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2011 Trend Micro Keynote - Innovation & Inspiration
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2011 Trend Micro Keynote - Innovation & Inspiration

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This is a keynote given on Oct 21, 2011 to kick off the 2011 Trend Micro Engineering Summit at the Tech Museum in San Jose. The focus is on how to build a culture of innovation, inspiration, and ...

This is a keynote given on Oct 21, 2011 to kick off the 2011 Trend Micro Engineering Summit at the Tech Museum in San Jose. The focus is on how to build a culture of innovation, inspiration, and distributed decision making at technology companies.

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2011 Trend Micro Keynote - Innovation & Inspiration 2011 Trend Micro Keynote - Innovation & Inspiration Presentation Transcript

  • Innovation & InspirationEmpowering Distributed DecisionsAdam NashOctober 21, 2011
  • Steve Jobs “We don’t have an innovation process. We hire good people.”
  • ConceptsDistributed SystemsRisk ToleranceHackdays
  • Distributed Systems
  • Optimus Prime “Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing” -- Revenge of the Fallen
  • Distributed SystemsHigh parallelizationLoose couplingN-tier architecturesFault toleranceMassive scalability
  • Distributed Systems High parallelization Loose coupling N-tier architectures Fault tolerance Massive scalabilityWhy don’t we build organizations this way?
  • What do we do instead?Linear processes, without parallelizationTight coupling, often with single points of failureFault tolerance generally limited to under utilizationExtremely limited scalability, even with winning teams
  • What do we do instead? Linear processes, without parallelization Tight coupling, often with single points of failure Fault tolerance generally limited to under utilization Extremely limited scalability, even with winning teamsWho would architect a system like this?
  • Paradox of Delegation
  • Paradox of DelegationEveryone wants authority and decisionmaking delegated down to their level... butnot further.
  • Distributed Organizations Small, cross-functional teams empowered to drive their strategy, prioritization and execution Common, harmonized goals with unambiguous definitions of success High degree of independence between teams in terms of both process and technology Constant, redundant and consistent communication between teams and up-and-down the organization Clear definitions of exceptions, and protocols for escalation
  • Risk Tolerance
  • Optimus Prime “Sometimes even the wisest of men and machines can be in error” -- Transformers (1984)
  • High Risk, High Reward?Most common incorrect statement made aboutinvestment decisionsThe market does not reward risks that can bediversified awayStupid risk does not add valueIn a rapidly changing technology landscape, the risk ofnot moving fast enough is huge
  • High Risk, High Reward? Most common incorrect statement made about investment decisions The market does not reward risks that can be diversified away Stupid risk does not add value In a rapidly changing technology landscape, the risk of not moving fast enough is hugeWhat’s the right framework for risk in high tech?
  • Three types of risk Mortal risk If this goes wrong, the venture literally is over. Painful risk If this goes wrong, you face a significant issue with a key metric (market share, revenue, usage) Embarrassment risk If this goes wrong, you have to admit you were wrong.
  • Three types of risk Mortal risk If this goes wrong, the venture literally is over. Painful risk If this goes wrong, you face a significant issue with a key metric (market share, revenue, usage) Embarrassment risk If this goes wrong, you have to admit you were wrong.Most companies spend too much time onembarrassment & don’t take enough painful risks.
  • Painful Risk is Reality Technology is hyper-competitive Great projects often include commitments to deliver solutions to problems that haven’t been solved yet. The landscape changes so often, the “right solution” to a problem is often sub-optimal within a few years. Moderate risk with experimentation, iteration, and minimally viable products. Reward risk by sharing learning & owning the decision
  • Hackdays
  • Optimus Prime “Freedom is the right of all sentient beings” -- Transformers (1984)
  • LinkedIn HackdaysOne Friday, every monthProjects due by Monday,9amProjects displayed on intranetProjects publicly judged byexecutivesPrizes. Glory. Real Success.
  • Why does it work?In software, you don’t learn deeply by reading ordiscussing. You learn by doing.It takes dedicated time to experiment and learn a newplatform, new architecture, new algorithm.Small teams learn together.Inspiration is contagious.
  • Inspiration ➞ Innovation Most of the limits that we face we place on ourselves. Competition challenges and inspires Leadership behavior and incentives matter, as they can easily confirm or deny prioritization of innovation Culture of innovation requires peer-based inspiration
  • Inspiration ➞ Innovation Most of the limits that we face we place on ourselves. Competition challenges and inspires Leadership behavior and incentives matter, as they can easily confirm or deny prioritization of innovation Culture of innovation requires peer-based inspirationWe inspire each other to do our best work.
  • More on LinkedIn Hackdayshttp://blog.adamnash.com/2011/05/05/why-linkedin-hackdays-work/
  • Parting Thoughts
  • Organization, Risk & Culture Innovation begins with empowerment. Small, cross- functional teams have the data, the passion, and the ability to execute. Empower them. It’s easy to talk about being risk tolerant, but which types of risks, and when? Beware spending too much time on embarrassment risk. Don’t run systems at 100% of capacity. Engineers need some amount of bandwidth to learn, experiment and execute on new ideas.
  • Inspire Each Other
  • Thank youAdam Nashhttp://linkedin.com/in/adamnashhttp://blog.adamnash.com