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Published at Sun Jul 30 2023 in
Rows HQ

2023 W30 - Managing Managers

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Every week I post about one thing that happened at Rows. We're building in public!


With the new quarter, we did the usual evaluation and promotions.

We run the process every quarter. It's easier to do it more frequently, so that we to cement a period, learn quickly and then move on to the next.

In Q2, two projects had an outsized impact on our business: the AI Analyst✨ and Instant Rows⚡️. The AI Analyst✨ in particular made us quickly grow a couple hundred thousand users in a month, and lifted other metrics with it. It's a breakout result far beyond the projected impact.

However, I did not promote the manager of this area. The reasons boil down to _now_.

  • 2023 is a year for careful budget decisions. Companies are trimming spend. And while inflation seems to be lower now, the economy is not out of the hole yet. Best to be prudent with the overall budget.

  • Because of that, at Rows we took the decision to prioritize promotions for individual contributors, and in particular juniors with high impact. Managers already enjoy high salaries, and we lead by example. Under an uncertain economic scenario, it should be managers who get less benefits and do more effort. The same goes for founders.

  • Finally, we can (and did) recognize the big win, and we also did a deep dive into the reasons why we succeeded with that. The resulting team and technical factors are not perishable, and their long-lasting impression will affect engineers, designers, managers in multiple ways - like opportunities and promotions.

We discussed this with the management team, but we also explored it further in 1on1s. The team was comfortable. So we kept the decision.

I think it was the right decision.


See you next week!

- H