Very interesting book. It explains the mechanics of a drug cartel from the point of view of economics. I didnt think issues like supply chain, HR/PR, competition/merges, offshoring, R&D, online business, diversification, etc were part of drug cartel, as you only think of those as part of a licit business. There were many things that I didn’t know like the birth of “legal highs” in NZ (and Matt Bowden)

The goal is to fully understand the “business” because the current laws/actions, etc against drugs are clearly not working. So this way you can really offer a different approach to tackle the issue. You are not going to destroy them 100%. Most of the actions are at the source of the drug business: growing the plant (decrease in growing area causes minimum increase in retail price). But the book shows that is not effective and prevention (done in the consumer’s land: like rehab, education in jails, etc) is much more productive (for the same investment). As well as legalization (ie marijuana) as that brings control (“safer drugs”, tax revenue, etc) and put out of the market the dealers/cartels.

This is a difficult pill to swallow (punt intended) for governments and citizens but the writing is in the wall.

The Three Body Problem

This book was recommended by an ex-college and really enjoyed it. I didnt have any background of the book and it was interesting that there is actually a three body problem. I struggled a bit about the science at the end of the book but I was hooked from nearly the beginning.

In general, I am surprised that this book wasn’t censured in China but still I am quite happy to read something coming from China. Taking into account that I meanly read books from Western countries (mainly USA and UK/EU) that is a small portion of the world.

Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

I finished this ebook yesterday. With ebooks can’t hardly take notes so in this case was a pitty but as well a bit of a relief.

Really good and better than I expected. As the title says, it is about having range, being generalist and not ultra specialized.

It gives examples where specialized (at early age) is good because it is inside a domain of well-known rules and immediate feedback like golf (Tiger Woods) and chess. It was int

But provide example of exceptional sports figures (Federer) who didnt commit to one sport to late age.

And that affects not only to sport but to your career and the research. Teams with members from different backgrounds and knowledge produce more than specialized team. It provides examples from investing to solving science problems. So it is quite shocking.

Although an early specialization will give you a head start, the general view will win in the long run. It is not bad to be very good at something, but trying different things can bring extra benefits. That’s the summary of the book.

Personally, I buy it. I like networks, but I have interests in linux, automation, hardware, baking, etc. I will never win a Nobel prize (and I dont need it) but I think it gives me from options at the end of the day. You just need to see the job descriptions where they ask for everything.

The Psychology of Money

Really good book. Easy to digest and even easier to take home. And need to watch this video too. And funny enough, I was watching a bit this video too (that is quite related – interesting the investing fund points, I need to review)

I highlighted a lot of sentences in the book and I think the summary below is too long but I still take the following as basic: save, get room from error, define what you want, get your freedom.

0- Intro

I think he is the summary of the whole book. He was a gast station attendant, janitor and investor who was over 8m$ worth when he died.

Financial success is not a hard science. it is a soft skill, where how you behave is more important than what you know.

Finance is overwhelmingly taught as a math-based field. But knowing what to do tells you nothing about what happens in your head when you try to do it.

We think Finance follows laws like Physics but it is actually guide by people’s behaviour. And that follows to next point, how I behave may be sane for me but crazy to you.

1- No One’s Crazy

It is easy to say a investment decision was good/bad looking back. We make money decisions based on the information we have in the moment and plugged into the unique mental model of how the world works at that moment. So yes, it can look crazy. And investing for the masses, it is actually something very new… so we are newbies, we like it or not.

Some lessons have to be experienced before they can be understood. So that can explain why looks like crazy if you haven’t gone through it.

2 – Luck and Risk

Bill Gates won the lottery attending one of the few schools in the world with a computer.. his friend Kent Evans died in a mountaineering accident. Both sides of the same coin.

Robert Shiller (Economy Nobel Prize): What do you want to know about investing that we can’t know? The exact role of luck in successful outcomes.

So we always read about the successful people/companies (extreme cases). What proportion of these outcomes were caused by actions that are repeatable vs the role of random risk and luck? So the questions is how to identify luck and skill.

So focus less on specific individuals and case studies and more on broad patterns.

To deal with failure, arrange your financial life in a way that those situations will not wipe you out you can keep playing until the odds fall in your side (room for error…) And be able to forgive yourself when judging failures.

Nothing is as good as bad as it seems

3- Never Enough

Enough: “Yes, but I have something he will never have… enough.”

I think that is another key about “wealth”.

The hardest financial skill is getting the goalpost to stop moving.

Social comparison is the problem here.

Enough is not too little: is realizing that the opposite, an insatiable appetite for more, will make you no good.

There are many things never worth risking

4-Confounding Compounding

There are over 2000 books written about Warren Buffer. But his success came from investing for over 75 years… His secret is time. That’s how compounding works.

Compounding is not intuitive so it is easy to ignore.

So good investment is about earning pretty good returns for the longest period of time.

5- Getting Wealthy vs Staying Wealthy

Million ways to get wealthy. But just one to stay wealthy: some combination of frugality and paranoia (a.k.a survival). So getting money and keeping money are two totally different skills.

