Nothing is sacred

What’s wrong with voting?

Although voting seems like an intuitive concept, there are a few major flaws that seem to be getting worse over time.

Voting is never truly representative

We assume voting is fair because it vaguely reflects some total population that we are trying to represent. It’s impossible to exactly pin down what “representative” means. (Similar demographics, interests, incomes, ideologies? All of the above?)

[…]

Voting is a competitive game

Voting is a zero-sum game, meaning that whomever wins does so at the expense of someone else. As a result, voting promotes competition, not cooperation. Players might coordinate as a means of gaining an edge (“if you vote for X this time, I’ll give you Y next time”), but ultimately, “winning” the vote means beating someone else.

[…]

So. We have our current system, and we’ve identified some emerging problems that we need to solve for. What does that look like?

Designing for cooperation, not competition

If you’re an avid board gamer, you’ve probably come across a cooperative game or two, like Pandemic or Forbidden Island. In a cooperative game, you work with, rather than compete against, your fellow players to achieve a shared outcome…

Nadia Eghbal – The problem with voting

Update all sites on WordPress Multisite to https using WP-CLI

Need to update all of your sites on WordPress Multisite from http:// to https://? As it turns out, it’s not easily possible with wp search-replace but you can do it with wp eval-file instead.

Simply download the following http-to-https.php file and run:

wp site list --field=url | xargs -I % wp eval-file http-to-https.php --url=%

Read this for a better explanation of wp site list and xargs. Your output should look something like this:

Updated 'home' to 'https://wp-ms.test'
Updated 'siteurl' to 'https://wp-ms.test'
Success: Options updated for https://wp-ms.test
Updated 'home' to 'https://wp-ms.test/foo'
Updated 'siteurl' to 'https://wp-ms.test/foo'
Success: Options updated for https://wp-ms.test/foo

Effective product management

Too many projects go off the rails, and it always relates to:

  1. Deliverables.
  2. Timeline.
  3. People

Successful projects are a harmonious balance of these three attributes. Every failure is the result of some leg of the stool not holding its weight.

But all is not lost! A project can recover at any point by revisiting its first principles, and closing the identified gaps. Simply ask yourself some guided questions.

Have we identified all of the work to be completed?

Project management is the art and science of getting people to work together. And the more people involved in a project, the more challenging it is to get them headed in the right direction.

The project manager takes ownership of ensuring the project is deconstructed to its requisite components, and those tasks are delegated to their relevant parties. Any failure in this process is a failure of the project manager.

Identify the work to be completed, and make sure someone is responsible for it.

Does everyone have the information they need?

Communication is the most important skill for a project manager. It can make or break the entire project. It's the single most important fulcrum in the whole process.

The tool itself doesn’t matter. Slack, email, Zoom, Google Spreadsheets, Basecamp, Asana, and Jira are all forms of communication.

Communication ensures everyone knows what they need to know.

But this sounds like a bunch of heady mumbo jumbo?

You’re right. It’s up to you to translate these principles to the real world.

New person cc’ed into an email thread? Reply with a recap of the project to bring them up to speed.

Details and nuance getting lost in text? Offer a catch-up call to take advantage of higher-bandwidth communication.

Something not getting done? Make sure the task is actually defined, that there’s a person responsible for it, and that the person is capable of completing the work in the time allotted.

Leading a meeting? Share the agenda for review beforehand, set time limits for each discussion, and identify key takeaways and next steps that serve as the tangible results for the meeting.

General confusion about the project? Synthesize key details into a document everyone has access to, and keep it up to date.

Keep it up!

Four short links – March 19, 2018

Selfish altruism, "performance management", all sales decks are awful, and the opioid epidemic.

  1. A Selfish Argument for Making the World a Better Place (Kottke.org) — This has always been my raison d'être. See also: why resource utilization isn't zero-sum.
  2. A Performance Question (Rands in Repose) — Canonical manual for dealing with direct report performance.
  3. The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen (The Mission) — Structure your deck into a narrative arc.
  4. Andrew Sullivan on the Opioid Epidemic in America (NY Mag) — One of the hardest challenges for our generation.

rtParty 2018

Enjoyed India last week, both at rtParty (rtCamp's annual company bash) in Goa and hanging out at the Pune office earlier in the week.

Following Vivek through Koregaon Park to the rtCamp office.
Ain't no shame getting my caffeine fix.
Not a very flattering photo of a biz team meeting.
New rtCamp office is expected to launch March 18th.
Morning arrival in Goa, after 14 hour overnight train journey.
Bunch of scoundrels.
As you might imagine, I ate a ton of Indian food.
Xavier's Cafe all decked out for the party.
4:42 am, Dubai airport, amidst 40 hour journey home.

Bridgeliner

The folks at WhereBy.Us have soft-launched their new Portland media outlet, Bridgeliner:

Check out their first newsletter from yesterday and hit "Subscribe" in the top left if it's something you're interested in.

Sweet!