Canfield Concessions (1988-1989)
- Loyalty is only ever earned.
- Treating people like children, makes them act like children.
- Punishing people for making mistakes, makes them hide their mistakes.
- When you aren't allowed to sit, your feet hurt at the end of the day.
- Lycra flatters no one.
Dunedin Montessori (1991-1993)
- It's easy to be lazy.
- The flexibility to manage your own time is invaluable.
- Having a job you can do stoned isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Earthlight Communications (1993-1997)
- Superb customer service can win you a lot of customer loyalty, but few will pay extra for it.
- Growing a small business into a large business requires taking enormous risks.
- Small, tight knit teams are vastly more effective than large ones.
- Good judgement under pressure is a learned skill.
- It's harder to teach people skills than it is to teach technical skills.
Internet Alaska (1997-2000)
- Working so hard that you don't sleep, doesn't make anything better.
- If the owners of the company don't get along ... run far away.
- When a company succeeds, there comes a time when the founders must delegate many of their previous responsibilities. Letting this moment slide by unnoticed, can be fatal.
- If you can't bill correctly, it doesn't matter how good your reputation or technology is.
- A great manager can make all the difference.
- Surviving the loss of a key person, is never as hard as you think it will be.
- A good manager puts their teams needs before their own and shelters their team from the pressures above.
- Sometimes managing your friends really sucks.
- Occasionally threatening to do the ridiculous will actually get things done.
- Experienced businessmen can be worth their weight in gold.
- There is an art to being pushy.
- Big dreams take big balls.
- After you've deployed your infrastructure is the wrong time to do your return on investment calculations.
- The one thing that managers hate, more than anything else, is being surprised.
- Working in a cost centre means that you, and your job, are at best a second priority.
- In a support role your job isn't to do your job well, it's to maximise other peoples ability to do their job well.
- Engineers don't like being wrong.
- If people don't understand what you do, and why it's important, you will not be rewarded.
- Being conscientious and staying focused is far more important than being smart.
- It's possible to get accustomed to anything. Make bloody sure you are aware of what you've become accustomed to.
Personal Telco (2000-2003)
- More than any other single thing, being successful at something means not giving up.
- Everything takes longer than you expect. Lots longer.
- In a volunteer based non-profit people don't have the shared goal of making money. Instead every single person has their own personal agenda to pursue.
- Unfortunately "dreaming big" is more fun and less work than "doing big".
- Process matters, how you get there will effect not only the end result, but how people feel about the end result.
- During conflict, email is guaranteed to evoke the worst possible response from someone.
- Nothing is as refreshing to the soul as receiving an unanticipated act of generosity.
- One of the primary jobs of a leader is to act as a "lightning rod" for discussion. As such it is often more important to have an opinion, than to have the correct opinion.
- When dealing with difficult situations it's vital to stay focused on the goal and not get pulled into emotional responses. My mantra was: "read, react, respond, reduce".
Weta Digital (2003-2009)
- If you avoid confrontation you can never fix things.
- If you don't ask for it, chances are nobody knows you need it.
- Most people are incredibly generous when asked directly for help.
- If you protect people too much, they will not learn the consequences of their actions.
- Every company is held together by the supreme efforts of certain key people.
- Effective communication is the largest challenge that every business faces.
- Curiosity is worth looking for, especially in technical interviews.
- Always assume that anything put in writing will end up on the public record.
- Glamour is only visible from a distance.
- You will be remembered as much for how you leave as for what you accomplished.
Network Appliance (2006-2007)
- The first time people see you in a suit, expect giggles.
- Meeting work mates face to face is an absolute requirement.
- The primary job of salesmen is to navigate their own companies bureaucracy on behalf of their customers.
- Travelling for work can in fact get old.
- Never try to out drink a salesmen.