“Sort of like a walk in the wilderness, just not as refreshing.” That was just one of the hundreds of comments on my recent post about rude “animal” bosses. But I thought it perfectly captured the essence of a wild workplace. Many folks recounted their own experiences with beastly bosses. One reader made an especially salient point — that these animals can only thrive when the proper conditions exist.
I love fast food. It started as a teenager when I worked at McDonald’s in New Zealand. There were only a few locations back then and we were amazingly busy, with lines usually out the door at lunchtime. We made Big Macs as fast as we could — 12 at a time. Sure, the work itself was a little mundane. But it was strangely (and rewardingly) competitive.
I was inspired by my parents. Whether they were delivering food after a life event or shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor, helping those in need was part of their daily routine. The example they set led to my lifelong passion for volunteering and mentorship — a passion that led me to Aha!
Have you ever had a boss who seemed to leave behind a trail of disaster? I have. Too many times. There was the boss who threatened team members when he did not like an answer someone gave. The boss who chased the VP of Sales around the conference table when a major deal was delayed. And my favorite — the boss who was as spineless as a worm.
A friend approached me last year about starting a software company that would be an add-on in the Salesforce AppExchange. He was in the beginning stages and needed some advice. He had heard that he should have everyone he talks with about the business sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) to protect his idea. My reply? “No — but not for the reasons you might think.”
Think about your morning routine. I bet that you interact with dozens of products and companies within an hour of waking up. I know I do — from checking in with my fitness tracker to brewing a cup of locally roasted coffee. The companies behind each are wonderfully different. But they have at least a few common threads. Like a business model — whether they have documented it or not.
Ever work with someone who hogs all the credit? Or a parrot who never seems to have an original idea? I bet you can think of a few people who act more like zoo animals than the professionals they are supposed to be. And if you work in an environment with these types of characters, then you know that rudeness spreads like a contagion.
“We should not launch this.” It was a surprising announcement to make just 30 days into a new product management job. My friend had been hired to own several products at a telecommunications company. After doing her research, she could see that the newest product concept, which was woefully behind schedule and poorly defined, was going to fail.
1,021,678 is a big number. And it represents a lot of work. As of today, that is the total number of requirements you have created in Aha! — do the math and it’s roughly one new requirement every two minutes since we launched in 2013. Product managers around the world have been busy.
Building things is my favorite way to learn. Even better when I can build things with people who I can learn a lot from. I took my first programming course in college, which lead to my first Ruby on Rails internship at an analytics aggregation company. That summer, I spent every waking hour learning Rails.
More, more, more. It seems like everywhere you look, people want more. And this is particularly true when it comes to customers and feature requests. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. When customers have feedback, it is a good sign they are passionate about your product. So, listen to the voice of your users.
Nap pods. Stairs replaced with slides. A full-size Ferris wheel. No, I am not talking about an adult arcade hall. These are all real ways companies try to keep people happy. I even know someone whose company installed a ball pit. He said it was fun for a moment. But it ultimately became an office joke (and a great way to hide colleagues’ pens).