Life will always throw you challenges that will diverge you from your focus, and only a clear set of principles will help you get back to the right track even when sidetracked.
As of 2021-12-21 today, here’s a list of values and principles that I swear by.
- If a 5-year-old can’t understand what I am explaining, I don’t really understand it
- Low-hanging fruits are low hanging because they are undesirable
- Always be helpful, and I don’t need power or status to start being helpful to those who are around me
- Being shitty will always bite back. Don’t be shitty or do sloppy work
- Respect never comes with power or status: it comes from wisdom
- When money is taken away from the equation, usually what’s left is respect
- Asking for advice is a sign of wisdom because it requires courage and humbleness
- Talk is cheap; Always be the change that I want to see first
- Difference between making a tough call and an idiotic call; Both are a form of madness, but a dumb call is just a repetition of human history yet expected different results
- Listen and learning – is the best way to find out what is the right thing to do; thinking alone and thinking that I can come up with all the right answers are just sheer arrogance
- Keep the speed up by taking pragmatic risks. Only agonize over irreversible decisions. Be reliable and follow through. If I say I’ll do something, do it
- Trust others and assume good intent. If I need to build context and understanding, always ask for and share information freely
- Always drive with a mission and a goal. I won’t go anywhere if I don’t have a focus, to begin with
- As a product person, I pay close attention to the problems people (not just outside of the company) want to solve with better tools and services, and follow their lead. If I don’t do a good job of that, I should not exist
- Debate to make progress, not to win
- Give direct feedback no matter who I am with because that’s how ideas are explored, trust is built, respect is earned, and the lesson is learned
- Being kind is not the same as being nice. Being kind is about taking responsibility for my impact on the people around me, and being mindful of how I can help others to grow
- Give credit where credit is due
It is no surprise some of the values are a reference from some of the brightest product companies, such as Notion, and Dovetail. I would like to take some of them as a reference because I couldn’t find a better way to put them into words.