By Michael | Posted on November, 7 2014
SOLD OUT - This inaugural class is now sold out. Contact us to get on the waiting list or for information about our next event.
We are excited to announce AKF Partners very first CTO Bootcamp. This unique two day event is designed for current CTOs, VPs of Engineering, Chief Architects, and other technology executives that want to improve their management, leadership, and technology skills. Marty Abbott, Mike Fisher, and Mike Paylor from AKF Partners will share their combined decades of experience as CTOs and technology executives at both large organizations and start-ups.
The two-day bootcamp will cover the following topics:
Our first bootcamp will be held on March 10th & 11th in New York. If you are interested in attending or sending a member of your organization please register.
By Michael | Posted on November, 6 2013
The Power of Customer Misbehavior presents, in clear practitioner language, the newly discovered drivers of viral growth – product misuse, self-identity, and technological features. This information comes from academic research conducted over the past several years and has been presented at numerous conferences. Several academic papers stemming from this research are under review at top tier journals. The book The Power of Customer Misbehavior presents these newly discovered concepts as simple, actionable principles to the reader in order.
The Power of Customer Misbehavior is the first book to explore the idea that customer misuse of current features is the key to viral growth through product development based on this information. This book also introduces the concept of self identity as a motivator for participation in social networks as well as product purchases. Additionally, The Power of Customer Misbehavior discusses several technological features such as the user interface and page load time and their impact on user adoption and retention
By Michael | Posted on August, 14 2013
There are many people and organizations offering Agile training, some of which is really terrific. However, over the past several years we have noticed that none of them were approaching the Agile methodology from a scalability perspective. At AKF we believe scalability is comprised of three critical components all of which must work together effectively in order for the business to scale - architecture, organization, and process. Therefore, just teaching or improving one or two of those, leaves the company sub-optimized and vulnerable to scaling issues.
We have been working with Agile trainers as well as many clients to create and refine an Agile Training that incorporates all three components of scaling. We are proud to offer this training as an additional service that we can provide our clients. We will partner with you to ultimately help improve your TTM and Quality making your products and company more competitive in the marketplace. We will do this by providing you with the necessary training, consulting, and coaching to help transition your business and engineering teams to an Agile framework while complementing it with AKF Scaling best practices. The goal is to teach the tools, share the knowledge, and encourage the behavior necessary to apply in your business’s context.
By Michael | Posted on July, 17 2013
Mike Fisher partnered with Openview Labs to produce three articles on scalability.
If You Think Scalability Is All About Developing Software, You’re Wrong
In part one of a three-part series on software scalability, former PayPal executive and serial entrepreneur Mike Fisher addresses the three things that can help (or prevent) growing software businesses from scaling efficiently.
Why eBay Isn’t Big in Japan: Learning from a Billion-Dollar Mistake
In part two of a three-part series on software scalability, Mike Fisher shares a three-step process aimed at helping tech companies prepare for and properly manage the challenges of rapid expansion and growth.
Ain’t Misbehavin’: How Encouraging Product “Misuse” Helped Facebook Beat Friendster
In this final post in a three-part series on software scalability, former PayPal executive and serial entrepreneur Mike Fisher explores the power of customer misbehavior, and explains why encouraging users to push your company’s product to its limits can actually help it scale.
By Michael | Posted on February, 25 2013
Checkout our recent article in the Graziadio Business Review Moving from Misuse to Bricolage - Finding Innovation from Customer “Misbehavior” where we discuss how companies can learn from how customers misuse their products.
By Michael | Posted on January, 14 2013
We’re excited to announce that Scalability Rules has been translated into Simplified Chinese.
This version is available here on Amazon.cn.
Checkout the Scalability Rules site.
By Michael | Posted on September, 1 2012
For those who have worked with AKF in the past, you might recognize Geoff as he was part of our extended team a couple years ago. He most recently spent time at LiveOps running a Program Management Office in efforts including Agile development and PCI-DSS certification. He also spent 6 years at eBay and PayPal.
Dave is a long time friend and colleague as well who recently spent a number of years helping Progressive with incident and problem management processes. He has led various software development teams and spent 8 years at GE working on data warehousing and six sigma projects.
By Michael | Posted on May, 1 2012
AKF Managing Partner Marty Abbott will be the 2012 Commencement Speaker for the University of Florida’s College of Engineering on May 6, 2:00 p.m. He is a distinguished graduate of the Masters of Science in Computer Engineering program from the University of Florida and participates on the Engineering Leadership Institute’s advisory board. You can watch the commencement recorded here, starting at 1:06:25 on the video.
