How to Give Feedback

“There’s a Russian anecdote about a man who loved his dog so much that when the vet told him he needed to cut the dog’s tail off he couldn’t do it all at once, so he did it an inch at a time. Don’t be that kind of manager.”

Giving unclear, infrequent feedback has somewhat of the same effect — though slightly less violent. You end up hurting the person receiving the feedback more, even though you’re just doing what your parents always told you empathetic people do: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.

This is where Scott says she’s seen managers make the most mistakes. “No one sets out to be unclear in their feedback, but somewhere along the line things change. You’re worried about hurting the person’s feelings so you hold back. Then, when they don’t improve because you haven’t told them they are doing something wrong, you wind up firing them. Not so nice after all…”

In order to give people the feedback they need to get better, you can’t give a damn about whether they like you or not. “Giving feedback is very emotional. Sometimes you get yelled at. Sometimes you get tears. These are hard, hard conversations.”

Read the full article here.

What is your North Star Growth Metric?

My contrarian viewpoint is, if you’re a startup, you shouldn’t have a growth team. Startups should not have growth teams. The whole company should be the growth team. The CEO should be the head of growth. You need someone to set a North star for you about where the company wants to go, and that person needs to be the person leading the company, from my opinion, that’s what I’ve seen. Mark is a fantastic example of that. Back when Facebook started, a lot of people were putting out their registered user numbers. Right? You’d see you registered user numbers for MySpace, you’d see a registered user numbers for ___11:38, you’d see registered user numbers. Mark put out monthly active users, as the number both internally he held everyone to, and said we need everyone on Facebook, but that means everyone active on Facebook, not everyone signed up on Facebook, so monthly active people was the number internally, and it was also the number he published externally. It was the number he made the whole world hold Facebook to, as a number that we cared about. If you look at what Jan has done with WhatsApp I think that’s another great example. He always published sends numbers.

In order for you to reach your dream world vision for your product, you have to develop a North Star growth metric to give you a target to shoot for.  Read more here.

Bad Mother’s Day Product

So I’m on 1800flowers.com perusing for a Mother’s Day gift.  When I click on the ‘Recipient’ drop down box, there’s a whole list of names there (pre-saved with addresses and all) from the last 10 years.

So…why – why would such a site save this information? I’m not interested in stroll down “my unstable past” memory lane.  Maybe 1800flowers is try to keep me accountable and show me, “Do you see.. do you like this.  Do you want this list to be longer?  We’re certainly not proud of the business you’ve give us.  We feel sorry for you”

– Andrew S.