FASTer - Issue #145

Decline is a choice ❌❗🚫 ❗❌

For the 777, Boeing put their heads of software engineering on the test flights. The safety record there is tier 1. For the 737 Max, Boeing outsourced the software testing to $9 an hour contractors.

When considering the approach to safety and quality, the example of Boeing's differing strategies with the 777 and 737 Max is quite instructive. In the case of the 777, Boeing's decision to involve their top software engineers directly in test flights underscores a commitment to thorough and expert-led quality assurance. This approach is indicative of a company not cutting corners, especially when safety is paramount. It reflects an ethos where the best internal resources are leveraged to ensure the highest standards are met.

Contrastingly, the strategy employed during the development of the 737 Max, where software testing was outsourced to contractors at a significantly lower cost, suggests a different set of priorities. While this doesn't inherently imply that contractors are incapable of delivering quality work, it does raise questions about the depth and thoroughness of the oversight and quality control processes. It's not just about the hourly rate but the level of expertise, experience, and the rigor applied to the testing process.

Aligned incentives rarely fail. No skin in the game often does.

Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework by MIK KERSTEN


Recently heard/read some thing profound about navigating stress in these challenging times. An analogy that was a game-changer.

Picture this:

Ever left your phone off Airplane Mode on a flight? It keeps searching for a signal, right? Drains the battery fast. That's us, the collective population of the world, lately.

Since the pandemic, we've been like those phones.(Seeking a cellular connection, searching for a faint signal to make a connection, to get the three bars back) Constantly seeking something familiar, something certain in a world that's anything but.

Our mental energy? Rapidly depleting.

It's a natural instinct, our brains craving stability and familiarity. But in a world full of change, this constant searching leaves us exhausted. Like a phone on a fruitless search for a network. (Where there is none)

Moral of the story? Sometimes, we need to switch to our own 'Airplane Mode'. Conserve energy, find peace within, and recharge. In a world of constant searching, finding stillness is key. 🧘‍♂️✈️

One New Thing (That you should know)

Entrepreneurs and AI enthusiasts, take note: Canada is rapidly becoming a key player in the AI sector, not just for its technological advancements but for its commitment to ethical and responsible AI development. This will shape a lot of global debate in years to come.

In September 2023, the Canadian government introduced the Voluntary Code of Conduct for AI, paving the way for the future Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA). This Code focuses on seven core principles, including accountability, safety, fairness, and transparency, ensuring AI development aligns with high ethical standards.

Why is this important for you? Canada's approach offers a unique blend of cutting-edge research (backed by institutions like Toronto's Vector Institute and Montreal's Mila) and a strong ethical framework. This combination creates an ideal environment for AI companies that prioritize innovation with responsibility. This is a once in lifetime opportunity to get in at the ground floor level & participate in a way that impacts national/global outcomes.

In short, if you’re looking to develop or expand your AI business, Canada should be on your radar. It's a place where technology meets ethics, offering a balanced environment for growth and innovation in the AI field. There is tons of government support, incubators, accelerators and a thriving local technology ecosystem that awaits.

Boring Stuff That Scales

Corporate & Industrial espionage.

Trade secrets, desire for global growth. The hunger for recognition. All fuel the simple and boring act of theft, walking away with some thing in your care or charge. But its consequences can be catastrophic, financially and other wise.

Human intent can typically never be judged till its too late. Why do I say this? Because most of the time, we find out about corporate espionage long after its done. Some times, we get lucky and catch people in the act.

In peoples minds, theft, scales; their outcomes, their choices, their goals, their aspirations. In reality it is typically a dead end.

In the coming age of AI/ML and other advances, the most successful enterprises aren’t just going to be the ones that deal with cyber crime, but those who can predict, and enforce controls to stop physical/digital crimes in offline or hybrid mode.

What does this mean? Here is the most profound story of some one trying to steal trade secrets on how to manufacture a soda can. Doesn’t sound sexy but read on. Now imagine a world, where you could predict human behavior to stop such instances. That level of preparedness will come by co-creating and using tech + manual processes to ensure no single point of failure exists.(Is the boring stuff that has potential to scale)

What You Should Be Reading

Super read from @morraam, I was late to discover her podcast but it is treasure trove as is the book.

  • Normalizing anxiety in leadership: Aarons-Mele challenges the idea that anxiety is a disqualifier for leadership, arguing it's actually inherent in the role. She shares her own experiences as an "anxious achiever" and other leaders who thrive despite, or even because of, their anxiety.

  • Harnessing anxiety for good: The book provides strategies for identifying your anxiety triggers and utilizing them as catalysts for motivation, focus, and resilience. It promotes self-awareness and understanding of how anxiety can inform your leadership style.

  • Developing effective coping mechanisms: Aarons-Mele offers practical tools and techniques for managing common anxiety-related challenges like perfectionism, social anxiety, impostor syndrome, and burnout. She encourages readers to build healthy habits and establish boundaries to maintain mental well-being.

  • Leading with vulnerability and transparency: The book advocates for openness about mental health in the workplace. It encourages leaders to create environments where anxiety can be acknowledged and addressed constructively, fostering positive team dynamics and employee well-being.

Monetize your time - at any age

By thinking differently. Here is an excellent example of a taking a regular business and adding a subscription layer to it, to enhance monetization. This could happen to any business, at any age, that is seeing continued growth. I am a huge fan of subscriptions for life’s key/repeat needs/moments. This example is from a non-tech space so even more profound to see & get valuable lessons from.

Food for thought. Does the above translate into building more services like the ones being requested by this user below? Is it easier to move the needle from subscription for fixes to subscription for replacement and tracking of key upcoming expenses?

One Last Thing

Dean Forbes’ backstory reads like a Netflix elevator pitch: Battling homelessness, a teenage carer for his disabled mother comes tantalisingly close to a professional football career, before channelling his dashed dreams into tech, soaring through the ranks to spearhead a $550 million deal and reach CEO status by 30.

While TV trends are favouring pessimistic finales, 13 years on, Forbes’ story remains a happy one. In early 2022 he led his software firm Forterro into a €1 billion buy-out by Partners Group, after just a year at the helm.

If you are looking for inspiration in the new year, this is the story you want to read.

Bonus! Thought of the week

You’re not unlucky, you’re unskilled.

I overheard the above a few weeks back. Initially It felt like it was an inconsiderate choice of words from the person giving their mentee feedback. But the more I think about it, it is profoundly authentic and sincere. We have stopped giving people the advice they need and deserve in our desire for being politically correct.

To get lucky, you have to get your skills in line with the times. Its that simple. You will continue to feel unlucky till you do. No one can fix your luck besides you, to enhance your outcomes learn new skills.