I like the note about Jesse Livermore (I read that book some time ago). He made the biggest fortune ever during the crash of 1929.

And another quote from Nassim Taleb: Having an edge and surviving are two different things: the first requires the second. You need to avoid ruin. At all costs.

Be financially unbreakable: you will get the biggest returns, because you will be able to stick around long enough for compounding to run its magic.

The most important part of every plan is to plan on the plan not going according to plan (a.k.a backup plan or room for error). A plan is only useful if it can survive reality. And a future filled with unknowns is everybody’s reality. So it is anything that lets you live happily with a range of outcomes.

Conservative is avoiding a certain level of risk. Room of error or margin of safety is raising the odds of success at a given level of risk by increasing your chances of survival. This is something I think I understand but I need some clear examples in my head.

Optimistic about the future but paranoid about what will prevent you from getting to the future is vital: Being pessimistic is too easy.

6- Tails, You Win.

Another interesting notes about Heinz Berggruen. The great investors bought vast quantities of art. A subset of the collections turned out to be great investments, and they were held for a sufficiently long period of time to allow the portfolio return to converge on the return of the best elements. That’s all that happens.

Anything that is huge, profitable, famous or influential, is the result of a tail event (Walt Disney, Brad Pitt winning an award, Venture Capitals, AWS, iPhone, MicroSoft, etc). Tails drive everything.

Same in different ways: Few things account for most results (I think this is the easiest one to understand)

Military genius based on Napoleon: The man who can do the average thing when all those around him are going crazy. So that applied to investing is, most of the time today is not that important. What matters are those number of days where everybody is going crazy… so what do you do???

George Soros: It is not whether you are right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you are right and how much you lose when you are wrong. You can be wrong halt of the time and still make a fortune.

7- Freedom

Controlling your time is the highest dividend money pays: control over doing what you want, when you want, with the people you want to, is the broadest lifestyle variable that makes people happy. Using your money to buy time and options has a lifestyle benefit that few luxury good can compete with. Most stuff we buy, means giving away most control of our time.

Most workforce today are not “labored” so we need to use our head, and it is not that easy to switch off, so we are constantly working with our heads, and then we are losing control over our time.

8- Man in the Car Paradox

No one is impressed with your possessions as much as you are. Humility, kindness and empathy will bring you more respect than a Ferrari.

9- Wealth is What You Don’t See

Spending money to show off, it is the fastest way to have less money. Wealth is an option not yet taken to buy something later. It requires self-control. And because it is hidden, we have few models to learn from. It is much easier to follow the instagram show-off.

10- Save Money

For me this is they key of everything, without savings few things you can do.

Building wealth is more related to your saving rate than income or investment returns.

The value of wealth is relative to what you need: high savings rate -> having lower expenses.

One of the most powerful ways to increase your savings is not to raise your income, it is to raise your humility: what you need is just what sits below you ego. Dont care about what others thing about you (and not just about money!)

You spend less, if you desire less, then you care less about others -> so that goes back to the title of the book… money relies more on psychology than finance.

You dont need any specific reason to save (car, house, holidays, etc): Savings without a spending goal gives you options and flexibility: ability to wait and opportunity to act = time for thinking. And that flexibility and control over your time is an unseen return on wealth. Savings at 0% earn rate can give you more in the sense of taking a lower pay and more satisfying job than you can think.

Intelligence is no longer a sustainable advantage (software eats the world). Competitive advantages tilt toward nuanced and soft skills: flexibility is a main one. Again, it is being able to wait for a good opportunity (career, investment, etc). So having more control over your time and options is one of the most valuable currencies in the world: Just Save it.

11- Reasonable -> Rational

Aiming to be mostly reasonable works better than trying to be coldly rational. Reasonable is more realistic and you have a better chance of sticking with it for the long run, which is what matters at investing. Think of the fever. It is beneficial, but we fight it because it hurts! Minimizing future regret is hard to rationalize on paper but easy to justify in real life.

12- Surprise!

History is the study of change, is not a map of the future.

Scott Sagan: Things that have never happened before happen all the time.

Investing is a hard science. People making imperfect decisions with limited information.

The majority of what’s happening at any given moment in the global economy can be tied back to a handful of past events that were nearly impossible to predict.

History can be a misleading guide to the future of the economy and investment because it doesnt take into account the structural changes of today. For example, when did venture capital start? Before there was only (if lucky) risk aversed bankers.

Historians are not prophets. Things change.

13- Room for Error

The most important part of every plan is planning on your plan not going according to plan. This similar to an earlier point.

Kevin Lewis from Bringing Down the House: We have enough money to withstand any swings of bad luck (so you can fight another day)

Benjamin Graham: The purpose o the margin of safety is to render the forecast unnecessary.

Unknowns are always part of life.

Having a gap between what you can technically endure versus what you can emotionally endure is an overlooked version of room for error. Use room for error when estimating your future returns.

Charlie Munger: The best way to achieve felicity is to aim low. (and a paper)

Nassim Taleb: You can be risk loving and yet completely averse to ruin. If you have 95% chance to be right, be sure that the other 5% is not going to wipe you out.

