- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 56 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Audible.com Release Date: November 1, 2018
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B07JK4ZZ89
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,874 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
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Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea That Drives 10x Growth
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Some of the best parts of the book are the mini case studies from a variety of companies. One of the biggest complaints I hear from founders about OKRs is that it works for Google because, well, Google is *Google*. By letting you hear from founders in their own words - from small startups to fast-growth startups to non-profits - John makes it easy for the reader to model how OKRs could work at their company. It's not just Google: Doerr shows how any ambitious, outcome-oriented organization can benefit from implementing OKRs.
Anyone who wants to understand what makes Silicon Valley tick will learn a lot from this book. So many of the giants from the last fifty years are captured in these pages – as relayed by John, their commitment and ambition shine through. John makes clear that they also shared an embrace of a simple framework for setting goals and communicating throughout their organization – which should be encouraging for any founder who wants to know how to build similarly effective organizations.
(Disclaimer: a brief anecdote involving me is included in the book. I didn't tell John I was writing this review ahead of time - I bought the book last night and wanted to share my thoughts.)
For some weird reasons, I did not enjoy reading the examples very much. Probably because of a mismatch between the book title and my expectations.
I was expecting more of a guide to defining great OKRs within an organization - more of a handbook or practical best practices kind of resource. Such as, how do you define KRs for a software development product? How do you balance between top-down and bottom-up ideas in the OKRs definition process? Etc.
In the end, I felt that some of the examples, especially the OKRs in some of the examples, were lacking in terms of practical details. They were more like stories to demonstrate the versatility of OKRs. And some of the KRs did not seem very measurable to me.
The resources at the end was useful.
Overall, I felt that the book could have been more concise, and the resources at the end could be elaborated more.
1)Set goal (Objective)
2)Set tasks to achieve this goal (key results)
3)Make the tasks measurable
This is the OKR.
There. Saved you a few hours.
Interseting stories about some successful companies, other than that, I got very little out of this.
Many business books talk about the organizational brilliance of Andy Grove's Intel, Google, disruptive startups, and high-performing charities. This one actively teaches you how to mimic their organizational brilliance. The book distinguishes itself by providing clear examples of how OKRs help organizations achieve their full potential. Primary source documents, including internal memos, show how Intel CEO Andy Grove used OKRs to rapidly respond to competitive threats.
As an admirer of Google, I enjoyed learning how OKRs were used at key points in its history. When Google employed 25 people, CEO Larry Page set OKRs for every engineer. When Chrome sought to disrupt the browser market, OKRs enhanced the product team’s creativity. When YouTube sought to establish its own identity within Google, OKRs helped the team set appropriate business goals. It’s really nice that specific OKRs from Google’s history are included in the book.
Some people mistakenly believe that OKRs only work for Google, and the book provides clear examples of how OKRs were successfully implemented by startups, large corporations, and non-profit organizations. Entrepreneurs will enjoy learning how fitness, education, healthcare, and food delivery startups used OKRs to find new markets and manage their expanding headcount. Fans of corporate transformations will enjoy learning how OKRs led to human resources and technology process overhauls at some of the world's largest companies. Non-profit leaders will enjoy learning how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Bono used OKRs to impact millions.
All in all, I found the chapters to be short yet impactful, and arranged in a logical sequence. I particularly liked that as the book progresses, it provides clear examples of how to overcome the nuances of implementing OKRs. I felt my OKR-setting muscles getting stronger by the end of the book.