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An exploration of the intersection of entrepreneurship, technical strategy, and innovation.


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Operation complicated-ness largely comes from inboxes: - Who can get work from whom? - How can that work get there? - How long does it take for the work in there to get noticed? Taming the inboxes is critical to make operations understandable. Ma... Continue reading

What is the smallest effective unit within a business? It's a team. How large are your teams? On paper, it might be 3+ people. In reality, it might actually only be 1 person. True teams will optimize the success of the team, even if it means th... Continue reading



For 6 years now, I've struggled with my business. > What the heck do I do? > What problems do I solve? > Who can I best serve? And... for each of those years, I've ultimately just shrugged my shoulders and said, "who the heck knows?". So, I bui... Continue reading



In business, in school, and in our own personal lives, we love to put things into boxes. We pretend that the boxes are independent. They have no bearing on any other boxes. This creates perceptions of unfairness or of "balance". We believe there i... Continue reading

In manufacturing, after assembly lines comprised of replaceable robots and human labor, the end products need to pass through one final stage: Quality Control. Once again, a mix of human labor, computer vision, and other machines examine the end pr... Continue reading

--- Warning... this is a continuation from the last email... catch up here if you missed it: [https://theaidia.com/newsletter/2024-04-22/](https://theaidia.com/newsletter/2024-04-22/). --- Estimates are a joke. Building without knowing costs is ... Continue reading



When you are planning out a large software endeavor (or even a small one!), you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Typically, this results in a long spec sheet with desired features of the software, which is then passed to the d... Continue reading

In software circles, there's a lot of talk about the "10x Engineer". This legendary engineer, however, doesn't appear to have a standard definition. Some claim she can solve any problem thrown her way. Some claim he is the only one who can truly m... Continue reading

Time Flies


One of my favorite clients pointed out this morning that I have not sent out a post in a minute. And wow... they were right! And... I was happy to hear that someone actually reads these haha! So, I'll get back to writing about the intersection of ... Continue reading



Do you want to be more eff...icient? Or, do you actually want to be more eff...ective?... Continue reading

First, what's a system? Put simply, it means you have different entities working together for some unified goal. So, a sociotechnical system is simply a system comprising of both social (human individuals, teams, businesses, etc) entities and tech... Continue reading

What's the sign of a powerful system? It creates change. However, not all change is necessarily good. Does the system you are building enable your team to focus on what they are best at? Does it encourage them to grow? Does it lift them? Or, doe... Continue reading

Systems and innovation have a tricky relationship. Systems create efficiency and standardization. They ensure a certain level of quality, and enable repeatable results. As a result, typically more can be done in less time. Innovation, to a certain... Continue reading

Nor an app. Nor employees, programs, SEO, or much of anything else really. What you need is simple: 1. The ability to sell to your target market. 2. The ability to decrease the your costs (time, money, stress, etc) associated with selling. 3. The ... Continue reading



One of the hardest truths to accept is that you are not an exception. Ignore the rules at your own peril.... Continue reading



Business is easy: 1. Find a way to make someone specific incredibly happy. 2. Find where you can find that kind of person. 3. Sell. When we start bolting on employees, processes, systems, and everything else to support that, we lose sight of the s... Continue reading

Oddly enough, when you cast a light onto your fear, a few things become clear: - The actual potential loss isn't as high as it felt - The actual probability of a loss isn't as likely as it felt - There are actual contingency plans which would make ... Continue reading



Being busy is not a sign that things are well in the business. Rather, it's a sign that it's a time to offload the parts of the business that you should not be doing. How? 1. Remove. 2. Standardize. 3. Automate. 4. Delegate.... Continue reading

1. Fail Fast 2. Fail Often 3. Fail Cheap But, above all, fail with intention.... Continue reading



Most of what we call maps in business are actually graphs. Consider a business process map: ``` [ invoice sent ] --- [ customer pays ] ``` We can draw it like this, and it means the same thing: ``` [ invoice sent ] | | | ... Continue reading



Being data-driven is an incredibly lofty goal. Many companies want to get to the point where the data leads them precisely where they need to go. Here's the problem: The data you choose is relevant to track, by definition, will influence what deci... Continue reading



When we think about the resources available to us, typically we come up with the following: 1. Cash 2. Connections 3. Time There's one more resource which I frequently fail to consider: Energy. There are some things in business which are complete... Continue reading

What is alignment? It's removing conflict, unifying purposes, and becoming whole. Alignment (and non-alignment) can happen at many levels. You can be aligned internally, with a partner, within your organization, with your clients, with governments,... Continue reading