Back to an earlier chapter, it is important to safe for the sake of it, for the unknowns.

14- You’ll Change

Long-term planning is harder than it seems because people’s goals and desires change over time. We are poor forecasters of our future selves. We really underestimate how much we will change.

So avoid the extreme ends of financial planning (expending everything vs saving everything)

Accept the reality of change and move on as soon as possible.

Charlie Munger first rule of compounding is to never interrupt it unnecessarily.

End of History Illusion: is a psychological illusion in which individuals of all ages believe that they have experienced significant personal growth and changes in tastes up to the present moment, but will not substantially grow or mature in the future.[1] Despite recognizing that their perceptions have evolved, individuals predict that their perceptions will remain roughly the same in the future.

Daniel Kahneman: “I have no sunk costs”. book

15- Nothing’s Free

Everything has a price even if you don’t see it.

You usually get what you pay for. Same for markets. The volatility/uncertainty fee (the price of returns) is the cost of admission to get returns greater than low-fee investments (ie: money in the bank, etc). Ticket to Disneyland vs local fair. You need to convince yourself the market’s fee is worth it. So find the price, then pay it.

16- You & Me

This relates to point 1 “Nobody is crazy”. This relates to economy bubbles too. The assets have one rational prize in a world where investors have different goals and time horizons. And that can trigger bubbles, when the momentum of short-term returns attracts enough money that the makeup of investors shifts from mostly long term to mostly short term. Then the process feeds itself on and on until it can’t be maintained. So find which game you are playing.

17- The Seduction of Pessimism

Optimism is the best bet for most people because the world tends to get better for most people most of the time.

Optimism is a belief that the odds of a good outcome are in your favor over time, even when there will be setbacks along the way.

But Pessimism sounds smarter and gets more attention. why?

Based on Daniel Kahneman: It is the asymmetric aversion to loss in the evolution: losses loom larger than gains. Organisms that treat threats as more urgent than opportunities have a better chance to survive and reproduce.

And again relates to point 1 “nobody’s crazy”.

As well, bad news about economy can affects everybody so you pay attention.

Progress happens too slowly to notice but setbacks happen too quickly to ignore.

And finally, expecting things to be bad is the best way to be pleasantly surprised when they are not.

18- When You’ll Believe Anything

Stories are the most powerful force in the economy. Imagine venture capitalist that put money in things dont exist…. Another example in 2009, when we stopped believing house prices would keep rising.

The more you want something to be true, the more likely you are to believe a story that overestimates the odds of it being true. For protecting you about that, you need a bigger gap between what you want to be true and what you need to be true to have an acceptable outcome.

Everyone has an incomplete view of the world. But we form a complete narrative to fill the gapgs.

Daniel Kahneman: The ability to explain the past, gives us the illusion that the world is understandable. It gives the illusion that the world makes sense, even when it doesnt. And that produces big mistakes.

My Summary

To be h

The Man in the High Castle

I read this book because there was a TV series and I started to see it in the bookshops in the airport. I knew a bit about the plot so I decided to buy it. I didnt know Blade Runner (haven’t seen it but I know it is famous, at least Indiano Jones worked there) was based on one of the author books.

The book is just ok, the idea it is interesting. Most of the book is quite slow, then there is a bit of drama and action, but then it ends.

Prisioners of Geography

I finished this ebook a couple of days ago. It was really interesting and easy to digest. It gives you a different point of the current world based on geography and how a game of chess are the international relationships…

Russia: It is the biggest country. Its main weakness is Ukraine as it is plain and the only entry to the Mediterranean. Keep in mind that this book was written on 2016 so it doesnt surprise that Rusia has invaded Ukraine. As well, most of neighbors in the west are in NATO and Rusia/Putin doesnt want missile in his border. But playing with nukes is a zero-sum game? Russians are not europeans neither asians, they are Russians. So interesting that view from a country of that size.

China: I like the intro that China is not a country but a civilization. Its main goal is to build a fleet to match the USA navy. Not much issues inside the continent due to its massive population and borders with other countries. Himalayas with India is the most important. As well, for that reason invaded Tibet to remove the only option from India to attack and take the high grown. China plays India dealing with Pakistan to get access to the Indico. Taiwan is a horn as it is supported by USA. And I wonder, you invade Taiwan and chips production worldwide goes to shit.

USA: Luckiest guy. It has no really enemies in the borders. They bought Louisiana from France with Napoleon was in its worse as it was critical to maintain the Missisipi as it was key for commerce . Texas, New Mexico, California annexed from Mexico. And Alaska bought from Russia. So from east to west is free. North has Canada, an alley and not a threat. And Mexico has a desert between then and it is not match in any sense.

Western Europe: France is the one in best position. Access to North Atlantic and Mediterranean. Good internal routes. Germany main weakness is the east. It has only Poland between Russian and them. As well, the Danube is great as it connect many cities and is suitable for commerce. So Poland gets crashed very often. Spain is not very lucky, it has the Piryness in the north and then the internal communication as not great.

Africa: A mess created by Europe with the artificial borders that means nothing to the people.

