Author Archives: brendansterne

About brendansterne

Sr Director, Indeed.com Product Incubator

Naming things clearly

Here’s a memo I sent out to the engineering team this week: Time for some real talk people.  We have a problem that we’re either not aware of or we’re tolerating.   I had to stop a meeting last month … Continue reading

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Inconvenient Truths about Operating Mechanisms

Operating Mechanism is a fancy term for processes (and the corresponding tools) used to run an organization.  Examples of operating mechanisms are: The quarterly talent review process The developer interview process Weekly product review The growth-board / project-funding process These … Continue reading

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Successful Second Products are Rare

The odds of developing a second successful product – that is commensurate with a first successful product – are low. As someone who works on the product exploration side (a.k.a. launching new products) vs the exploitation side (a.k.a. optimizing and … Continue reading

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How Can I Help?

One of the best business lessons I ever learned was at summer camp.  When I was sixteen I worked for a summer as a lifeguard and sailing instructor at a family camp in Ontario, Canada.  Families would attend the camp … Continue reading

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Gmail wasn’t really a 20%-time project

I always thought gmail was an example of an employee coming up with an idea, and having automatic-permission to explore it due to Google’s 20% time.  It is constantly referenced in articles about the policy. But there is some nuance … Continue reading

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Criteria for continued funding of new products

At Indeed we’ve been working on continually improving our processes for funding, staffing, executing and assessing new experimental products. One of our challenges is assessing early products and figuring out whether to kill or continue them.  One approach used in … Continue reading

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Seeds, Pods and Big Bets

Indeed is investing more and more in discovering and building new products.  As the product team discussed and evaluated our successes and failures – I found it difficult to communicate without some common terminology around the different types of innovation … Continue reading

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