Ten lessons I painfully learnt while moving from software developer
to entrepreneur/CEO role

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Text of Ten lessons I painfully learnt while moving from software developer
to entrepreneur/CEO role

  1. 1. @wseliga#DevoxxPL Platinum Sponsors: Ten lessons I painfully learnt while moving from software developer to entrepreneur/CEO role Wojciech Seliga Spartez co-founder & co-CEO, @wseliga
  2. 2. About me
  3. 3. Why I am here Audycja zawiera lokowanie produktu :)
  4. 4. Dont bring me problems. Bring me solutions. #0
  5. 5. Negative thinking destroys your brain
  6. 6. But vs And
  7. 7. Negative thinking destroys people around you Shit, shit everywhere Flowers, owers everywhere PhotobyOliverWild,CCBY2.0 Photobyearl258,CCBY-NC2.0
  8. 8. The entrepreneur's dilemma #1
  9. 9. The entrepreneur's dilemma # Maintaining friendships. # Building a great company. # Spending time with family. # Staying t. # Getting sleep. Pick 3 https://twitter.com/randizuckerberg/status/145030699966136320
  10. 10. Dealing with the entrepreneur's dilemma 0 25 50 75 100 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Maintaining friendships Building a great company Spending time with family Staying t Getting sleep
  11. 11. The focus means NOT doing things #2
  12. 12. Focus Atlassian does not negotiate prices, does not do customisations, does not implement their products on a customer site. IKEA does not manufacture custom stuff, does not offer transport, does not provide assembly service (just via partner companies) Twitter does not support tweets longer than 140 characters* PictureofihtathoCCBY-NC2.0
  13. 13. PPHU EXIM Photo by One Way Stock - CC BY-ND 2.0
  14. 14. Time - the most limited and valuable resource Founders time is super precious - treat it as it would cost 1000 USD per hour. Then think if its worth spending on what you spend it. Everything you do, own, think about or care for introduces a tax. This tax sooner or later will kill you, unless you start limiting what you do, own, think about or care for. Meeting Room
  15. 15. If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old PETER F. DRUCKER Photo by AP Photo/Claremont Graduate University
  16. 16. (De)Focus - our case Services for Atlassian - interesting for engineers & quite protable, limited short and mid-term risk, no diversication Consulting & custom development - very exciting, access to eld market, source of ideas and real requirements, good money, not scalable, could be risky and tiresome (e.g. migrations scheduled for Easter) Training services - great money vs time spent, not scalable, no risk Own products - risky, potential highest ROI, most emotionally rewarding, scalable. Another company One company
  17. 17. Focus vs. Pivot
  18. 18. An idea alone is worth nothing, the execution is worth everything #3
  19. 19. NDA protecting ideas Photo by Marc Levin - CC BY 2.0
  20. 20. Stupid ideas, great ideas It really does not matter
  21. 21. Even God himself created the world in 6 iterations! Iterative Execution Photo by wackystuff - CC BY-NC 2.0
  22. 22. Iterate, You Fools! Learn and Adjust!