Middle East: Another mess created by Europe with artificial borders and the conflicts of different views of Islam: Iran vs Irak/Arabia, etc. Israel in the middle of everything.

India and Pakistan: Mess from England, again due to artificial borders. India is superior in everything. The only issue is Pakistan has nukes too. It is interesting the game between Pakistan-Afghanistan-USA.

Korea and Japan: Neighbors that dont have a good past due to the invasion from Japan (and brutality) but China is a bigger problem. And North Korea.

Latin America: USA playground. Very unlucky region due to geography. Amazon is not good for commerce. Most population is in the coast. Communications with the interior as really bad so moving goods is expensive.

The Arctic: The new eldorado. USA, Russia, China, Denmark, etc claiming things. A lot of resources there but it is a dangerous area (climate) so expensive.

The Space: The new frontier and a lot of politics to agree how to “manage” it that obviously not all agree. I didnt know about Wernher von Braun (from the Nazi Germany to the Apollo XI in the moon). Russia had the lead with Yuri Gagarin, Sputnik, etc. Most space theory came from Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. He calculated the needed space to be able before the technology was available. I didnt know that Laika (Barking) died in her trip to space. Thanks to her, it was proved that humans could travel to space. At the end, USA landed Armstrong in the moon and the game is over. The very expensive business in space was over. Until now with SpaceX and similar wanting to go to Space/Moon/Mars, etc. The book suggest that cooperation is the only way for getting anywhere.

I didnt take notes but there is a lot of info in the book that you wouldnt think of so it gives you a new/different point of view of the current world.

Is This Anything?

I never connected with the serie Seinfeld (never tried to watch it neither), I knew about it, I knew people who were superfans and took it as nearly religion, but still I never had the curiosity. I remember many years ago that when the show finished, it was a big deal, people launched parties to celebrate the long success of the serie.

One day I read about the work behind being a stand-up comedian, and they put as example this book I have just read. The point, the humor/jokes dont come out as art of magic, it is a constant job. The book is about “jokes” since he started in 70s until 2010s so that shows you that there is no magic bullet.

I like some jokes, they made laugh a lot and there were many I didnt get. I guess it is not the same reading a funny line that watching it.

The best ones I remember are the one about security guards and terrorists in airports, Wrestling referees, Fakebook and dual AC in cars, to name a few.

And another point that I realized that is very important and I skip, is the need of humor/laugh. Sometime I think that all is about Stoicism, Buddhism and other ideas but I noticed that missed something. A good laugh, with good friends, and you see the world in a different way.

Hope I dont forget it

Black Spartacus

I just finished this book. Very interesting life from Toussaint Louverture from a slave to being the first to declare the end of slavery in the Caribbean and triggering the independence of Haiti (he died before that). I think he wouldn’t be proud of what happened to his country after all his efforts though. Haiti reminds me of this movie.

I didnt know Napoleon wanted to establish again slavery in Haiti once Toussaint declared the constitution. I always thought that after the French Revolution, freedom would be given for granted. You know all the “liberte, egalite, fraternite”… it seems only applied to France (and whites). Something we dont learn in Europe.

As well, the Haiti flag is like the French one without the white part. They removed it because they were angry with the French and whites after France tried to invade Haiti.

As well, for being the first colony to declare the end of slavery or trying independence, it is not as well know as the Cuban revolution or Simon Bolivar. Toussaint was ahead of his time and showed the path for the next generation. He declared the Haiti constitution in 1801. The American Civil War started on 1861.

It is interesting his Republican and Catholic credos. His constant show of discipline and how he became a great general winning and fighting battles. And he managed to take over the current Dominic Republic. And deal with the main power of the time: England, Spain, France and USA.

But again, I think power corrupts any soul, and the longer you have it the worse. The last years of Toussaint shows social issues. It is remarkable his view of a equal society, no matter the color of skin. Education and religion for all. Same opportunities for all. But it hit me when in the book mention that most of his generals owned big plantations but the normal black worked had no access to property or not was promoted. It seems workers were paid a 1/4 of the production that is not bad but at the end, you want the chance to be your own boss. He wanted to increase the agriculture production and that made to create laws that look more as dictatorship than anything else.

It is a pitty that he didnt have a (declared) successor that would be at his level.

Team Topologies

I am reading this book as part of a book club at work.

The summary for the first part (chapters 1-3)

1 The problem with organization charts:

The software tends to match the organization charts (top-down) and that is not a good approach for software development because that doesnt cover (current) good software practices (devops, agile, lean, etc). This is based on Conway’s law: “Organizations which design systems . . . are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.”

So instead of using org charts, move to a “teams” organization approach that authors call “team topologies”: adaptive model for technology organization design that allows businesses to achieve speed and stability. Focuses on how to set up dynamic team structures and interaction modes that can help teams adapt quickly to new conditions, and achieve fast and safe software delivery.

Cognitive load can be a powerful tool for deciding on team size, assigning responsibilities, and establishing boundaries with other teams.