Just One More


Perfectionism is inherently self-destructive. Especially so in software. There can always be more features added, more polish added to the user interface, more speed squeezed out, more, more, more... Until you have a paying user, more does absolut... Continue reading

It's really easy to get into a "chicken / egg" situation with time. 1. I want more time. 2. Getting more time requires an upfront investment of time. 3. I don't have enough time to make that investment. So... you end up feeling trapped and stuck. ... Continue reading

I encountered a post that claimed this: - The poor spend time to save money. - The rich spend money to save time. I'll add one more to the list: - The happy spend time and money on what they value. So... what do you value? More importantly, is ... Continue reading

When you have a problem, you can: 1. Fix it. 2. Distract yourself from it. 3. Change the context so it is not a problem. 4. Fix what caused the problem. When your customers have a problem, and meet you, which of the 4 are they coming to you for?... Continue reading

In business, we run into all sorts of situations. A majority are complicated, some are complex. The way we need to deal with both is completely different. Complicated problems typically involve many moving pieces, but ultimately can be tackled by ... Continue reading



While in uni, I took a "arts sampling" class that allowed me to visit museums, attend plays, and enjoy concerts around campus for credit. During a Jazz concert, the professor of Jazz History was invited to come up. He excitedly whipped his guitar a... Continue reading



I used to think risk and probability were the same thing. After all, on the surface, they look identical: > There's a 20% probability we are successful. > There's a 80% risk we lose our initial investment However, the key distinction is that pro... Continue reading

So, what if it goes all wrong? 1. What's the absolute worst that could happen? 2. How likely is it to happen? 3. What can you do to make it less likely? 4. What can you do to make the impact smaller? 5. Repeat. Asking, "What if it goes wrong" is n... Continue reading



Being seen as authentic is not the point. Being authentic is. ... Continue reading

Get back up


I have a confession to make. I completely missed yesterday's email. Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn't. However, it was pretty disappointing for me. Failure is a given. All goals, resolutions, systems, habits, kpis, okrs... we will screw them up ... Continue reading

A lot of people think that strategy is all about what you will do. And, yes, that's part of it. More important frequently, though, is what you will *not* do. - What will you not do today? Tomorrow? - What will you never do to your clients? To you... Continue reading



When in business, it's easy to fall into a trap of thinking: > I want to be everything to everyone. But the very attempt of doing so has wrecked countless businesses. Why? Inevitably, it means doing more and more work which costs rather than gra... Continue reading

While talking with one of my former professors yesterday, I had an unusual realization. Organization is recursive. Which is, to say, that if you look at the way things interact all the way down to the microscopic level, you will see the large beha... Continue reading

A few years back, my wife encouraged me to set up an Instagram. > Everyone has one, FB is dead. This is the new way to connect with people! So... I entered I was a 20-something male and immediately was bombarded by images and videos I wouldn't wan... Continue reading



Exponential growth happens slowly, then all at once. To the outside world, it looks like you came out of nowhere. They see an immediate brilliance. You see the opposite. The hours upon hours of work, sweat, inspiration, and failures. If a single ... Continue reading

We've all probably heard about chaos theory. A butterfly flaps it's wings in Ontario, causing a hurricane in Louisiana. Sounds pretty negative, doesn't it? The inability to predict third, fourth, and fifth order effects doesn't always mean that th... Continue reading



Pain causes us to choose. We can choose more distraction, more entertainment, more cut corners. Or... We can choose to change. This year, what will you choose?... Continue reading

> I really want to be there, I just don't feel motivated to do it. Can you see the paradox? Motivation, is the desire for some change. And so, when we say things like the above, we are really saying, I'm motivated, but I'm not motivated. If we di... Continue reading

Consider the difference between these two: > I want to lost 10 pounds this year. and > Every day, I will run for a distance. To begin with, it will be a quarter mile. Every week, I will increase the distance by a quarter mile. The first could be... Continue reading



What is the single most powerful enabler within a team and an organization? Trust. If your team has no trust, it is not a team. It is a group of individuals who are all working on the same thing. There will be failures in communication, redundant ... Continue reading

... everything looks like a nail. And we use that expression incredibly negatively. However, we have a family friend who has a chain saw (or five haha). And... he uses his chain saw to cut down trees of course. But, he also uses it to carve incred... Continue reading

