel the bat.

[33:45] Kind of contributes to a more successful project or even company.

Lawrence Krubner:
[33:51] What show is an idea that comes out of engineering Joe Joe Armstrong and erlang and and some other great.
Engineers going back mid-century even even know the physicist Richard Feynman he said that.

[34:09] Is greatest still his greatest skill as a physicist was his ability to very quickly figure out when he was wrong.
And it’s true that when you doing a startup when you create a business you’re basically working from espiri of what’s going to catch on the market.
And if you’re serious wrong you want to know as fast as possible you want that theory disproven so you don’t waste too much money on are on the wrong Theory and then you can change the theory of that and it irate and,
move forward with the next Theory and hopefully get closer and closer to the truth,
the process of fast adoration until find that you have something that the market is actually willing to pay for and that also works I think for individuals I think it’s very good and healthy too,
take a chance on someone who is.
Unknown and it’s good to give him some training and really work with them but if it’s not working out it’s also a very important you realize that.
And to a liquid and really quickly is Ray Kroc and I think.
Because some people don’t like the food that McDonald’s sells a he doesn’t quite get the admiration that she deserves but he was actually very excellent.
At this everything that I read about him suggest that he was a guy who was willing to take a chance on.
People who really have no record but if they worked out he was willing to promote them you owe me.
First fast food places to really expand.
Franchisees among African-Americans the woman who was hired as his secretary but eventually took on a much.

[35:54] Larger role in the company she had no experience in business at all no training as a secretary no training as a bookkeeper but he brought her in,
to handle the tasks and she turned out to be so excellent.
I seriously about to roll with a 60 days we were to consider her as a CEO oh she didn’t have that title at the time but they’re take a chance on people and give them some training in to encourage them up to the point and then if it really isn’t working out to just shut up.
Fire them and move on someone else I think that’s important and I don’t I don’t see companies who are aggressive enough,
and either one of those I don’t see companies that are aggressive enough and really training people and then I don’t see companies often that are aggressive enough about letting people go in and not working out.

Christian Mccarrick:
[36:38] Yeah and I think too there’s other thing if you’re going to maybe take a a shot or a chance on somebody maybe there an existing employee and.

[36:48] If you could also put them into a role that maybe you think maybe it’s a manager role maybe to lead role and just because I don’t succeed there also doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to let them go right you could be a what kind of trial.
There is long as you can if you have a culture where hey it’s okay.
To try out a new role and you might be excellent roll a we’re going to try and roll be but we don’t want to lose you if you’ll be doesn’t work out we might just put you back and roll a what we know that you’re you know an excellent performer.

Lawrence Krubner:
[37:14] Christian that’s an excellent point absolutely a very very well said I like the way you put it it is actually truth you when you have us when he seems to be doing really well sometimes they were doing well because of context and you definitely.
Try to move into a new role and see if they can act as a force multiplier for electric part of the company.
But if it doesn’t work out then of course they were still doing awesome went back in their original roll UFC 1 on some help hang on and of course mean that can be if if they got a big promotion and now you saying well it didn’t work out so.
Do you want you to where you were before you need to handle that needs to be.
Dressed up in a way that it doesn’t really look like a demotion so.
You know it really careful with that but absolutely as a as a goal.
Turning on the good people is actually always the correct saying in and hopefully doing that even if a promotion doesn’t work out that that’s important thing to aim for.

Christian Mccarrick:
[38:16] Great and circling back I think just for one fun a point about your you’re.

[38:21] Blog article about meetings you talk about 1.
Type of meeting one type of group meeting that is also really productive and should happen comes around a kind of brainstorming type meetings so once you explain the.

Lawrence Krubner:
[38:36] Short so generally speaking meetings,
large meetings are are inefficient just because you’re monopolizing people’s time but they don’t necessarily have anything to contribute,
especially true answer to a very operationally oriented meeting we were saying okay I need you to do this on Tuesday and you know I’ll go over there I need you to get this done by Wednesday,
and you just are depending on information which could more easily go in an email and there’s the worst kinds of of inefficient meetings,
brainstorming session Germany you’re encouraging everyone to speak and you just want everyone’s ideas in the brainstorming session actually you want the greatest diversity of opinions and viewpoints and experiences you want.
You’re not going to take a very critical view of ideas at least during the first phase of,
idea of when you’re writing to ideas so because everyone who comes to the meeting,
automatically has the right to speak and your encouraging every single person to contribute an in a situation is actually getting a bunch of people together is to be extremely successful.

Christian Mccarrick:
[39:44] Great and I want it kind of final up finalize your little bit with something I asked all of my guests about any.
Specific books are resources you recommend for new or existing software engineering managers I know you’ve definitely mentioned Rucker,
in the VIN during the show here or anyone else do you have for four specific resources that you recommend.

Lawrence Krubner:
[40:06] Shorts 04 furnace fan noise I would definitely recommend Joker I think he’s,
considered a little old-fashioned right now but I think I see his eyes are still very much worth it and I would also recommend you know biographies of great entrepreneurs are always great.
Cemetery making making tough choices by drawing a blank on his name.
Making types of decisions is a good one too.
Was a good one that I read recently.
Which is just very much focused on the coke question of getting software out the door.

[40:57] I think comes from the good Folks at the salt works.

Christian Mccarrick:
[41:03] Yep you ever that is well and for the listeners out there too I will I will make sure I get some of the links in and authors and titles on to the show notes as well once this podcast goes by.

Lawrence Krubner:
[41:13] Right and I actually I just looked it up. Richardson and now William,
tippit practical guide to successful software project and Ashley one more that I would mention the opposite of that I think they do a great job of talking about best practices for getting supper out the door but another Robert class she has written some of the,
great biopsies so to speak of software projects on wrong I’m talking to the big famous disasters of of software,
engineering such as the 3.2 billion,
dollar attempt when the Federal Aviation Administration hired IBM to completely revamp the software that manages all of the airplanes in the sky.
Above America there was a project that went on for 14 years and cost the country a fortune and had to be shut down completely in the end cuz it was so badly mismanaged so we let some of the,
great projects that went terribly wrong is also something I would recommend.

Christian Mccarrick:
[42:16] Yeah excellent good point kind of learn from from others mistakes so that you you you don’t repeat them that’s always a good a good practice to look into whether to yourself or or are others deaf and learning from mistakes.

[42:28] Lawrence I definitely thank you for coming on the show today and I really enjoyed it and we’ll have a great afternoon.

Lawrence Krubner:
[42:37] Christian it was great talking to you you take care.

Christian Mccarrick:
[42:40] Alright thank you bye.

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