My name is Zef Hemel. I use writing as a tool to structure my thinking, to reflect, and adapt as a result. I’m transparent by nature, and have found that sharing the things I’m reading and thinking about — generally around the topics of technology, management and leadership — is not only helpful for myself, it can helpful for others as well. And often, in response, people point me to things I wasn’t yet aware of, or challenge my ideas or conclusions. Now, that sounds like win-all around. Welcome to Zef’s Musings.
Latest Musings 🤔
In April I wrote about the No More Feedback book. Ever since it’s been in the back of my mind, and I’ve played with and researched some ideas on this topic. Let me share some of my musings and insights. A brief recap of the core idea of “No More Feedback” (in case you haven’tContinue reading “More Thoughts on Alternatives to Feedback”
In a previous company, I had an engineer work on a feature for the better part of three months. The feature was well-specified, all requirements were clear. When the work was done, and the feature delivered, a demo session was organized. As the product manager demoed the feature, describing the scenario in which our customerContinue reading “No More Requirements”
Last year I wrote a few words about the “Time to Value” metric mentioned by Adrian Cockcroft in his “Innovation at Speed” talk at Re:Invent last year. This talk is about how to get better at software-based innovation (obviously, this involves using the cloud heavily — that’s why AWS is talking about it). Since in OLXContinue reading “Making Sense of “Time to Value””
“The world is burning, let’s respond with a new logo and nicer fonts!” — nobody, ever Let me spend a quick couple of paragraphs on what happens behind the scenes when a large company deeply invests in a rebranding, and then, unexpectedly, is faced with a completely new reality. I thought it would be worthContinue reading “Launching a Rebranded OLX: Why Now?”
Sorry for the link bait title. It was either this or “27 ideas on how to make better decisions,” and I’ve developed a spam filter in my brain that filters out titles with numbers in them. Ok, let’s go on topic. A while ago I wrote about well-considered decisions. I argued documenting decisions in aContinue reading “The Great Decision Purge”
In a previous post I wrote about the “No More Feedback” book. I’m not done with this topic yet. In fact, I skipped a concept Carol Sanford focuses on quite a bit in the book: your essence. I realize how hippie this may sound, but as usual: bear with me. So, dear reader, let’s continueContinue reading “Your Essence”
TL;DR: I’m deprecating Zef.me but it’s somewhat stuck on Medium with annoying to migrate links. The 100x Engineer content may move here too in time. I know. I launched The 100x Engineer a while ago, and I’ve had Zef.me (previously under a different domain) for over 15 years. But actually, Zef’s Musings isn’t something newContinue reading “Dude, another site!?”
At OLX I send out a weekly update email every Friday. It is an attempt to be transparent about what I’ve been working on that week and helps me reflect. Sometimes I also muse a bit on more broader topics I’ve been thinking about, or books I’ve read. This is an excerpt of this Friday’sContinue reading “Zef’s Book Club: No More Feedback”
I sometimes joke that one half of my job is approving things, the other half is asking questions. Of course, asking any question isn’t all that hard, asking the right question is a skill. However, there are a few tricks. There are a couple of questions that prove valuable over and over. Let’s do someContinue reading “Is this the right problem?”
Or: How to fight the hierarchy of disappointment Chances are that in your company, once it hits a certain size, the hierarchy of disappointment makes an appearance — and, not to be hyperbolic about it, it is slowly killing your company. “What the hell is the hierarchy of disappointment!?” At the top of this hierarchy is the Business. In the Business we identifyContinue reading “A Seat at the Table”
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