Tom Preston Werner - Optimize for happiness

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  • 1. Optimizing for Happiness Tom Preston-WernerThursday, November 3, 2011Joke about oxford pubs
  • 2. Optimizing for Happiness Tom Preston-WernerThursday, November 3, 2011Joke about oxford pubs
  • 3. Thursday, November 3, 2011I cofounded GitHubErlang/OTP, Scala, Clojure, Node.js,
  • 4. Business is BrokenThursday, November 3, 2011Business is broken.
  • 5. ROBERT PROPSTThursday, November 3, 2011Let me give you an example.This is Robert Propst, he invented the cubicle in 1968.
  • 6. Thursday, November 3, 2011I used to spend my days in a place that looked like this.He must have been some kind of monster, to do that;to design a system that most efficiently crammed humans intooffices.
  • 7. Thursday, November 3, 2011Quite the contrary, he worked at Herman Miller.Back then it the Open Bullpen office was popular.This is the Action Office.
  • 8. Thursday, November 3, 2011So what happened to turn Propst’s ideas into this?Three things:* Economic way to pack people into offices* Depreciation laws* Optimizing for money
  • 9. “Lots of businesses are run by crass people who create hellholes. They make little bitty cubicles and stuff people in them. Barren, rat-hole places.” – Robert PropstThursday, November 3, 2011In fact, in his later years, Propst himself denounced what he hadinadvertently created.
  • 10. Thursday, November 3, 2011And now we know why Robert looks the way he does.
  • 11. What can we do about it?Thursday, November 3, 2011
  • 12. Motivations Cost Happiness Quality Control Speed Agility Efficiency ImpactThursday, November 3, 2011Here are a few things that motivate decisions.
  • 13. Motivations Cost Happiness Quality Revenge Speed Agility Efficiency GrowthThursday, November 3, 2011Of these, cost and happiness are the most interesting tome.Often at odds, but why?
  • 14. Investing in HumansThursday, November 3, 2011Investing in business decisions is generally wellunderstood.But when it comes to humans, a lot of traditionalknowledge is wrong.
  • 15. HARRY HARLOWThursday, November 3, 2011This is Harry Harlow.He’s was a professor at the University of Wisconsin.1949 did primate research with puzzles.Uncovered intrinsic motivation.
  • 16. EDWARD DECIThursday, November 3, 2011This is Edward Deci.He’s a professor at the University of Rochester.1969 Picked up Harlow’s research.
  • 17. Extrinsic vs Intrinsic MotivatorsThursday, November 3, 2011He’s done a lot of research on extrinsic vs intrinsicmotivators.Soma puzzles.Extrinsic means rewards for work you do.Intrinsic means being rewarded by the work itself.
  • 18. Optimize for HappinessThursday, November 3, 2011Ever since we started GitHub, we’ve tried to optimize forhappiness.Simply because a company with that philosophy is one I’vealways wanted to work for.It turns out that by doing that, you can optimize for success atthe same time.
  • 19. People Organization EnvironmentThursday, November 3, 2011I’ve identified three main areas where optimizing forhappiness is effective.
  • 20. People Organization EnvironmentThursday, November 3, 2011Companies are made up of people.People are the most important part of a company.How do you optimize the hiring process for happiness?
  • 21. Thursday, November 3, 2011I like to think of a company as a bit like a restaurant.
  • 22. Hire the BestThursday, November 3, 2011Hire the best people you can find.There’s nobody unhappier than someone you just had to fire.It is our responsibility to hire the best.
  • 23. Seek and Offer The 1% FallacyThursday, November 3, 2011Use your network of existing employees and friends.An offer is a powerful thing.“Seek and offer” is better than job post blast because it avoidsthe 1% fallacy.
  • 24. Tech Review via Open Source Free as in AWESOME!Thursday, November 3, 2011Technical interviews are mostly useless.
  • 25. Riddle Me Not How many barbers are there in the UK?Thursday, November 3, 2011Please please please stop with the riddles. In no circumstance isthat relevant to the job.
  • 26. Cultural Fit http://www.toothpastefordinner.comThursday, November 3, 2011You can’t judge cultural fit from code. We do our interviews ata bar or cafe.
  • 27. Keep them HappyThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 28. DAN PINKThursday, November 3, 2011This is Dan Pink. He has a great book called “Drive: The SurprisingTruth about what Motivates Us.”
  • 29. Mastery Conferences & Travel Kindle + Free BooksThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 30. Health Care Unmetered Sick DaysThursday, November 3, 2011Definitely optimized for cost by most companies.
  • 31. Vacations Also unmeteredThursday, November 3, 2011Responsibility and trust.
  • 32. Side ProjectsThursday, November 3, 2011In a cost optimized situation, side projects would be prohibited.Side projects allow us a distraction from everyday mission criticalwork.A collaborative canvas to experiment with others.
