April 14, 2023

Operating principles

I’ve had a growing list of these in Notes rounding-up the rules I try and live by. I’ll add more as I find them (last updated 2023.04.15)

  • Spend more time really understanding the present and making it better than you do predicting or designing the future (the now is undervalued)
  • Make things better - always leave things in a better state than you found them
  • Decentralise the decisions, centralise the vision and principles
  • Automate routine stuff, leave the complicated stuff to humans
  • Find (or create) and reinforce positive feedback loops
  • Don’t worry about predicting the future, focus on understanding the present
  • Make it safe to change your plans
  • Do the work to make the work work
  • Avoid creating bottlenecks, never be a gatekeeper
  • Avoid big, attention-seeking, resource hungry projects: find the little things with unnoticed potential that don’t need lots of energy - set a few of these going
  • (Plan your) measure twice; cut (confidently) once - inspired by Chris
  • Your job is not to make decisions, it’s to ensure that the people around you are able to make good decisions
  • Power rarely acts against its own interests - recognise where power lies and where your plans are working with or against it.


February 11, 2023

My standard sourdough bread recipe

The purpose of writing-up this recipe is that I wanted to share a simple, no-nonsense daily bake that tastes great and doesn’t require a ridiculous amount of process or effort. I reckon there’s not much more than 15 minutes of working time required, and the final results are great.

Example outputExample output The crumb of the outputThe crumb of the output


Baking Bread Sourdough
January 5, 2020

Offsetting our carbon dioxide

Note: this is the second part of my notes about how I offset my family’s expected CO2 footprint for 2020. The first part describes how we calculated the footprint.

I decided to use the UN Carbon Offset Platform because I’d seen it referenced a few times on other sites when I was looking at calculators. It allows you to look through lots of projects and select ones based on various criteria such as country or continent as well as by local impact on things like jobs and welfare. Just as important (to me) was that this platform ensures 100% of the contribution goes directly to the projects I pick.


carbon usability
January 4, 2020

Calculating my family’s carbon footprint

Short version: I used 4 different calculators to try and get an understanding of how big my family’s carbon footprint is so that I can buy some carbon offsets. I got wildly differing results ranging from 14.1 tonnes of CO2 for my family up to 32.4 tonnes for just me.

WWF carbon calculatorWWF carbon calculator


carbon usability
July 2, 2018

A tool to help get your organisation into shape

Doctrine Grid ToolDoctrine Grid Tool

Updated 2020.09.04: Purkis Layout added.


Wardley Maps Simon Wardley product strategy tools
May 31, 2018

The shit chute

You’re a small team who are trying to change culture and practice within a large org. You’ve been set up well (like many other digital transformational teams) with strong, capable people who have done this shit before.

You know through experience that showing results, and showing a clear, detailed vision of what the ambition might look like gets attention and builds trust with the high-ups.


Process Product Teams Ideas

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