Dan Pink’s three elements of intrinsic motivation: autonomy (quashed by constant juggling of requests and priorities from multiple teams), mastery (“jack of all trades, master of none”), and purpose (too many domains of responsibility)

Personally, I think the org chart still has a point from HR perspective, at least I want to know who is who.And disagree when they say “there is a strong focus on the more immediate automation and tooling adoption, while cultural and organizational changes are haphazardly addressed”. People dont change tools that easily. And company culture hardly is checked out.

2 Conway’s Law and Why It Matters

The idea to become a high-performing organization is to reverse Conway law as a team-first software architecture. Then you need things team sized. The size needs to maximizes people’s ability to work with it. Important to define “team interfaces” to set expectations around what kind of work requires strong collaboration and what doesn’t (some type of communications are not needed). Tools selection is important, one doesn’t fit all. Unnecessary re-org (without any proper justification)/cut headcounts are bad (obviously).

3- Team-First Thinking

Follow: team-first architecture. Examples:

-US Army have adopted the team as the fundamental unit of operation. Based on scaling by Dunbar (5-7 people max)
-google: teams matter more than individuals.
-aws: team of size to feed with 2 pizzas)

Maximize trust between people on a team, and that means limiting the number of team members. Adding new people to a team doesn’t immediately increase its capacity (Fred Brooks – The Mythical Man-Month)

The best approach to team lifespans is to keep the team stable

Every part of the software system needs to be owned by exactly one team: no shared ownership

You need in the team:
– Team-First Mindset
– Diversity
– Rewards teams, no individuals
– Restrict Team Responsibilities to Match Team Cognitive Load more space for germane cognitive load (which is where the “value add” thinking lies).
team needs the space to continuously try to reduce the amount of intrinsic and extraneous load

Measure the Cognitive Load Using Relative Domain Complexity: mastering a single domain -> mission is clear, less context switching.

Limit the Number and Type of Domains per Team: simple, complicated, complex. Complex only one team,

Design the system and its software boundaries to fit the available cognitive load within delivery teams.

To increase the size of a software subsystem or domain for which a team is responsible:

  • team-first work env
  • minimize distractions
  • goals and outcomes (good) vs how (bad)
  • dev-exp

Teams need a team API and well-defined team interactions (aws: everything is an API): code, version, wiki/doc, principles, communication/information

As well, provide time, space, and money to enable inter teams collaboration

Explicitly Design the Physical and Virtual Environments to Help Team Interactions: I think the physical site is kind of clear (there are good notes) but for the virtual env they just mention group chats.

physical: office layout, whiteboards, standing desks?, noise, clear desk (lockers)
(squads -> tribes)

Summary: Limit Teams’ Cognitive Load and Facilitate Team Interactions to Go Faster



In Part I, we saw the strong pull that Conway’s law exercises on system architecture by mirroring team structures and communication paths in the final product design. We also highlighted that efficient software delivery requires a team-first approach that relies on long-lived autonomous teams achieving fast flow. Part II will focus on how we put these two ideas together in a way that maximizes flow yet respects the cognitive limits of teams.

CHAPTER 4: Static team topologies

  • Instead of structuring teams according to technical know-how or activities, organize teams according to business domain areas.


  • Ad hoc or constantly changing team design slows down software delivery.
  • There is no single definitive team topology but several inadequate topologies for any one organization.
  • Technical and cultural maturity, org scale, and engineering discipline are critical aspects when considering which topology to adopt.
  • In particular, the feature-team/product-team pattern is powerful but only works with a supportive surrounding environment.
  • Splitting a team’s responsibilities can break down silos and empower other teams.


  • team anti-paterns
    –Organizations must design teams intentionally by asking these questions: Given our skills, constraints, cultural and engineering maturity, desired software architecture, and business goals, which team topology will help us deliver results faster and safer? How can we reduce or avoid handovers between teams in the main flow of change? Where should the boundaries be in the software system in order to preserve system viability and encourage rapid flow? How can our teams align to that?
  • design for flow of change: Spotify: journey in progress, not a journey completed.
  • Shape team intercommunication to enable flow and sensing:
    — Organizations that value information feedback from live (production) systems can not only improve their software more rapidly but also develop a heightened responsiveness to customers and users.
  • devops and the devops topologies
    –A key contribution of DevOps was to raise awareness of the problems lingering in how teams interacted (or not) across the delivery chain, causing delays, rework, failures, and a lack of understanding and empathy toward other teams.
  • devops topologies
    –The DevOps Topologies reflect two key ideas: (1) There is no one-size-fits-all approach to structuring teams for DevOps success. The suitability and effectiveness of any given topology depends on the organization’s context. (2) There are several topologies known to be detrimental (anti-patterns) to DevOps success, as they overlook or go against core tenets of DevOps. In short, there is no “right” topology, but several “bad” topologies for any one organization.
  • successful team patterns
    –The success of different types of teams does not depend solely on team members’s skills and experience; it also depends on (perhaps most importantly) the surrounding environment, teams, and interactions.
  • Feature Teams Require High-Engineering Maturity and Trust
    –The feature team typically needs to touch multiple codebases, which might be owned by different component teams.
    –someone still had to keep oversight of the system as a whole and ensure subsystems integrated and interacted according to the desired user experience, performance, and reliability. –> create specific roles: system architects, system owners, or integration leads.
  • Product Teams Need a Support System
    –The key for the team to remain autonomous is for external dependencies to be non-blocking, meaning that new features don’t sit idle, waiting for something to happen beyond the control of the team –> Non-blocking dependencies often take the form of self-service capabilities
  • Cloud Teams Don’t Create Application Infrastructure
    — cloud team providing high-quality self-services that match both the needs of product teams and the need for adequate risk and compliance management.

