David Schneider, ServiceNow’s President of Customer Ops, shares his sales performance metrics for SaaS companies that are aiming for hyper-scale. For the last 5 quarters:

    • Total Contract Value Attainment
    • Total Managed (ACV, Renewal, PS)
    • Net New ACV Attainment
    • Sales Quota Achievement
    • Q/Q Growth
    • Y/Y Growth
    • Cumulative Total New Customers
    • New Customers (incl. losses)
    • ACV Repeat Customers % to Net New
    • Cumulative Total Net Customers
    • New Customers
    • # Reps On-Board
    • Average Productivity per Sales Rep
    • Sales Rep Annualized Attrition Rate
    • Total Sales Annualized Attrition Rate

Julie Zhuo is the vice president of product design at Facebook. In her book The Making of a Manager, Julie draws on her own experiences as a first-time manager and provides practical advice for those who want to become good managers.

Focus on improving the outcomes of a team instead of daily activities

When Julie Zhuo just became a manager of Facebook’s design team, she thought her job was to hold meetings with team members to follow up on their progress at work and provide feedback. It takes almost ten years for her to realize that a manager should strive for improved outcomes from the team and focus on broader issues such as how to help her team to work more effectively together instead of daily activities.

Andy Grove, in his book High Output Management, believes that a manager’s output = The output of his organization + The output of the neighboring organizations under his influence.

Be activity-specific and bring in multiple perspectives when giving feedback

Providing feedback to team members is indispensable to the job of a manager. But sometimes your criticism might hurt someone’s feelings. Julie suggests two solutions for this situation. One way is to keep your feedback activity-specific. You can provide feedback specific to a task just completed by email or face-to-face communication. This way guarantees the criticism is only for the work someone has done, not the person. The other way is to bring in multiple perspectives. Besides your own opinion, you can share with the team what others think.

Start meetings with purpose and end with outcomes

Meetings are usually considered as bureaucratic and a waste of time, especially when being held without a purpose. An agenda is not enough to make a productive meeting. In addition, the meeting organizer needs to have a clear idea of the outcome. The outcome could be to present and share information or to make a decision. In the latter situation, everyone who is going to be impacted directly by the decision should attend the meeting. The manager should ensure all the relevant information is presented objectively, and everyone’s voices are heard and equally respected.

Plan in advance before making recruitment decisions

Hiring should not be taken as finding someone to fill a vacancy as soon as possible regardless of the skills and experiences. It should be planned in advance. At the beginning of each calendar year, Julie creates a list of vacancies that needs to be recruited for. She suggests a few questions for managers to consider before tailoring their own recruit plans.

  • How many new recruits can you realistically hire based on your team’s priorities and budget?
  • What skills does your team need more? What skills does your team have in abundance?
  • How much experience should they have?
  • What personalities or attributes could strengthen your team’s diversity?

Imagine that you were a commander in one of the most violent battlefields in Iraq, and your decisions often had a significant impact on others’ lives. How would you lead? In the book Extreme Ownership, the authors, also former Navy SEAL task unit leaders, share their experience and insights of the success of Navy SEAL units, providing useful references for any organization that wants to succeed.

Take responsibility for failures

Jocko Willink, one of the authors, held all the responsibility for an accident where a soldier lost his life in friendly fire. By doing this, he managed to keep his job because his superiors knew good leaders take responsibility for mistakes and actively look for ways to improve. If the leader makes an excuse to pass the buck, his subordinates will then do the same.

Understand the importance of your mission

On the battlefield, when Willink was told that his elite team would be fighting side-by-side with the newly created Iraqi army, he doubted the capacity and loyalty of the Iraqi army as well as the correctness of the command. But later, he gradually realized this action could help the US forces to withdraw from Iraq. Then Willink passed his conviction onto his team, and then they finally accomplished the mission successfully.

Leaders should fully understand the importance of every mission and make sure every member is on the same page before carrying it out. If you consider the order received as questionable, think twice before speaking out against the plan. You may also try to seek explanations from your superiors.

Cooperate with your allies

“Cover and move” is one of the most fundamental Navy SEAL tactics, which indicates sometimes you need to cooperate with your allies. Leif Babin, the other author, failed to employ this tactic and put his team in extreme danger, which could have been avoided. Leaders should keep an eye on other teams that could provide strategic support instead of competing with them.

Stay effective by setting priorities

In Ramadi, Babin’s team was deep in enemy territory without backup. One team member was wounded and exposed. There was a bomb at the exit. Attention was required for a few problems at the same time. Babin calmly assessed the scenario, sorted out the top three priorities, and managed to escape from the dangerous situation.