  • 33. Thursday, November 3, 2011My favorite GitHub side project is HubotHe’s our Campfire chat bot written in Node.js.He can do a lot of things.
  • 34. Thursday, November 3, 2011
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  • 42. Thursday, November 3, 2011
  • 43. What is the ROI of making my employees happy?Thursday, November 3, 2011
  • 44. People Organization EnvironmentThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 45. Flat Lattice OrganizationThursday, November 3, 2011Made famous by Gore Corp.- Flat- Team based- Personal initiative- No org charts- No chains of command
  • 46. Well De ned GoalsThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 47. Well De ned Goals Cheerio!Thursday, November 3, 2011Help developers work better together.- Main Site- Enterprise Site- Training- Jobs- Conferences
  • 48. Small TeamsThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 49. Small TeamsThursday, November 3, 2011Self organizing.Teams assemble around features based on desire to work onthem.
  • 50. Self Managed Autonomy!Thursday, November 3, 2011One of the tenets of Dan Pink’s keys to worker motivation isautonomy.That means being in charge of your destiny.Enhances intrinsic motivation.
  • 51. Leadership by Merit and AbilityThursday, November 3, 2011Self managed doesn’t me unmanaged.Leaders arise naturally.Company of the compelling argument.
  • 52. No TitlesThursday, November 3, 2011Titles are harmful.Reduce flexibility and interest in varied endeavors.
  • 53. No MeetingsThursday, November 3, 2011When was the last time a meeting made you happy?Meetings are optimized for CYA.
  • 54. Culture of ShippingThursday, November 3, 2011Shipping makes people smile.Getting your work in front of an audience is empowering.
  • 55. Purpose!Thursday, November 3, 2011At GitHub, we encourage shipping product as soon as reasonable.
  • 56. No Work Hours ROWEThursday, November 3, 2011Rigid working hours are optimized for control.Cali Ressler and Jodi Thompson, HR at Best Buy.Gap in 2008. Turnover dropped by 50%, engagement up 13%.Predicated on trust.
  • 57. Less BurnoutThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 58. What is the ROI of working together happily?Thursday, November 3, 2011
  • 59. People Organization EnvironmentThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 60. Campfire From 37signalsThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 61. Thursday, November 3, 2011Serious Room
  • 62. Thursday, November 3, 2011Danger Room
  • 63. Brick & Mortar From Earthen MaterialsThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 64. Thursday, November 3, 2011Had to be awesome. Held out 6 months to find the perfect spot.Open layout, creative space.
  • 65. STEVEN JOHNSONThursday, November 3, 2011This is Steven Johnson.He has a book called “Where do Good Ideas come From?”
  • 66. Good Ideas Liquid Networks SerendipityThursday, November 3, 2011Liquid = lots of nodes floating aroundSerendipity = nodes hitting each other
  • 67. Thursday, November 3, 2011MIT Building 20, built in 1943 as a temporary building for theRadiation Laboratory.Dozens of occupants.Everything from acoustics to guided missiles to model trainclub was here.Successful because of easy modification and fluidity.
  • 68. Thursday, November 3, 2011Microsoft Research building 99 built in 2007.Designed with flexibility in mind.Reconfigurable walls, glass walled naturally lit conferencerooms, and a huge atrium.
  • 69. Thursday, November 3, 2011Collaborative spaces built in.
  • 70. Thursday, November 3, 2011Open, casual meeting areas featured prominently.
  • 71. Thursday, November 3, 2011
  • 72. Thursday, November 3, 2011Flexible work space
  • 73. Thursday, November 3, 2011This is our bar. We like to collect fine whiskies and gins toshare with visitors and after hours.
  • 74. Thursday, November 3, 2011And this is the kegerator I built.But it’s not really about the beer.It’s about bringing people together in casual conversationwhere serendipitous ideas can be made.
  • 75. Thursday, November 3, 2011Drinkups let us connect with our users.Costs money but makes us happy and engaged.
  • 76. What is the ROI of creating a happy workplace?Thursday, November 3, 2011
  • 77. GitHubThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 78. Thursday, November 3, 2011These are my cofounders.We built everything by hand.
  • 79. Bootstrapped and ProfitableThursday, November 3, 2011No VC money means no outside interference.
  • 80. In nite RunwayThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 81. GitHub Employee CountThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 82. Thursday, November 3, 20111. We have lots of users.2. We have lots of repos.3. We have lots of famous projects.
  • 83. People Organization EnvironmentThursday, November 3, 2011When it comes to your people, your organization, and your environment...
  • 84. What is the ROI of happiness?Thursday, November 3, 2011What is the ROI on happiness?
  • 85. Thank You @mojomboThursday, November 3, 2011
  • 86. Questions?Thursday, November 3, 2011