-SRE Makes Sense at Scale
–The SRE model sets up a healthy and productive interaction between the development and SRE teams by using service-level objectives (SLOs) and error budgets to balance the speed of new features with whatever work is needed to make the software reliable.
–SRE is a dynamic balance between a commitment to operability from the application-development team and expertise from the SRE team. Without a high degree of engineering discipline and commitment from management, this fine balance in SRE can easily degrade into a traditional “us and them” silo that leads to repeated service outages and mistrust between teams.

-Considerations When Choosing a Topology

-Technical and Cultural Maturity

-Quadrant: Organization Size / Software Scale vs Engineering Maturity

-Splitting Responsibilities to Break Down Silos
–highlight the importance of thinking about teams’ capabilities (or lack thereof) and how that causes dependencies between teams.

-Dependencies and Wait Times between Teams
–three different categories of dependency: knowledge, task, and resource dependencies.
–Detect and track interdependencies.

-Detect and track interdependencies.

Summary: Adopt and Evolve Team Topologies that Match Your Current Context

CHAPTER 5: The Four Fundamental Team Topologies

  • The architecture of the system gets cemented in the forms of the teams that develop it
  • Four fundamental team topologies:
    –Stream-aligned team
    –Enabling team
    –Complicated-subsystem team
    –Platform team

There is no “Ops” team or “support” team in the fundamental topologies,


  • The four fundamental team topologies simplify modern software team interactions.
  • Mapping common industry team types to the fundamental topologies sets up organizations for success, removing gray areas of ownership and overloaded/underloaded teams.
  • The main topology is (business) stream-aligned; all other topologies support this type.
  • The other topologies are enabling, complicated-subsystems, and platform.
  • The topologies are often “fractal” (self-similar) at large scale: teams of teams.


-Stream-Aligned Teams
–A “stream” is the continuous flow of work aligned to a business domain or organizational capability. Continuous flow requires clarity of purpose and responsibility so that multiple teams can coexist, each with their own flow of work.
–The stream-aligned team is the primary team type in an organization, and the purpose of the other fundamental team topologies is to reduce the burden on the stream-aligned teams
“you build it, you run it” popularized by Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon

-Capabilities within a Stream-Aligned Team
–This might mean having a mix of generalists and a few specialists.

-Why Stream-Aligned Team, Not “Product” or “Feature” Team?
–a stream should flow unimpeded.

-Expected Behaviors in an effective stream-aligned team
— several features:
–roduce a steady flow of feature delivery, uses an experimental approach to product evolution, expecting to constantly learn and adapt., minimal (ideally zero) hand-offs of work to other teams., evaluated on the sustainable flow of change it produces, must have time and space to address code quality changes (tech debt), proactively and regularly reaches out to the supporting fundamental-topologies teams (complicated subsystem, enabling, and platform).feel they have achieved or are in the path to achieving “autonomy, mastery, and purpose

-Enabling Teams
–An enabling team is composed of specialists in a given technical (or product) domain, and they help steam-aligned team with improving their capabilties (read, learn, practice new skills). It is a “technical consulting team” – gives guidance, not execution.

-Expected Behaviors
— proactivively seeks to understand needs of stream team, ahead of the tech curve, messenger of good/bad news, might act as a proxy for difficult services, promotes learning across teams
— Stream-aligned teams should expect to work with enabling teams only for short periods of time (weeks or months) in order to increase their capabilities around a new technology, concept, or approach.

-Enabling team vs Communities of Practice (CoP)
— Enabling teams and CoP can co-exist because they have slightly different purposes and dynamics: an enabling team is a small, long-lived group of specialists focused on building awareness and capability for a single team (or a small number of teams) at any one point in time, whereas a CoP usually seeks to have more widespread effects,

-Complicated-Subsystems Teams
–A complicated-subsystem team is responsible for building and maintaining a part of the system that depends heavily on specialist knowledge, to the extent that most team members must be specialists in that area of knowledge in order to understand and make changes to the subsystem.
–complicated-subsystem team is created only when a subsystem needs mostly specialized knowledge. The decision is driven by team cognitive load, not by a perceived opportunity to share the component.
–we expect to have only a few complicated-subsystem teams in a Team Topologies–driven organization

  • Expected behaviors
    –off-load work from stream-aligned teams on particularly complicated subsystems that need to be developed by a group of specialists.

-Platform teams
–enable stream-aligned teams to deliver work with substantial autonomy.
–The platform team’s knowledge is best made available via self-service capabilities via a web portal and/or programmable API — Ease of use.
–the platform can provide different levels of service.

