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Management theorist ·

Let me be your DJ

Outdoor dining, 2020 style.

Following the tradition from the last two years, I picked out 20 of my favorite songs from 2020. Before I get into the songs, I wanted to share some interesting links from friends in music.

I love this original mix by DJ Keybo. He describes it as, “Hip Hop & Alt Rock sitting in a tree, M-I-X-X-I-N-G.”

I recently learned about Lyrah’s beautiful work on Twitter. She is a singer, songwriter, and producer based in San Francisco.

Sim Simah recently released an EP called “Entropy Led Them.” You can read more about his impressive background in this VoyageLA article.

Let me be your DJ

Photo by Jesse Meria.

Following the tradition from last year, I picked out 20 songs from 2019. Before we get into that, here are a few interesting links.

My friend Q—a great source of musical inspiration—has put together best-of-2019 playlists. Surely you’ll find some treasures you missed.

There is also an amazing 2019 compilation by You know how the experience of drinking a glass of wine is heightened if someone explains its story and origin? This is that but for songs.

DJBooth published a list of top albums of the year. I look to their commentary for education.

Here is the list. The…

A comparative analysis

At our inaugural DS Crit meeting.

Beginning in the first decade of the 21st century, internet companies were able to gain visibility into the business in ways never possible in the age of spreadsheets and relational database management systems. No longer did they need to wait for end-of-quarter financial results in order to gauge product performance; and no longer did they need to rely on extrapolations from samples to get a comprehensive view of what was working for all customers. …

An algorithm

This one is for the crawlers and the robots.

There are many ways to organize a data science team within a company. One of the most effective is the hybrid model, as I explain verbosely in a post and briefly in a thread:

Q. Embedded or centralized?
A. Both.

Embedded for context, relevance, communication efficiency, and to be in sync; centralized for hiring and promotion purposes, for peer review, and for sharing and maintaining best practices.

Pardis Noorzad on Twitter

The centralized management of a team is not without challenges—the most prominent of which being that of sizing and allocation. In this post, I propose an easy-to-follow procedure as…

Some notes from the gathering

Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson. From here.

I attended the SFELC Summit last week along with several other engineering managers at Twitter.

We started the day with a keynote by James Everingham, Head of Engineering at FB. He drew parallels between management and quantum theory.

The main takeaway was the importance of not being prescriptive as a manager. He talked about the observer effect and authority bias and the team’s reluctance to come up with their own ideas when a solution is given by the manager. Instead, a manager’s job should be to ask probing questions.

He also talked about creating the right amount of entanglement

Let me be your Chase B

Findings at a local record store.

First of all, I’d like to thank one of the coolest humans, Charles, for encouraging me to make this list.

I made a playlist two other times at the request of another excellent friend for his radio show.

The songs are ordered firstly by key (starting at 12A), then by tempo. The song list also includes some descriptions provided with help from Genius.

The songs

Pretty Little Fears (feat. J. Cole) by 6LACK — East Atlanta Love Letter.
This T-Minus-produced song is a beautiful love letter from 6LACK and J. Cole to their significant others. It’s a soft and easy listen.


A list of 20 things

Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito [Public domain]

Below are some practices I have found to be effective in management. I am sharing this list in the hopes that it would lead to happier employees, better products, and more efficient use of capital.

  1. Value focus and do what you can to maximize it. Similarly, value long-term ownership. Quality and invention stem from long planning horizons.
  2. Research and reuse successful work practices from other fields. For example, software engineering best practices (e.g. code reviews) have had decades to evolve.
  3. Give promotions without being asked — this is the most cost-effective approach when compared with the alternatives.
  4. Understand that promotions…

Developing cross-functional teams


Steven Sinofsky is a Board Partner with Andreessen Horowitz, advisor to companies, and investor.

A respected technologist and business leader, Steven Sinofsky began his career at Microsoft in 1989. He started as a software design engineer in development tools. Working in product management, he grew to be one of the company’s senior execs on Microsoft Office overseeing six major releases of the full range of Office apps and servers. Most recently he served as President of the Windows division through 2012. In this role, he oversaw many of Microsoft’s largest products, including the development of Windows 7, Windows 8, and…

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