In 1984 Microsoft decided to port MacWord to Windows. They expected it would take about one year. It did not. It took five. In one of the many, many great documents unearthed by the Comes v. Microsoft antitrust lawsuit is this great postmortem of what went wrong.
When there are failures at a small level, like a deployment goes wrong, there’s a meeting, and a blameless post-mortem written is shared publicly. Normally this happens quickly, while everyone’s memories are still fresh. When entires projects and movements fail, the opposite happens. There are no public post-mortems, and no meetings. A couple people leave the company, some blame is privately assigned, and the rumor mill goes into overdrive. At this level, a failure can mean a derailed career.
Here are my notes for week 2 of my product management education. This week is all about metrics, goals, and strategy, with a dive into Pirate and Heart metrics,
I’ve started an online Product Management class because, I dunno, I like learning new, non-coding things related to my job. I’ll be posting all my notes here.
In the aftermath of GE’s price fixing scandal, we learned that GE executives had a culture of winking while they told subordinates not to break the law. Sometimes. Each salesperson had to interpret the word and the wink, and the occasional lack thereof, according to their own internal rules. Effective communication was, effectively, absent.