Learn how not to build teams and how not to communicate

I guess this will be the last part for time being, I skipped few less important things (or things I was too lazy to write about) - and this part is about when I joined a company as a contractor. No worries, you wont’ find the name of the company on my linked in profile, but I learned quite a lot about how not to do things when running a (remote) company.

Build no transparency between departments

Let every department use a different tool to manage their work so everyone has to request permissions from different people to access anything. Let teams work in isolation, inform no one about their priorities, roadmaps, and goals. Have no single point of truth, no knowledge base, no wiki, no organization structure documented. This approach works even better when you have no dedicated product manager!

Build no transparency within teams

Establish everything on private channels, email is great but having a call is even better. Documentation should exist only in heads of team members so new hires should just ask and figure out stuff on the go. Of course, takes your time when they as those questions and respond with proper delay. People should have their private priorities that should not be shared with anyone.

Build no trust

Hire great people and treat them as an obstacle to your goals, listen to their suggestions, and immediately ignore those suggestions. After all, you know better what’s best. Rejecting ideas is great but what’s even better is simply ignoring those in the first place. The best feedback is no feedback.

Have no ownership, give no ownership

Speak about ownership, but provide no way to have ownership. Leave everything to some person who was the longest with the company and who knows stuff. That person is without a doubt a unicorn 10x employee so ignore any red flags about their behavior and communication style. Even better - adopt that style and make it a part of your “culture”.

Take away from that - not every place to work is a great place, even when you have privilege because your skills are in demand doesn’t mean you won’t get burned from time to time - but such failure can be an interesting learning experience (mentally taxing, but still).