Re-thinking Twitter, or better put, Signal vs Noise


5 min time allocation for this post….

Twitter has become too noisy for me. Because I live in startup and tech land, the insane number of meaningless tweets I was thumbing through whenever I used twitter was becoming more and more frustrating. Too much inane noise, not enough (connection or) signal.

So I’ve unfollowed everyone except those people I work closely with, are family, or are going to become family.

In an effort to find the signal that is right for me right now, I’m going to limit myself to following no more than 300 people. If that doesn’t work, I’ll take it down to that theoretical maintainable friends network number of 150 (anyone confirm?).

Lets’ see what happens.

Barefoot CEO: You get 5 types of people


I was listening to a talk recently where the speaker talked about the 5 types of people. I’ve understood this intuitively, but for the first time I’d heard it explained in a bite sized, easy to understand way.

Basically, the speakers assertion was that in any business you get 5 types of people, and when you ask them to do something one of the following things will happen:

  1. They don’t do it
  2. They ask “how do I do it?”
  3. They ask “can I do it like this?”
  4. They just do it
  5. They do it without being asked

By and large, I’ve found this to be true and think it’s a pretty good way of thinking about how people in my business are contributing.  As a leader, I see my role as continually living in group 5, if only to lead by example.

His further assertion was that the proportion of people who belong to group 4 is about 1 in 25 and group 5, 1 in 50.  Youngsters or entry level people should always be in group 3 and up, and you should always look to hire people from group 4 and 5.   And then lastly, groups 1 and 2 should either be let go or managed out.

Of course, this is all easier said than done, but again a pretty good way to frame a hiring process which unearths these people.

Lastly, he brought up an interesting way of looking at talent and performance, which is explained below.

Employee 9 boxes

Employee 9 boxes

Basically, anyone who is red should be let go / managed out, yellow people need to be improving, and green people are the ones you build a business on.

Which one are you? ;-)