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Twitter execs: We need to be focused on shipping
From: Kevin Weil
Date: Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 10:29 PM
Subject: Three updates, and a challenge
To: Alex Roetter
Alex and I wanted to provide a few quick updates on things we're working on as we head into Thanksgiving break. We'll try to write notes like this every few weeks so that you all have the same context we do, and so that you can all provide feedback on the direction we're going and the decisions we're making.
On a personal note I want to say, having been in this role for about a month, I couldn't be more excited about Twitter's future. I told the world at Analyst Day that they're going to see a cadence of product releases from us over the next 12 months unlike anything they've ever seen. It will be a combination of tactical execution and bold moves, and I'm very confident we're going to make that happen.
With that, on to the updates:
1. Shared Goals. We're working very hard with the consumer team leadership to identify shared goals—likely focused around growing daily active users—that all consumer teams, not just growth, will work towards. To be clear, this does not mean that we aren't engaging in bold, long-term thinking, it just means that we have a clear metric by which we prioritize the work we do and measure the impact we're making. We'll have a portfolio of short- and long-term approaches to growing daily active users, but growing our base of users who derive daily value from Twitter is everyone's goal.
2. Teamwork and Ownership. One thing we all can get better at is cross-team collaboration and communication. It's inevitable that projects will cross team boundaries, and the only way we'll accomplish big, bold things is by working together. We've noticed a pattern where some teams proactively limit their own scope, because they don't believe they can accomplish projects with other teams. Other times teams aren't receptive to collaboration. We want to change this, and we are going to change this. The shared goals we discussed above will be the foundation. But ultimately it's on every person at this company to make cross-team collaboration happen smoothly and efficiently. We've got to have confidence that we can do it, and then just go dive in with another team and make it happen. It's not solved by Alex and I waving a magic wand, it's an honest process of teamwork, collaboration, give and get, but we have to get good at it if we're going to achieve big things. Our challenge for each of you is: don't look for a reason not to do something, or convince yourself it's someone else's problem. Instead, fill in the gaps between teams, runs towards problems and proactively solve them. You'll delight our users, and your fellow Tweeps, if you do so.
3. Infrastructure PMs. One change Alex, Adam Messinger, and Utkarsh have proposed, which I wholeheartedly support, is the opportunity to bring a product lens to our infrastructure/platform team projects. Twitter's user-facing products and services rely on a significant amount of internal infrastructure—storage and serving systems, analytics platforms, logging, observability tools, data center utilization optimization, and more. These are products just like our iOS and Android apps are; it's just that all the customers happen to be developers and teams at Twitter. We're going to start looking for a product director (reporting to me, paired with Utkarsh) and a small number of PMs to bring an enhanced customer focus to some of our most critical internal systems and infrastructure. This is not a TPM role—Google has a PM on BigTable, Amazon has PMs on AWS, and this is much the same idea. Stay tuned!
Finally, we are going to demand more of each and every one of you starting now. We must be far more driven and focused on one thing: shipping high quality products quickly and often, all in service to our ambitious OKRs (company level down to roster-team level). Not everything that launches will succeed, but, if we are always prioritizing work that matters, eventually we will be successful against our OKRs. This focus is the most important thing we can do.
Due perhaps to historical reasons, or pattern matching that no longer is valid, or perceptions, too often we see people focused on other things. For fear of retribution, or concerns over getting in trouble, or looking good, or managing up, we often see teams that are saying "No" or leaning back more than they are charging hard and doing their best work. At the end of the day all that matters is shipping high quality, important work, early and often, learning from what we do, and iterating.
The best teams bust through any roadblocks in their path. All of us must think about this every single day we come in. If you ever don't know how to get a roadblock out of the way, escalate to your manager, your manager's manager, all the way up to Alex and myself if needed. Our goal is to eliminate roadblocks so that we can all do the best work of our lives at Twitter.
We are going to transform this company through all of our hard work. We couldn't be more excited to be on this journey with all of you.
As always, comments and questions welcome on all of the above. Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Kevin and Alex
[This document is from In re Twitter Inc. Securities Litigation (2022).]
Elon Musk emails Tesla employees
From: Elon Musk
Date: Monday, October 4, 2021
Subject: Please Note
If an email is sent from me with explicit directions, there are only three actions allowed by managers.
1. Email me back to explain why what I said was incorrect. Sometimes, I’m just plain wrong!
2. Request further clarification if what I said was ambiguous.
3. Execute the directions.
If none of the above are done, that manager will be asked to resign immediately.
Previously on @TechEmails
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