By Michael | Posted on August, 23 2011
Marty Abbott and Mike Fisher presented a webinar on September 19, 2011 for the Information and Communication Technologies Knowledge Transfer Network (ICT KTN). The ICT KTN seeks to create a competitive advantage for the UK by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and seeks to bring a competitive advantage to the UK by facilitating the exchange of knowledge on Information & Communications Technologies and accelerating innovation.
Ian Osborne, Director, IntellectUK, hosted the webinar.
If you missed the live event you can listen to it here at BrightTalks.
By Michael | Posted on July, 18 2011
We are scheduled to speak at Etsy’s Code as Craft Speaker Series. Our presentation will take place on July 28th at 7pm at the Etsy Labs on the 7th floor at 55 Washington Street in beautiful Brooklyn. If you’re in the neighborhood, sign up here.
By Michael | Posted on May, 10 2011
Scalability Rules is a collection of 50 rules that will guide developers, architects, managers, and executives on how to build a scalable system. It takes a direct approach by presenting fundamental principles in an easily read and digestible format for rapid application to almost any technical environment. It will be useful to all readers as a primer, a refresher, and as a reference. Its principles can be used to form the basis of architectural strategy for just about any company dealing with hypergrowth in the Web 2.0 world.
By Michael | Posted on April, 1 2011
Marty and Mike will both be presenting their research at the 2011 Academy of Management Conference. Below are abstracts and links to the full text for both papers:
THE CO-PRODUCTION OF SOCIAL CONTAGION - Theories of technology product adoption and diffusion fail to adequately explain social contagion or viral growth. Additionally, the role of product design in users’ propensity to use and recommend products is both understudied and poorly understood. To address a vexing gap in knowledge about what explains viral growth, we conducted ethnographic interviews with technology executives and users of two social networking sites that have experienced dramatically different growth patterns. Our findings reveal that product co-production and user self identity—not product attributes – fuel viral growth. Social networking products co-produced by users and providers, with “meaning” socially constructed by customers, permit users to more effectively establish and maintain their self-identities and are far more likely to result in social contagion than are engineering-centric products. User experiences with Facebook and Friendster and organizational responses to them demonstrate the role of self identity – and in particular five specific selves – on viral growth. Full text...
TEMPORAL TRIBES: THE ORIGIN AND RESOLUTION OF TENURE BASED AFFECTIVE CONFLICT IN VENTURE BACKED TOP MANAGEMENT TEAMS ABSTRACT - Venture backed firms with both exceptionally high and relatively low growth experience a comparatively fast turnover of executives, often resulting in multiple cohorts within the top management team (TMT). These tenure cohorts often act like warring tribes, generating value destroying affective conflict. While several studies have validated the relationship between tenure diversity and affective conflict, none explain its source. To address this gap in knowledge, we conducted in-depth ethnographic interviews with 34 executives from six U.S. venture backed private companies. Our results move beyond those of previous studies on tenure based affective team conflict by revealing its source to be strongly embedded “new” and “old” social identities within venture backed TMTs. Absent purposeful efforts by top management to forge a shared identity that subordinates the existing “old” and “new” identities, negative effects of affective conflict will likely trump the benefits of cognitive conflict. Full text...
Here is a video of Marty presenting his research.
By Michael | Posted on March, 3 2011
Thumbing through the recent copy of Harvard Business Review, you might have noticed Marty and Mike in one of the advertisements. As students in the doctorate program at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, we were asked to provide a quote about the benefits of the program. While we’re still waiting to get our first article published in HBR, we’re happy to see AKF Partners mentioned.
By Michael | Posted on February, 15 2011
We are very pleased to announce that The Art of Scalability has been translated into Japanese. We’re very excited about this and look forward to hopefully many other translations. If you haven’t picked up a copy of the English version here are links to a few online stores Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders.
By Michael | Posted on October, 29 2010
With the new redesign we did away with some pages. One of the most popular pages was the index to all our old blog posts. We’re adding this page back so click here for the index page. If you like this index or any other page feel free to post a comment or drop us a note.
The Art of Scalability teaches technology executives engineers and architects how to solve technology scalability problems through changes in their architecture, processes and organization structure.
Scalability Rules brings together 50 rules that are grounded in experience garnered from over a hundred companies. Put together and organized to be easily read and referenced for rapid application to nearly any technical environment.