Company Building

Advice for entrepreneurs, founders, and business leaders who want to build high growth companies that are lasting.

How This CEO Prioritizes Employee Joy

Aha! product management team best workplace

Last December, I met up with a group of awesome people in Laguna Beach, CA. We ran along the beach together. Shared personal stories that made us laugh and cry. Ate some good food. Even spent time volunteering for local organizations. No, this was not a vacation with my oldest friends — it was the Aha! semi-annual company meeting. And it is one of the many reasons that this is one of the best places to work. Read more…

The Founder’s Paradox: How Do You Get Out of the Details When You Care More About the Details Than Anyone Else?

founders paradox details

Most founders care deeply. I know that I do. About everything that Aha! is and will be — the people and the product. About everything that does not go the way we want it to. I care about every little detail. Yet, the skyrocketing growth of the company means that I must not dwell on every little detail. Care, but do not care? I feel like I am being squeezed. Read more…

5 Years of Aha! — This Is What We Have Learned so Far

Aha! product management software company

Something different. This is what my co-founder Dr. Chris Waters and I had in mind when we founded Aha! five years ago. We had spent nearly 20 years working in Silicon Valley and building breakthrough products at both large technology companies and smaller startups. And in plain terms — we were successful in lots of meaningful ways but we experienced a lot we did not like in the process. Read more…

How to Spy on Your Team

spy on your team

The corporate spies are out there. Monitoring emails. Tracking phone calls. Even peeking into your computer. What is this covert operation? It is the company — the one you work for. I once even had an employer start backing up my computer automatically without telling me. Why were they afraid? There was no reason to be. I already backed my computer up regularly (per the company policy). Read more…

What Does Digital Transformation Really Mean?

what does digital transformation mean

Yes, it is true. I did recently write that I do not believe in digital transformation. Foolish? Maybe. But my point was a bit more nuanced. Improving technology and digital capabilities is not an end game. The goal is to deliver better customer experiences. Digital transformation is just one strategy that companies invest in as part of an enterprise-wide effort towards better serving customers and employees. That is the real objective. Read more…

Hey Boss: Your “Open Door” Policy Is a Joke

open door policy

The big boss strolls into the big corner office. “Remember, my door is always open,” they call out to the team. If this sounds like the start of a bad joke, that is because in a way it is. “Open door” policies are usually empty gestures. Because if you have to tell people that you are open and accessible, then it is probably not true. And you have a transparency problem.

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4 Ways Being Nice Is Hurting Your Career

are you too nice at work

Are we morally obligated to always tell the truth? What about telling a small fib with good intentions? White lies are one of those things that give deep thinkers fits. Soften or obscure the truth to avoid hurting somebody — it frequently happens at home and at work. And it is a problem. Because this ends up doing more harm than good. Read more…