Monday, December 24, 2018

The Most Noteworthy Business Book of 2018: Measure What Matters by John Doerr

Reading John Doerr's best seller, Measure What Matters took us back twenty (short but memorable) years, when we were on Sand Hill Road pitching our fast growing e-commerce company to a couple of storied Silicon Valley VCs.* Little did we know, as we were making our rounds, Sergey Brin and Larry Page were just down the road, pitching John Doerr to invest in Google.

John's saw Google's potential and wrote a check. He was richly rewarded for his insight. His $12.5 million investment in 1999 was worth billions when Google went public in 2004. (The $25 million round included John's firm, Kleiner Perkins as well as Sequoia Ventures as co-investors.) 

But Google's success was not a forgone conclusion. John brought more than money to Google. His introduction of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) as a management tool was critical to the company's ability to execute on their ambitious plans.

Measure What Matters chronicles John's introduction to OKRs while working at Andy Grove's, Intel and expands on OKR's core principles with four additional "superpowers" to help company's of all types and sizes achieve superior execution while enhancing workplace satisfaction.

And it's not just theory: He illustrates how OKRs are being used beyond Google, by Bono, the Gates Foundation, Zume Pizza, Intuit, and others. (The book's foreword by Larry Page is a bonus that's worth the price of the book!)

It's a good read, filled with practical, actionable advice. Knowing your time is valuable it's one of the few, and perhaps most noteworthy management books we're recommending from 2018.

*One of the venture firms we visited showed interest but insisted we'd have to move our company to the west coast as a condition of their investment. We politely declined, preferring to keep our operations in scenic southwestern Michigan; a decision we have never regretted.