Notes for May 19th 2023

  • I'm a very tinkery music person. I have 3 guitars (and have been very dangerously edging towards the N+1 problem for years), a few synth things and bags of software. But this week I took the plunge and got a Teenage Enginering OP-1 portable. Mostly because I spotted a mint condition one on a second-hand sales site from someone local to Dublin. Transaction was easy and I'm deep-diving into hour-long videos to learn this thing. But it is rad!

  • I commute to London semi-regularly for work. I have done for many, many years. On this very site I've waxed lyrical about how wonderous City airport is. But this week was a new low for air travel. Keep in mind, my flight is approximately 50mins long. So, on the early flight this week, a reasonably well-clad middled age man was watching American Psycho on his iPad. You wouldn’t be able to manifest such a ridiculous sight if you tried.

  • I volunteered to take some headshots of folks in a specific team in our office this week. I was invited to a prior pre-planning onsite wearing the partner and presale org hats, so got to know the team through that. And as usual, it was great to practise with low-hanging fruit. But also a nightmare after as people didn't quite get how much work goes into it.
  • My wife is off in Cannes this weekend for the film festival. She works on the 'business end' of the indie industry in Ireland, but is producing and directing work on the side. In a few weeks' time, I'll be in Cannes for work during the Lions festival alogside some partners at work. I have to give a talk on a beach, which will likely cause a lot of stress. Not because of the public speaking, knowing the content, etc. But because it'll be absolutely sweltering. And dear reader, I don't need to describe to you how bad that is for someone as pale as I am.
  • I think I'll create a /books link on this site so I can dump books I've read on here. Just a simple database of books read to-date. I have an archive of things both digitally through sites I've used in the past to review titles (with the aim of getting good recommendations; which never happened) and, you know, on my shelves at home.
  • I just read Amp it up, by the former CEO of ServiceNow & current CEO of Snowflake. Frankly he comes across a bit difficult to deal with. I'm not so sure I would ever want to work with him; not that the offer would ever be tabled. But his points raised are salient. And his prior successes with technology companies in historically difficult spaces are immutable.
  • I've been doing a lot of customer and partner-facing meetings lately. I enjoy them a lot, because I get to be the nerd in the room who gets the infrastructure, architecture, empathise with the developers/IT folks and tell a compelling story all at once. But it is exhausting, requires lots of prior knowledge and a bag of effort up-front.
  • ...but not as much as my main priority right now, which is hiring. Which is something you need to be meticulous about, and stay in control of as a hiring manager. I do not understand leaders who farm the nurturing and outreach to candidates to a recruiter. It's not that recruiters are incapable, very much not in my case anyway, but it's that the first port of call for a candidate should be the person on the hook for filling the empty seat. Which is the hiring manager. As a candidate myself, I would prefer to hear from someone who can answer all of my questions!