The truth about my life

Fri, 12 Jan 2007

One of the best things about my employer, Parkyeri, aside from many other things, is the library:

Image courtesy of Bekir Dogan and Erhan Kesken of Parkyeri fame

I remember my interview about two and a half years ago, when the company did not have that much to offer. My old friend Gurkan Aslan, a retired Parkyerian -- also a renowned singer and musician, forwarded my resume and I received a phone call. I was still bearing with Murat Koc at FrontSITE, boy was that fun. All Parkyeri had to offer was a good series of challenging tasks awaiting in the line, a flexible work schedule and a honest company culture. There is also a performance measurement system that has some impact on your monthly salary, but I'm going to leave that alone. In the interview I remember pointing out how much I usually spend on books, I doubt it worked out though.

About a year and a half later, thanks to Giray Pultar -- aka. The Boss™ -- who took extra care in selecting what sort of books and furniture to bring in, we had the library you see up there in the picture all set. I know few companies that actually encourage people to spend their working hours on reading. I wonder if Google does it. So yeah, I hear rumors, they say Parkyeri employees are not well paid or the company culture provides too much freedom, all can be relatively right or wrong. It depends on which companies you compare against.

Enough for selling my employer, let me switch to the subject. Okay, I was looking at the upper left shelf with the hope that I could find something interesting. Practical Common Lisp... TeX books... no-no. Microsoft Press... C++... MySQL, oh dear... and there it is, CIO Wisdom? Yeah, I picked that up immediately.

You know I like quoting. Please let me quote the foreword of Maynard Webb, COO of eBay, Inc.

For me, success has meant applying conventional methods and tools in unconventional ways. With that, the chapter, The First 90 Days, resonated deeply with me. When I joined eBay in 1999 as President of eBay Technology, I knew I was walking into problems. The business was taking off like a rocket ship yet there were severe system issues. On my first day on the job, I was chagrined to find CNN in the lobby interviewing Meg Whitman, my new boss, about problems with the site. Not an auspicious beginning. Now conventional wisdom would have said to freeze all product changes and focus on stability and scale. But because of eBay's unusual potential and unique position in the marketplace, we chose to take significant risks and fix the stability and scale problems, while at the same time we accelerated the rate of product development and site changes by 4x. Applying conventional methods in out of the box ways, we were able to fuel the aggressive business growth while rearchitecting the site for infinite scalability. Had we not done so, eBay may not have become the market leader it is today. As these authors will teach you, "Decide and act with a sense of urgency.". "Make aggressive commitments and meet them." "Strive for excellence through continuous improvements." Words to live by.

The rest of the book appears to be a great collection of experience, right from the source. Isn't that what we all need?

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About me

I'm Enver ALTIN. I'm from the other side of the river.


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