In the battlefield where complicated situations often occur, leaders have to stay calm and find the optimal solution. That’s why “prioritize and execute” is thought as a useful principle. It is essential for leaders to decide on the top priority and then focus on it. After the problem is solved, you can move to the next priority and take action.

Identify and mitigate risks in advance

Before an operation to rescue an Iraqi hostage, Babin fully considered the potential target around the hostage, including explosives and guns, and moved forward as planned, mitigating all the risks.

Creating a comprehensive plan helps to identify and mitigate risks in advance and improve the possibility of success. Besides, leaders should keep members informed of these contingency plans. Concentrate on the risks that can be controlled and be aware that there are always some risks that can not be mitigated.

  1. build and ship the product
  2. find the product-market fit
  3. grow users as fast as you can consistently to achieve market leadership and defensible moats
  4. build an executive team and an organization that can operation without the founder
  5. go through the IPO and become an enduring public company

How to run a tech community?

8792 2020-01-29 12:07

Why do people need the tech community?

The composition of your tech knowledge intake

Landscape of Tech Media

Perception of Value-frequency

tech communities' perception of Value-frequency

In addition to disclosing the unknown unknown, the community discussions creating values in accessibility, building connections, and novelty.

Group Discussion Published Contents
accessibility low high
building connections more less
novelty high low

Case study: Value Proposition of Tech Communities

  1. For Utility
  2. For Fun
  3. For Career Growth

1. For Utility

Wechaty: a Bot SDK for Wechat Individual Account

Two-layer Biz Structure:

To Business Social CRM, AI-powered Chatbot
To Developer Bot SDK and Service Token

Other examples:

  1. Google play console discussion group
  2. Some AI platform discussion group
  3. Cross-platform dev tech group

2. For Fun

Discussion groups for specific topics posted in a popular online forum could attract hundreds of people once.

e.g., Blockchain Random Discussion Group

3. For Career Growth

Ex1. Seattle Data Science in Practice Group (WeChat 500)

  1. Focus on data science and tech in practice
  2. No random discussion
  3. Periodical sharing and meetup, e.g.
  4. Intro to Tableau data visualization
  5. Hands-on Spark Python
  6. Building an ML Model from Scratch
  7. Business Writing
  8. Computer Vision Industry Frontline

What kinds of discussions happen in the group?

  1. Article sharing and discussion
  2. Job opportunities (posting resume + hiring session)
  3. QA: Tech problems / solutions / best practices in daily work
  4. Theories and concepts
  5. Corporate ladder

Ex2. CS Career Hackers (Discord 1000+)

CSCH is a community ranging from learners to experienced software engineers who come together to discuss programming, interviewing, career advancement, and, ultimately, how to be better engineers.

  1. 501c3 nonprofit
  2. QA
  3. no politics, religion, or other controversial topics

What kinds of discussions happen in the group?

  1. QA (career, programming, machine learning, system design, coding challenges)
  2. moderation
  3. resume review
  4. ask a manager
  5. meetups

Blockchain and dev community

Challenges

  1. Utility value.
  2. Unverified market segment.
  3. Align topics with the company’s growth.
  4. Techies are not interested in generic marketing campaigns.

Solutions

  • Engineering Blog - that can be subscribed and separated from generic marketing contents for investors.
  • Discussion Groups - on Topics like:
    1. distributed systems
    2. blockchain
    3. IoT
    4. DApp
    5. FinTech
    6. SCM
  • Weekly Tech Review - sharing experiences and resources

Why does it align with the company?

  • brand-awareness - Like all the other engineering blogs, it helps the company build the engineering brand.
  • conversion - user base for engaging and even conversion. e.g. Hubspot’s inbound marketing.
  • partnership - deepen the relationships with our dev partners by co-host online / offline events.
  • private domain traffic / community economy - put our community dev tools (XRC20, XRC721) into wider audiences and grow with the private domain traffic
  • use cases collect problems or use cases that developers meet in their daily work

How to initiate the effort for Blockchain companies?

Twitter + Engineering Blog + Discussion Groups

  1. prepare ten engineering blogs first and write / post one per week.
  2. moderate Discord and WeChat groups on distributed systems, blockchain, IoT, DApp, FinTech, SCM, and so on.
    1. launch campaigns among study groups and forums
    2. kindly share with our techie friends and groups
    3. online + offline events with our tech partners
  3. trial and error by providing high-value contents and launching campaigns

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