7 votes

Where can I find collected wisdom from Silicon Valley?

I am talking about advice such as "make incremental improvements" and "ship the minimum viable product."

Is there a name for this kind of advice - advice related to software and tech.

I am looking to make a compilation.

19 comments

  1. [2]
    Greg
    (edited )
    Link
    If I were to pick a single book it would be The Lean Startup. For better or worse, it's something that basically everyone involved in that area of tech has read, or at least is aware of. It...

    If I were to pick a single book it would be The Lean Startup. For better or worse, it's something that basically everyone involved in that area of tech has read, or at least is aware of. It encompasses a lot of the thinking that's become an ingrained part of Silicon Valley business culture. It's practically a historical text in tech startup terms, given that it was first published almost nine full years ago, but a lot of the concepts remain the same.

    Hacking Growth also has some interesting thinking to complement that, and it might be worth a read. It's not as ubiquitous as The Lean Startup, but it's still popular and well regarded.

    Although it's not quite in the same vein, Freakonomics could also be along the lines you're looking for. It's not about tech at all, but you'll find the style of thinking reflected a lot in the tech startup world if you start looking for it.

    Finally, I'd suggest taking a look at Fooled by Randomness to remind yourself of something that founders and investors all too often forget: how much of a role chance plays in success, and how easy it is to be taken in by seeing patterns where there are none.

    [Edit] Typos.

    8 votes
    1. Wolf
      Link Parent
      This is very detailed, thank you so much!

      This is very detailed, thank you so much!

      1 vote
  2. [2]
    balooga
    Link
    I don't have any good resources to recommend you, but the phrase I most commonly see to refer to this sort of thing is "best practices." That may help guide your search results in a more useful...

    I don't have any good resources to recommend you, but the phrase I most commonly see to refer to this sort of thing is "best practices." That may help guide your search results in a more useful direction.

    6 votes
    1. Wolf
      Link Parent
      Thank you that would actually narrow down a lot of searches.

      Thank you that would actually narrow down a lot of searches.

  3. [2]
    tomf
    Link
    Along with the HN booklist, PG's essays are typically pretty good.

    Along with the HN booklist, PG's essays are typically pretty good.

    4 votes
  4. [3]
    nothis
    Link
    Make the world a better place. Seriously, watch Silicon Valley (HBO) and just keep taking notes!

    Make the world a better place.

    Seriously, watch Silicon Valley (HBO) and just keep taking notes!

    2 votes
    1. Greg
      Link Parent
      It can be disturbingly accurate at times. Mike Judge was discussing it on a panel (at a Google event in Mountain View, no less) and he pointed out that not only are some of the most "unbelievable"...

      It can be disturbingly accurate at times. Mike Judge was discussing it on a panel (at a Google event in Mountain View, no less) and he pointed out that not only are some of the most "unbelievable" scenes taken pretty much verbatim from things that happened in real life, but he's had to cut other real experiences from the script because nobody would believe them.

    2. Wolf
      Link Parent
      I have seen it all but I wasn't taking notes.

      I have seen it all but I wasn't taking notes.

  5. [4]
    envy
    Link
    Books have the highest quality information. You can look at PDF Summaries of hackernews' all time favorites as a reasonable proxy.

    Books have the highest quality information.

    You can look at PDF Summaries of hackernews' all time favorites as a reasonable proxy.

    1 vote
    1. [3]
      Wolf
      Link Parent
      Do you know where I could find the summaries?

      Do you know where I could find the summaries?

      2 votes
  6. [6]
    cardigan
    Link
    For the collected wisdom of Silicon Valley, open a blank document.

    For the collected wisdom of Silicon Valley, open a blank document.

    7 votes
    1. [5]
      Wolf
      Link Parent
      That's funny, but if it really is blank I would like to know why.

      That's funny, but if it really is blank I would like to know why.

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        j3n
        Link Parent
        "Silicon Valley" is a vast amorphous term for millions of people working for hundreds of companies. These range from Facebook (who a lot of people would say you shouldn't take any advice from) to...

        "Silicon Valley" is a vast amorphous term for millions of people working for hundreds of companies. These range from Facebook (who a lot of people would say you shouldn't take any advice from) to Google (technologically competent, but increasingly socially irresponsible) to NASA (generally more popular than the last two, but not what most people associate with Silicon Valley). For better or worse, there's very little that binds everyone in the valley together except geography and a general focus on technology. There simply isn't an answer that all or even most people allegedly represented would agree on.

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          ? You should definitely take technical advice from facebook.

          who a lot of people would say you shouldn't take any advice from

          ? You should definitely take technical advice from facebook.

          1. [2]
            j3n
            Link Parent
            Well, no I shouldn't because the work I do is radically different from anything Facebook does. I did probably overstate that a bit. There is certainly some subset of developers for whom Facebook...

            Well, no I shouldn't because the work I do is radically different from anything Facebook does. I did probably overstate that a bit. There is certainly some subset of developers for whom Facebook is a useful source of technical information. There is also a subset of developers for whom Facebook provides absolutely no value in any sense and we would lose nothing of value if Facebook ceased to exists tomorrow.

            It kind of proves my point though. We all live in our little bubbles and those bubbles can have little to no overlap even for people who work right down the street from each other in SV.

            1 vote
            1. stu2b50
              Link Parent
              Well, sure, but that isn't the point. The prior sentence implies that Facebook technical advice is bad and/or misguided, but Facebook engineering is perfectly fine, regardless of what you think of...

              Well, no I shouldn't because the work I do is radically different from anything Facebook does.

              Well, sure, but that isn't the point. The prior sentence implies that Facebook technical advice is bad and/or misguided, but Facebook engineering is perfectly fine, regardless of what you think of their ethical stance.