hypocritical : talking the talk without walking the walk

November 06, 2007

Performance reviews whenever, and from whomever, you want

It dawns on me that I have failed to mention one of my little side-projects to the hypocritical reader base. Hypocritical, I may be. Rude? Not usually. So, please allow me to share...

Once, in the not-so-distant past, I went nearly five years without a performance review of any sort.

That's not a typo. Nearly 5 years. More than 1,700 days.

I mean, I got anecdotal feedback. A few pats on the back. Some kind words. Minimal guidance.

But a formal review? Nope.

To put that in context, I basically went from selecting a college to getting my bachelor's degree without receiving a single grade.

And while the organization didn't really see this as a problem, I did. Because I was hoping to actually grow and improve.

Strange, I know.

Without feedback, my perception of self-worth plummeted. My motivation cratered. And, when it was all finally over, I found myself becoming very much the employee I didn't want to be.

Instead of the one that I did.

So, I promised myself that I would figure out some way to help myself retroactively. To give that version of me an out. To prevent someone from suffering through the same problem.

And after much scrapping and scraping, I am happy to announce that we have a very 1.0 version of the product that may help that version of me out of that rut.

We call it Kumquat. It's a simple tool designed to help you get feedback on your performance whenever you think you neeed it.

Quarterly? Weekly? Daily? Yes. Use it to your heart's content.

We're still building out the tool, but there is enough "there there" that we're comfortable letting people behind the curtain or in the backdoor or past the velvet rope or whatever to try Kumquat for their own performance reviews. And we're hoping that you'll critique Kumquat, as well.

So if the idea sounds interesting to you, please give soliciting your own performance reviews a try.

Or if you're just interested in learning more about the concept, please visit hello, kumquat.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled hypocrisy.

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Performance reviews whenever, and from whomever, you want

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March 14, 2007

Hello, kumquat

If youíre anything like me, your career has been relatively devoid of feedback.

It's sad, really.

You've been driven by your own desire more so than the opinion of your superiors and peers. And your requests for guidance have often fallen flat or been completely ignored.

Worse yet, this feedback--when it comes--only comes on a quarterly or annual basis.

And it usually contains such thoughtful and career-altering guidance as "Great job," "Nice work," and "Smells nice; seems to shower often."

Yes, my friend, itís a sad and sordid tale.

Maybe youíre in the traditional corporate-review setup, where youíre only as good as your last project. Or maybe the project before that.

If youíre out on your own or at a small company, you have absolutely no structure to support a formal review process.

It's a problem. And it's pervasive. Fun.

Is this really the most valuable environment for furthering your development?

(Of course, the answer is no. Why would I ask the question, otherwise?)

Well, I thought I'd get some friends together and we'd try to fix that problem. Unfortunately, we're idea people. So we had to hire some other people to pretend to be our friends and help us.

The result? Kumquat.

With it, we're going to try to fix this no-feedback problem. You and me. Together. With our peers. And these other folks helping us, who despite their best efforts, have become friends, as well.

Will Kumquat succeed? Will Kumquat ever even launch?

Who knows? But I like you, so I thought I would invite you along for the ride. Or the train wreck. Just our little secret, snookums.

Join us, won't you?

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Hello, kumquat

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