At the end of the day, what do you want? Do you want to be managing a bunch of employees, working 80 hour weeks, taking burn-out vacations every quarter? Or, do you want something which runs itself, bringing in enough to provide for your family an... Continue reading



If you are operating in a low-trust environment, you need to have red tape up the wazoo, approval processes, and strict guidelines on what is and is not acceptable. What would a high-trust environment look like? Maybe more importantly, how can you... Continue reading

In programming, we are constantly naming things. As a kid, I pictured people like Darwin and other great explorers discovering new plants and animals, and I thought, "How cool would it be to name these things?" Turns out it's really hard. How do ... Continue reading

In general, there are 2 camps of people: 1. The Risk Averse. 2. The Thrill Seekers. Interestingly enough, you may fall into one camp in particular contexts, and in a different camp in other contexts. And, depending on the context, you feel fully ... Continue reading



I haven't been able to write much this week here: I've been completely reworking my training materials from scratch. Check them out at the [github repo](https://github.com/Aidia-LLC/training). It covers some valuable insights into my personal thou... Continue reading

Is it better to be an opportunist or an altruist? Alone, neither are great: a pure altruist has nothing to give, and a pure opportunist gives nothing Paradoxically, the most goodness comes from those who have both. Become an opportunistic altruis... Continue reading

I used to be really uncomfortable with selling myself. Everything I knew about sales came from stereotypes of sleazy car sales people: Selling was twisting the truth, hiding cons, being extraordinarily pushy, and so on. Turns out that everything I... Continue reading

> Complexity is the enemy! No. Complexity is not the enemy. The problem is the enemy, and complexity is a road block to solving it. With that understanding, let's dive into some types of complexity that come up: --- ### Complicated Complexity C... Continue reading

What is a valuable business? Is it just a business that generates a lot of cash? Value is subjective, so no... but what else is there? Consider these questions: - How much good is put into the world as part of the business process? - How much ti... Continue reading

Who owns what?


In any organization, you are going to end up with different divisions. These divisions each have well-defined areas of stewardship... Until you take a hard look at the boundaries. For example, take a look at AI. Within an university setting, you m... Continue reading

> You are here to be their friend. Not their pal. President Ivory, my church mission president, continued. > Pals are happy just hanging out. Pals get along great and always avoid the tough conversations. Pals don't create change. > > Friends will... Continue reading

Growing up, I'd always thought that success was the quantity of money you had in hand and the quantity of money you had coming in. Maybe it's the American culture I grew up in, maybe it's from playing too much Monopoly or Life, maybe it's from somet... Continue reading

I was so frustrated. I'd started working on learning a new challenging (for me) piece of music in my piano lessons as a kid, and I came up with something clever: > I'll split the song into different chunks and practice each separately. Then I ju... Continue reading

At first it looks like a contradiction - doesn't faster mean sooner too? Not necessarily. Consider the following 2 situations: --- ### 1. Faster Company needs 3 widgets. They work on all 3 widgets at the same time. All 3 widgets are completed ... Continue reading

I remember moving into an old home. The water heater was clear in the basement, and I took showers in the bathroom upstairs. I'm pretty sure the plumbing must have been wild - I would adjust the temperature and would need to wait a good 2 minutes or... Continue reading

When meeting with entrepreneurs exploring a new digital venture, we typically go through a process which looks like this: 1. Initial Excitement and Huge Expectations 2. Technical Exploration 3. MVP / MVBP Refinement 4. Quote Review 5. Realization o... Continue reading

Dream Paths


There are times when we make a huge pivot in our lives. We make a bet, take a risk, go all in on something uncertain. The expectations are huge, the excitement is tangible, and we blaze a path forward. And then... we fail. We don't just fail once ... Continue reading

Let's chat for a minute about rebels. Depending on your upbringing (including how much Star Wars you grew up with), rebel may either have an extraordinarily positive or negative connotation with it. And that's fine. For me, rebels bring a mixed ba... Continue reading

Every industry has best practices. Some of these best practices have been around for literal centuries. For example, double entry in accounting has been around since about the 13th century. It's battle tested, it's effective, and it will likely be a... Continue reading

After talking with dozens of entrepreneurs, business owners, and people with big ideas, it became clear that there's a great divide in opinions. One group is passionate that execution beats strategy any day. They have their heroes, case studies, an... Continue reading

I originally was in college for economics and finance - I'd never touched code in my life. And, my first semester, I had a crazy libertarian economics professor hand out bags of candy to all 150 students in the class. He then asked us to write down... Continue reading