-Expected behavior
–strong collaboration with stream-aligned teams to understand their needs.,fast prototyping techniques and involves stream-aligned team members for fast feedback

-Compose the Platform from Groups of Other Fundamental Teams
–ested or “fractal” teams within the platform—what we like to call inner topologies.

-Avoid Team Silos in the Flow of Change

-A Good Platform Is “Just Big Enough”

  • aim for a thinnest viable platform (TVP) and avoid letting the platform dominate the discourse.
  • Cognitive Load Reduction and Accelerated Product Development: The most important part of the platform is that it is built for developers.”

-Compelling, Consistent, Well-Chosen Constraints: Dev Experience (User experience UX)

-Built On an Underlying Platform (platform layers)

-Manage as a Live Product or Service: using software-product-management techniques

-Convert Common Team Types to the Fundamental Team Topologies

-Move to Mostly Stream-Aligned Teams for Longevity and Flexibility

-Infrastructure Teams to Platform Teams

-Component Teams to Platform or Other Team Types

-Tooling Teams to Enabling Teams or Part of the Platform

-Converting Support Teams: 1) support teams aligned to the stream of changes, and (2) dynamic cross-team activity to resolve live service incidents.

-Converting Architecture and Architects
–The most effective pattern for an architecture team is as a part-time enabling team (if one is needed at all)
–to help them achieve better outcomes and provide them the tools and technologies that will enable these outcomes.”

-Summary: Use Loosely Coupled, Modular Groups of Four Specific Team Types
–stream aligned, enabling, complicated subsystem, and platform.



  • Choose software boundaries using a team-first approach.
  • Beware of hidden monoliths and coupling in the software-delivery chain.
  • Use software boundaries defined by business-domain bounded contexts.
  • Consider alternative software boundaries when necessary and suitable.


Beyond Order

After a bit, I finished this book. I didn’t read the first book that long ago but I felt sometimes it is was difficult to digest this one when he was very “technical”. I don’t remember that from the first.

One of my favourite things is the “Overture” where he gives you a bit of a summary about what has been ongoing with his own health and family health problems. Quite impressive. Then you still have a book.

Still I find quite impressive how much knowledge he can find from Religion (Old testament, New testament, etc), Harry Potter and other fairy tales.

There are rules that look common sense but you realized how easily you skip, ignore or dont notice them. I think it is a good guideline for Living.

1- Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or creative achievement:

People depend on constant communication with others to keep their minds organized. We mostly think by talking. We need to talk both to remember and to forget. We outsource the problem of sanity. People remain mentally healthy not merely because of the integrity of their own minds, but because they are constantly being reminded how to think, act and speak by those around them.

I struggled to understand the title and although I highlight some lines. My take is that socializing is critical for our sanity. And that the social structures we have built during the last couple of millennia has help us to advance and keep sane. So institution is not just a physical building but our social rules

2- Imagine who you could be, and then aim singlemindedly at that:

Everybody requires a story to structure their perceptions and actions in what would be otherwise the overwhelming chaos of being. Every story needs a starting point that is not good enough and an ending that is better. Spirit eternally transcends dogma, truth transcends presupposition, creativity updates society. Those who break the rules ethically are those who have mastered them first and disciplined themselves to understand the necessity of those rules, and break them in keeping with the spirit rather than the letter of the law. The soul willing to transform is the most effective enemy of the demonics of ideology and totalitarianism, in their personal and social forms. Pick the best target you can currently conceptualize, stumble toward it. Somethinig profund, noble and lofty. If you can find a better path along the way, once you have started moving forwards, then switch course. Be careful, with giving up, if the new path appears more challenging, then you are not betraying yourself when changing your mind. You will zigzag forwards (amen), not efficient, but there is no alternative as the goals will change, as you learn what you need to learn while you are disciplining yourself. With will and luck, you will find a story that is meaningful and productive, improves itself with time and provides you with moments of satisfaction.

3- Do not hide unwanted things in the fog:

Do not pretend you are happy with something if you are not, and if a reasonable solution might, in principle, be negotiated, have the damn fight. Unpleasant in the moment, but it is one less straw on the camel’s back. Life is what repeats, and it is worth getting what repeats right. if you keep small things unresolved, as any compound interest, in the long run, it will be a disaster. Even if you try, you can fail. But if you dont try, for sure, you will fail. It is better to see the problems than keeping in the fog, because you can at least sometimes avoid the danger that you are willing to see.

Clean your room, and if possible, beautify it.

It is difficult to win an argument, or begin one, if you have not carefully articulated what you want (or do not) and need (or do not)

4- Notice that opportunity lurks where responsibility has been abdicated:

If you want to be invaluable in a workspace, just do the useful things no one else is doing. Learn more about the business and competition.

Difficult is necessary: It is a strange and paradoxical fact that there is a reciprocal relationship between the worth of something and the difficulty of achieving it.

By taking responsability, we can find a meaningful path, improve our personal lot psychologically and make what is intolerably wrong, better.

If you mistep while doing something, you can learn from it. You must risk something that matters.