  23. 23. Failure Permitted Zone Photos courtesy of SpaceX - public domain! Cost of failure is close to zero
  24. 24. Automation introduced too early is a waste #4
  25. 25. Our story - waste at Spartez
  26. 26. Problems with automation Once automation is introduced it removes us from better understanding of given process (unless we keep paying close attention to it). If its too early Automating of a bad process does not make it any good. Usually given process wont survive the initial contact with the battleeld, automating it too early is then a pure waste. There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efciency, something that should not be done at all., Peter Drucker
  27. 27. Too much order means seeking your comfort zone #5
  28. 28. If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough MARIO ANDRETTI Photo by Legends of Motorsports - CC BY-SA 2.0
  29. 29. Engineers seek Order By default engineers want to see or establish an Order around them Software engineers want it even more, as the software is innitely exible - refactoring, renaming, code style, process improvement & automation, Clean Code, This is all good, but its also seeking your comfort zone - something where everything is under your control, everything is predictable, everything is safe Photo by Rich Renomeron - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  30. 30. Maintaining full Control and eradicating all Chaos is a very tough battle. Your competitors may be not be playing this game
  31. 31. The way how one ends, not begins, denes true professionalism #6
  32. 32. Prawdziwego mczyzn poznaje si nie po tym, jak zaczyna, ale jak koczy. LESZEK MILLER Photo by Adrian Grycuk - CC BY-SA 3.0
  33. 33. The beginning vs the end in practice browneld projects deployment documentation effective & timely support bug-xing security xes performance improvements handling incidents roll-backs and roll-forwards migrations, upgrades user training & onboarding greeneld project proof of concept evaluation of new technologies initial design planning inception (a la RUP) prototyping alpha versions rewriting redesigning rearchitecting While there is value in the items on the left, users & customers value the items on the right more. VS Thebeginning Theend
  34. 34. The most important skill for engineers is communication #7
  35. 35. Software Engineering is about Humans Engineering is about working with humans for humans (solving their problems) We are taught so little about how to work with humans - how to communicate Software development nowadays is a team sport teach explain convince listen understand warn surprise feel sympathise advise
  36. 36. Technical Skills Communication Skills
  37. 37. They all suck for 1:1 communication in comparison to old plain conversation Photo by Francois Bester - CC BY-ND 2.0
  38. 38. Half-products are worth far less than half. #8
  39. 39. Sure, its possible Developers have tendency to treat half-baked products as done. Half-baked means: those which still require installation, customisation, reading documentation (because they are unintuitive), conguration or even scripting/programming. Sure, its possible - is the mantra we love to use, but our customers hate. A lot is possible. Its even possible that you will be Polish president one day. Possible does not mean anything in software. It has to work here and now - ideally OOB, intuitively, fast. A product almost solving customer problem cost only a small fraction (if you are lucky) of what it could cost if it was solving entirely the customer problem.
  40. 40. Matching founders are key #9
  41. 41. Matching Founders Photo by Nick Royer - CC BY-SA 2.0 Photo by Konnor - CC BY 2.0 VS Matching = As different as possible with similar values and passions Matching Identical
  42. 42. (Theoretical?) Example 1. super strong technically, challenging everything and everyone, perfectionist, pessimist 2. bringing order & peace, totally reliable and responsible, predictable, realist 3. super fast builder & learner, caring for customers, mission-impossible person, optimist 4. inuencer, inspiring, having strong vision, focused on strengths & opportunities, idealist Photo from Xiaomi MIUI
  43. 43. Small and simple is easy Big and simple is damn difcult #10
  44. 44. Dealing with complexity is hard The simplicity needs constant care (our energy), complexity increases autonomously otherwise. One cannot achieve simplicity by adding things to already complex (or complicated) system. Simplicity is achieved by removing, not adding. When your organisation grows you are adding things. Its very difcult to remove anything. People think that adding is great and removing is bad. I am yet to see how to overcome it. Some simple development rules apply nicely: avoid ifs (corner cases), DRY (duplicate functions), name functions well and refactor. Its easy to kill diversity and innovation by the attempts to achieve simplicity by standardisation.
  45. 45. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. LEONARDO DA VINCI
  46. 46. Do not believe into magic bullets. The context is everything #11
  47. 47. So, do we software engineers suck as CEOs? understand technology - the best currently vehicle letting us change the world share knowledge, intensely collaborate (feel secure) have attention to details, are precise in setting and measuring goals (e.g. growth hacking) strive for simplicity are used to work with quick cycles with a short feedback loop - key to learn fast can fail fast inspire masses - bringing innovations from IT to all other industries Its not that bad after all. We have a huge potential! Software engineers: Leader Manager
  48. 48. People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do STEVE JOBS
  49. 49. wojciech.seliga@spartez.com @wseliga Q&A We are hiring in Gdask! Shameless plug