The Extraordinary Software Development Manager

Seth Godin’s post for March 12, 2012 Extraordinary Software Development Managers”

Rings true (as most things Seth Godin says).  He compares software development to building a skyscraper (versus throwing a party). In this brave new world (compared to the 1990’s) so many product concepts are built on a software platform. SaaS solutions and the recurring revenue they generate, are the rage, and the preferred business model in a digital world.

Godin’s comments mirror my own experience having worked with a variety of software-based companies over the past decade—some did well, some not so well. The basis of success for the winners centered on the development team–and the maturity with which the team and the software were managed.    Like a skillful architect the software development manager must piece together an ever-changing strategy providing investors and the company with a real plan including costs, timelines and deliverables.

Continue reading


Leadership Lessons from James T. Kirk

Come on, we all thought he was hot—those high-heel black boots and the way he was always able to get the blue skin girl with the mini-skirt and 1960’s hairdo!  Apparently James T. Kirk offered more than fashion advice as pointed out by Alex Knapp’s March 5, 2012 article in Forbes Magazine regarding Capt. Kirk’s leadership prowess James T. Kirk.

  • Never Stop Learning—We are never too old to pick up something new or change the way we approach a situation.
  • Have Advisors with Different World Views—maybe not a Vulcan but certainly someone with different skills or perspective. A sure sign of wisdom is surrounding yourself with people who are better at certain aspects of business than you are.  It takes some self-awareness and comfort with your own strengths and weaknesses but in the end you don’t want to be with a bunch of yes men.
  • Be Part of the Away Team—get your hands dirty doing the work and then the doers will respect your ability to lead. Kirk always put himself in harms way first. Employees respect your knowledge of the business and your understanding of what they contribute.  We all love that show “Undercover CEO”, same concept… Continue reading