Sunday, January 31, 2010


Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga, a provider of online social games, shares an idea he learned from John Doerr:

John Doerr (the venture capitalist) sold me on this idea of O.K.R.'s, which stands for objectives and key results. It was developed at Intel and used at Google, and the idea is that the the whole company and every group has one objective and three measurable key results. We put the whole company on that, so everyone knows their O.K.R.'s. It is a simple principle that keeps people focused on the three things that matter - not the 10.

I ask everybody to write down on Sunday night or Monday morning their three priorities for the week, and then on Friday see how they did against them. It's the only way people can stay focused and not burn out. I think these road maps are a great principle for managing your life. It keeps everybody focused, and it lets me know what trains are off the tracks.

Pincus was a soccer player and he discussed how soccer and leadership are related:

If I was going all the way back, it would be playing on my school's soccer team, because most of us were on the same team together for eight or nine years. We were at a little school in Chicago that had no chance of really fielding great athletes. But we ended up doing really well, and it was all because of teamwork. So, today, when I play in Sunday-morning soccer games, I can spot who'd probably be good managers and good people to hire. Reliability is important, the sense that they're not going to let the team down. In soccer, especially if you play seven on seven, it's more about whether you have players who pull their own weight rather that whether you have any stars. I'd rather be on a team that has no bad people than a team with stars.

And are you a playmaker? There are people who don't want to screw up, so they pass the ball right away. Then there are the ones who have this kind of intelligence and can make great plays. Their head is really in the game.

1 comment:

  1. OKRs are a great approach, I picked up on the same article and published a blog with a little more info about it, and how it links to what my startup, Teamly is doing:


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