Friday, March 4, 2011

About this blog

This introductory post talks about the type of information you will find in this blog.

I will start this blog by talking about management principles I learned from my couple of decades of experience running product teams. These are lessons from the trenches, not abstract academic musings. I have worked in groups that grew from being startups to multi-billion dollar industries with hundreds-of-millions of customers. There are insights to gather from those experiences. I have also worked in groups that … well, ahem … failed. Again, these groups taught me what to avoid. Both sides are important – you see, the value of light is apparent only when you know darkness.
Over time, I hope that this will not be just my blog, but yours as well. We can all benefit from our combined years of experience that cover virtually every business scenario. I invite you to suggest topics you want to see in the blog. You are welcome to write too – just leave me an email. My email alias is at the end of this post.
This blog is different from other management blogs in three respects:

Difference #1: It is about you.
Most business articles look at business problems from the company’s viewpoint. This blog is for you, whether you are an employee, a supervisor, the chief executive, or an entrepreneur. Regardless of how high up you are in the organization, there is a difference between you and the firm. 

Difference #2: Use of Logic.
In almost all my posts, you will find that my assertions are backed up by reasoning that tries to explain why a certain approach works and why a different approach doesn’t.  Now, business is not exact science, so we are not talking mathematics here. However, business, as it matures, is moving from being an art to being a science.

Difference #3: Pragmatism.
This blog is intensely pragmatic – the tips are designed to be used in work situations. The high-pressure, high-stakes environment of business in the trenches truly tests management theories found in business textbooks.
Some management theories survive this stress test and apply remarkable well in the trenches. We describe those principles in this blog. Sometimes however, management practice deviates from academic theory – and we will investigate the causes of such discrepancies.

How to Participate

Subscribe: A good way to keep up with this blog is by email or by RSS. To follow by email, look at the top of the right column. I do not see your email alias entered that way.
For RSS, use the method you are familiar with; or, go here to start.
You can also email me to get onto the mailing list; that way I will send you email when there is a new post. My email alias is at the end of this post.

Read: While on the site, you can go through the posts in two ways. One is to read like any other blog – the posts appear in reverse chronological order.
But what if you want to look at an older post? A good way then is to use the links in the “Read by Topics” section on the right column. Choose what you think is the most appropriate topic, and then go from there.

Contribute: I am hoping for a lively debate and I welcome differing viewpoints. We will all benefit from that diversity and richness. However, please keep the debate about ideas and logic, and not about people.

Focus on logic: When posting, please include your own experiences, and your own reasoning behind your assertions. Don’t fall back on opinions, either your own or someone else’s.

No spam: I will summarily delete all spam posts.

Future topics: If you want to post your own article, or if you want me to post on a certain topic, please email me or leave a comment.

No copyright: Anything you post or comment on this board will be publicly available. So you have no copyrights, no intellectual property rights on what you write on this blog. If an idea is valuable to you, do not share it in this blog.

Disclaimer:  I will end a bit of a disclaimer. This blog will have many viewpoints, each viewpoint shaped by a slightly different experience. When applying these ideas to your own situations, exercise your own judgment. We cannot be held responsible for consequences resulting from the application of these principles. In short, use this site at your own risk.

Email Back: My email alias is the name of this blog (managementtipsfromthefield) followed by the ‘at’ sign and then