Joel Spolsky Webcast on Creating Social Web Resources

Joel Spolsky webcast on creating Stack Overflow (with the goal of providing answers to professional programmers) using ideas from anthropology. Once again he provides great information. This is particularly interesting for software development but also just a good presentation for understanding the importance of customer focus and systems thinking. What they focused on and did: […]

Management Improvement Carnival #198

The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival has been published since 2006. The carnival, has been published twice a month – but will now be published once or twice a month depending on how things work out. I hope you find the post included in this edition interesting and find some new blogs to add to […]

Your Online Presence and Social Networks for Managers

This month Paul Borawski asked ASQ’s Influential Voices which social networks do quality professionals use? TL;DR My bottom line suggestion is to first start with blogs (get a feed reader and subscribe, read and comment on blogs). Next join Reddit and subscribe to the sub-reddits you are interested in, and participate. Next start your own […]

Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog Carnival #173

The Curious Cat management carnival is published 3 times a month highlighting some recent management blog posts. The posts generally focus on the areas I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Improvement Guide since 1996. I added a page on our blog showing the most recent blog post from a large number of […]

Management Improvement Carnival #130

The management blog carnival highlights recent management blog posts 3 times each month. The posts generally focus on the areas I have focused on in the Curious Cat Management Improvement guide since 1996 (Deming, lean thinking, agile software development, respect for people, leadership…). Autonomy: condition for continuous improvement by Rob van Stekelenborg – “Teams that […]

Innovation in Thinking and the Web

Investing time and effort to attract “the right kind” of contributors to a news site He thought we needed to make the same shift with our users – instead of seeing having to engage with them digitally as a time-consuming and resource eating problem, we should be seeing our audience as an asset to the […]

Customer Focus and Internet Travel Search

The internet should make finding airline flight information easy. Instead it is a huge pain. Hipmunk has taken on the challenge of doing this well, and I think they have done a great job. This video provides an excellent view of both web usability and customer focus. This is a great example of focusing on […]

Google Innovates Again with Google Wave

Google Wave is a new tool for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year. They are developing this as an open access project. The creative team is lead by the creators for Google Maps (brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen). A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work […]

Curious Cat Management Carnival: Select 2008 Highlights

Over the last couple of years the quality of management material available online has increased dramatically. And blogs have provided much of the best management material. The Curious Cat Management Improvement Carnival now provides highlights 3 times a month. Each carnival post highlights recent management related posts from several management blogs. And for the 2008 […]

What to Wear to an Interview

Response to What to Wear for an IT Job Interview?. Is this just a huge bit stereotypical? Who can blame them for not wanting to bother with their wardrobes? Fashion is fickle. Fashion is expensive. Fashion requires imagination and inspiration, and let’s face it, after a long day spent debugging code or trouble-shooting computer problems, […]

Giving Away Your Service for Free on Weekends

Copilot is a cool application that lets you control someone else’s computer. So you can receive technical support remotely. You let someone access your computer and copilot takes care of the sometimes very complex task of linking the two computers up (getting through firewalls, etc.). You can use it to fix your parents computer after […]

Management Improvement Carnival #6

Management Improvement ideas from around the web: Lean Q&A by Jamie Flinchbaugh – “There is no recipe, no three-ring binder approach to lean. If someone brings you an approach and says “here is the best way to implement lean,” please, run away.” Seven steps to remarkable customer service by Joel Spolsky – “The superficial and […]

Seven Steps to Remarkable Customer Service

Once again Joel Spolsky spins a great post with, Seven steps to remarkable customer service. Read it. It’s crucial that tech support have access to the development team. This means that you can’t outsource tech support: they have to be right there at the same street address as the developers, with a way to get […]

The Psychology of Too Much Choice

An understanding of psychology is one of the four components of Dr. Deming’s management system. This understanding lies behind practices such as: driving out fear, respect for people and eliminating slogans. In an organization all the components (practices, processes, investments, training, people, suppliers, customers…) interact with the others. Dr. Deming tried to develop a system […]

The IT Iceberg Secret

The Iceberg Secret, Revealed by Joel Spolsky It’s pretty clear that programmers think in one language, and MBAs think in another. I’ve been thinking about the problem of communication in software management for a while, because it’s pretty clear to me that the power and rewards accrue to those rare individuals who know how to […]


From the “you call this agile?” department by Joel Spolsky: Yes, context switching is painful. Yes, you need to take into account the costs of context switching when you interrupt someone’s work. But every decision has pros and cons and when I hear a manager who is just talking about the cons without considering the […]

Dangers of Extrinsic Motivation

The Econ 101 Management Method by Joel Spolsky. Once again Joel presents interesting ideas very well – past posts referencing Joel. But when you offer people money to do things that they wanted to do, anyway, they suffer from something called the Overjustification Effect. “I must be writing bug-free code because I like the money […]

Interviews with Innovators

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days by Jessica Livingston is an interesting looking book to be published in a few months. The book consists of interviews with founders of technology companies exploring the initial efforts to create a new company. Interviews include: David Heinemeier Hansson (who many of our readers may not have […]