Everyone is asking me about remote work right now. I just spoke with a CIO who is deploying 5,000 laptops to employees who have never needed one before. COVID-19 is forcing many folks to adjust. Since Aha! has always been an entirely distributed company, people are naturally curious to learn how our team moves so fast and efficiently. Yes, our teammates all work remotely — but there is also a new challenge for us too.Read more…
One of the strongest materials on Earth is also the lightest. I am talking about graphene — an extremely thin sheet of carbon atoms arranged in two dimensions. It is about 100 times stronger than the strongest steel and yet is remarkably lighter in weight. It conducts electricity and is almost transparent. Light yet strong. Electric yet clear.Read more…
What products do you love? How about one you truly adore? I ask every person who joins Aha! these two questions during onboarding and most people can only come up with a few. I posed this question to folks on LinkedIn recently and the results were the same — just a handful of companies listed. When probed for details, you would think it is the features of the product itself that people say they love. But you would be incorrect.
Team spirit. In theory, it refers to a positive company culture. But many companies treat it more like recruiting lip service than a value to actively foster. It has become just another corporate buzzword. Team spirit should not just be an abstract concept or a lure — it is something that is real and palpable. But what exactly does it look like?
What is the most important characteristic of a company founder? Perhaps a visionary mind, bold spirit, or strong work ethic. There is no single answer. But I believe there is one essential trait that is often overlooked. I am talking about patience — the willingness to pursue opportunities and solve challenges as they arrive. This is especially true when it comes to hiring.Read more…
Blank checks are rare in most companies. You typically need to first validate how your ideas will impact the business before you get resources assigned and receive financial support. And if you are a product manager, then you know how challenging it is to get leadership buy-in for a big new investment. But to build what customers really need, you must be able to show the executive team that your vision is sound.
Do you like tennis? If you like watching it live, you know that it is best to sit behind one of the players. Because if you are at mid-court, you may get dizzy snapping your head back and forth to follow the ball. And if you are a product manager caught watching angry volleys between a CEO and CTO, you also know the whiplash feeling.
It was our third Aha! onsite. Twice a year our entire remote team gets together in a destination location. This onsite was in Park City, Utah. After a week of meaningful sessions, many great meals, and even some bobsledding, everyone lingered to chat on the final night. As I looked at the talented folks on the team who were excited to be doing something different and great together, I could not help but feel a bit wistful.
Welcome to the office of your dreams. Here you will find your favorite snacks, cozy spots for your pets, and gear to play all the sports you love. Everything is expressly tailored to your exact specifications. You can even chat with family members while you are enjoying your freshly-brewed espresso. This may sound like a fantasy, but it is how our team at Aha! works every day. How?
I love the adventure of travel. I am always looking to see and learn something new about a place and the people who live there. Right now, I am writing this from Italy where I am vacationing with my family. Driving here has been an adventure itself. The streets are ancient — narrow, wildly winding, and punctuated by faded signage that confuses more than guides. There have been quite a few “Are we sure this is the right way?” conversations with my wife and kids.
The promises come every day. Some delivered straight to my email, some via LinkedIn messages, some through friends of friends of friends. I will admit — the promises are intriguing. There is a bit of flattery. But there is also some earnest admiration for what we are doing at Aha! and an interest in helping us do even more of it.
The idea of a “vacation” has always somewhat bothered me. Not because I do not like to travel. (I love exploring new places. I am actually writing this post while in the San Diego airport.) And not because I do not think people deserve a break. We all need time to focus on other obligations and hobbies. Mostly because the way we talk about vacations infers that you need to escape your regular occupation — completely.
We are living in uncertain times. You could say this has always been true — life is unpredictable and so are we. People are complex. And as much as technology has brought us closer together, it has also drawn in stark contrast all the ways that we are different. Social media, in particular, has been used to amplify those differences. There is confusion and chaos, conflict and turmoil. It can be hard to project calm strength when uncertainty rules the day.