Andrew Weaver
April 9, 2021

Newsletter #98 : ThermoSTARTING to Act and Hard Things

CTO Academy deliver tailored leadership skills training and career development services for global tech leaders.


There is more to Albuquerque than Breaking Bad

Welcome again to the CTO Academy newsletter and thanks to Bianca for another fine video introduction … 

I have in the past assumed that everyone else views Friday as the end of their week but I was correctly reminded by one of our members in the UAE that not all working weeks are scheduled the same … having lived myself in Cairo for two years, that was a point I should have grasped before now!

So whether you’re wrapping up your week or chilling on your weekend, we hope this newsletter finds you and yours in fine health and that you enjoy the content to follow.

BTW – as Bianca mentions above, we’re always looking for great content so if you’d like to contribute an article then please get in touch with the team at [email protected]

Have a good one.


Are you a thermostat or thermometer?

As an experienced CTO and Leadership Coach, Jim Mortensen knows that in order to develop a successful, bold and thriving culture, leaders should consider their actions in relation to themselves, the people they lead, and the influence they have upon the workplace as a whole.

Jim puts great emphasis on an Actions-Oriented Behavioural Style when trying to accommodate change and development in a tech workplace… and it all starts with a thermostat!

Learn more about his story here.


Articles That Caught Our Eye This WeekThe Most Effective Ways to Motivate Employees and Increase Productivity… Since the workforce’s tolerance today is not as absolving, the employee’s motivational driver to be committed must “feel” beneficial to them. Simplilearn analyzes why it’s crucial to find ways to keep your employees motivated; both for the employee well-being as well as for the company’s well-being and longevity. Leaders should think of it as preventive maintenance—it’s easier to sustain employee motivation than it is to rekindle it.

The danger of venture capital ‘foie gras’… Capital foie gras describes the situation of being force fed, or stuffed, with too much money until you, and the company, choke. With interest rates at an all time low, SPACs everywhere and tech being one of the only areas in the global economy that is growing with global lockdowns, there is arguably more money than ever in the market. A must-read article by Check Warner and Tom Wilson.

Amazon AWS, Hugging Face team up to spread open-source deep learning… Tiernan Ray narrates the story of the New York-based startup Hugging Face and how it burst onto the natural language processing scene with a way to let many more parties participate in state-of-the art deep learning. Transformers, a programming kit to quickly grab any of a number of natural language neural networks was posted as a library to be invoked from the dominant programming frameworks, PyTorch and TensorFlow. Now more than 5,000 organizations are using the library.

Innovation is accelerating. Here’s how to keep up with the pace… The pace of technology development is faster than ever – and that means innovations that once took years now happen in weeks, not only in the digital world, but in the physical world too.But taking ideas and bringing them to life at a rapid pace is no easy task. It requires ingenuity to overcome bottlenecks, accelerate through challenges and get the right experts collaborating with shared purpose.


The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs, offers essential advice on building and running a startup—practical wisdom for managing the toughest problems business school doesn’t cover, based on his popular ben’s blog.

While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one. In “The Hard Thing About Hard Things“, Ben Horowitz analyses the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies.

“There’s no recipe for building a high-tech company; there’s no recipe for making a series of hit songs; there’s no recipe for playing NFL quarterback; there’s no recipe for running for president; and there’s no recipe for motivating teams when your business has gone to crap. That’s the hard thing about hard things— there is no formula for dealing with them.”“There is more than enough substance in Mr. Horowitz’s impressive tome to turn it into a leadership classic.” — The Economist


David Marquet on How Great Leaders Serve Others

Going Global 

62 countries and counting …. CTO Academy is working with tech leaders in 62 countries – most recently welcoming members from Morocco (welcome Kenroy) and Moldova (hello to Cristina).

We plan to start covering the tech landscape in the different countries where members are based so get in touch with any interesting local stories about your company and/or tech scene, that might be of wider interest.

Reach out via our social media channels on Instagram, LinkedinFacebook and Twitter where we post tech leadership content on a daily basis.

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