Cherry picking; Not just for code


Dan Pupius and Michael Galpin had some good comments on my thoughts on playing the ‘where I came from’ card.

Specifically, “hey, I have learned a ton from ex-[company] people” and “also don’t have an aversion to doing what a successful company has done”. Very valid points.

I was making a commentary on a narrow condition that I have seen.

I did it this way at [successful company] so obviously that applies here

The same play book doesn’t necessarily make sense at different companies. At Palm I felt like too many people wanted to beat Apple at its own game, when instead we should have been more focused on changing the game.

We are hiring Bob….. he will be great as he worked at [successful company]

Bob may be great (because of, in-spite of, or not related to any work that he did at that company). Making assumptions based on the team colors that someone wore has been a mistake I have seen.

This is all common sense. Blind faith isn’t the way to go, but you should cherry pick the best ideas and keep your eye on the ball.

If it is obvious, how have I seen this come up?

#1 Not qualified to judge. Have you seen the new startup founder introducing their tech guy and pretty quickly you realize “oof, oh man, this isn’t the right person.”

#2 Human psyche. We want the person to be this amazing force that will come in and bring in the wisdom from a far away land! Maybe sometimes we are a lil weak and that pushes us over the edge.

This is the fine line. I believe in people (over process or anything else). For that to truly work in a company, you must have the right hiring to make sure that the judgement is in place. Then, if you get the right people in, life is easier as you can fully employ “trust your people” and good things will happen.

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