Defrag 2012: Goals, Metrics and Motivation 2.0: How Stats Can Make Us Better

Jeff Ma (@jeffma) on how to be a great entrepreneur–and blackjack player.


Defrag 2012: Goals, Metrics and Motivation 2.0: How Stats Can Make Us Better

Jeff Ma (@jeffma) on how to be a great entrepreneur–and blackjack player.

Storified by The UpstartCO · Thu, Nov 15 2012 08:36:19

Jeff Ma ("House Advantage") on stage to open Day 2 of #defragcon @ Omni Interlocken Resort & Spa http://instagr.am/p/SDksLMpzGf/GraemeThickins

1) You can’t do it alone. Build a team you can trust, like the A-Team.

#defragcon @jeffma You can learn a lot about people when you are negotiating with them during the hiring processNitin Badjatia

2) Once you hire a team, empower it.

Trust members to do their jobs.

3) Foster transparency.

The new generation doesn’t look at privacy the way we do. Work under the premise that everyone’s salaries and equities will one day accidentally be printed on the printer for everyone to see.
motivation is often INstrinsic, managers forget and rely on EXtrinsic motivation (ie: pay and rations) @jeffma @tenxer #defragconPaul Muller

4) Be data driven. Not “big data,” just “data.”

1) Collect data resourcefully. Be Nate Silver. Nate Silver is not a victory for big data; he’s a victory for data. He found success through math as opposed to gut and instinct.
2) Make data-driven decisions.
3) Avoid poor decision making. Avoid cognitive biases, like the omission bias.
4) Foster a data culture.

Nice to hear @jeffma call bullshit on this entire big data bandwagon. It’s just data which is important. Yay #defragconBen Kepes

5) Be goal driven.

#defragcon @jeffma: How to be goal driven: Set tangible goals,make goals public, track progress to excelMatt Groeninger
#defragcon @JeffMa > set tangible goals, and start with smaller goals and increase as you goPeter Vander Auwera

6) Create feedback loops.

#defragcon @jeffma Much like sports (and school), the workplace needs constant feedback loopsNitin Badjatia
#defragcon @JeffMa > create CONSTANT feedback loops, not just quarterlyPeter Vander Auwera
Create better feedback loops with your people. Based on fact. One size doesn’t fit all. #defragcon @jeffmaEric Beehler

7) Embrace competition and allow dissent.

1) Align your scoring system.
2) Don’t be literal.
3) Foster discussion. Don’t hire someone who’s not willing to argue with you.

The thing many executives miss is to embrace competition and allow dissent. Get an aligned scoring system @jeffma #defragconLarry McKeogh
@jeffma says Microsoft’s stack ranking is/was completely wrong. #defragconDave Michels
Foster discussion and allow dissent. So true. FDR once made it a point to not do something where everyone agreed #defragconLarry McKeogh

What the future of work looks like:

1. Intrinsic motivation
2. More data, fewer silos
3. Enterprise is social
4. Free agency

Quotable Ma:

"I know Nate Silver, and Nate Silver doesn’t know Hadoop" @jeffma #defragconChris Selland
If Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player of all time then Lance Armstrong is the greatest cyclist. #defragconAlex Williams

Additional resources:

The House Advantage | Jeffrey Ma; Foreword by Ben Mezrich | MacmillanAs part of the notorious MIT team depicted in Ben Mezrich’s now classic Bringing Down the House, Jeff Ma used math and statistics to mast…