You must sacrifice something of your manifold potential in exchange for something real in life. Aim at something. Discipline yourself or suffer the consequence = all suffering of life, with none of the meaning = better description of hell.

The voluntary confrontation with a feared, hated or despised obstacle is curative. We become stronger by voluntarily facing what stops our progress.

It is probable, inevitable, that the adventure of your life will frustrate, disappoint and unsettle you, but that is where the deep meaning that orients you and shelters you is to be found. That is where the life what is worth living is to be eternally found. (if only you are willing)

5- Do not do what you hate:

Part of moving Beyond Order is understanding that your conscience has a primary claim on your action, which supersedes your conventional social duty. If you device to stand up and refuse a command or do something of which others disapprove but your firmly believe to be correct, you must be in a position to trust yourself.

6- Abandon ideology:

Ideology is dead (like God as Nietzsche said).We should address and consider smaller, better defined problems. Start small so you can solve them (and not blaming somebody else), then get to bigger ones. Scale. Take it personally and take responsibility of the outcome.

Have some humility. Clean up your room. Take care of your family. Follow your conscience. Straighten up your life. Find something productive and interesting to do and commit. Rinse and repeat.

7- Work as hard as you possibly can on at least one thing and see what happens

The inability to decide among ten (ie) things, even desirable, is equivalent to torment by all of them. Clear goals limit and simplify the world, as well, reducing uncertainty, anxiety, shame and stress.

To move forwards with resolve, it is necessary to be organized – to be directed toward something singular and identifiable.

Aim. Point. All this is part of maturation and discipline, and something to be properly valued. if you aim at nothing, you become plagued by everything. If you aim at nothing, you have nowhere to go, nothing to do and nothing of high value in your life, as value requires the ranking of options and sacrifice of the lower to the higher.

Commitments with enduring value: character, love, family, friendship and career.

People who do not choose a job or a career commonly become unmoored and drift. The same for not committing to a single romantic partner or being loyal to friends.

If you work as hard as you can on one thing, you will change. You will become one instead of a multitude.

8- Try to make one room in your home as beautiful as possible.

Cleaning your room is not enough. Making something beautiful is difficult. If you do one thing beautiful in your life, then you can expand to other elements of your life and world. That is a reconnection with the immortality of childhood. Find one that speaks to you and make the purchase. Art is the bedrock of culture of itself. That unites psychologically and establish productive peace with others. “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4). I always say that I just need bread and water… (and then I say to myself, I need/want company) When we become adults , we see the work differently: we want efficiency, accomplishment and order. A child is focus in the present and gets fascinated by that.

Artists are always transforming chaos into order. That happens a lot in cities where they relocated to rough areas and they transform them to nice places. Then the capitalism throws them away to a new place. Start again. They are the initial civilizing agents.

You are very creative when you are dreaming. Beauty leads back to what you have lost.

9- If old memories still upset you, write them down carefully and completely

Learn from the past. Or repeat its horrors forever. And for that, you need to understand it, and one of the best ways it is to write it down: reduces existential uncertainty, anxiety, improves mental health and boosts immunological function.

Your refusal or even inability to come to terms with the errors of the past expands the source of such error. So you must confess, repent and change (when wrong). You must humbly ask, and knock, and seek.

What is traumatic but remains inexplicable indicates that our “maps” world is insufficient in some vital manner. It is our destiny to transform chaos into order. If the past has not been ordered, the chaos is still haunts us.

10- Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship

You need a strategy and that depends of a negotiation. You and your partner must know what the other wants/needs and you both need the will to discuss it. If you dont communicate, the other has to guess: recipe for disaster. Romance requires trust and that is based on truth. Still there will be bad times (and not short in time). So for that reason to you need to have that communication. In the bad moments, you have to past the tears to have a real conversation. Do not foolishly confuse “nice” with “good”. Dedicate team each week to talk to your partner purely about practical and personal matters. Dont skip it and make it count.

Assumptions that are not true: 1) there is somebody out there that is perfect and 2) there is somebody out there that is perfect for you.

The myth of spontaneity (I love this one). You are adults, both have (demanding) jobs, (demanding) family and other (demanding) duties. And you have to sleep, eat, commute, etc. Where do you fit that in that life schedule? And you dont settle for anything less than spontaneity??? Good luck.

Arrange some dates and practice. Negotiate and practice. Bloody communicate.

11- Do not allow yourself to become resentful, deceitful or arrogant

It is difficult to learn (X), because there is no story associated with it. If someone is telling you a story, it attracts your attention immediately (ie periodic table)

Malevolence exists in our hearts, mastering it constitutes the greatest and unlikeliest of individual achievements.

We are built, neurologically, to interpret the world in a dramatic manner due to the hypothalamus, our ancient/reptile brain. It is in charge of self-preservation and exploration. So the hypothalamic story is: drink, eat, reproduce (sex), watch out for monsters and explore to be able to the the beginning. We are driven to explore.

Sacrifice: discovery of the future. abandon impulse gratification (present), obtain something valuable in the long run (future)

Deal with problems is part of living. If you isolate from evil, you will end like the Disney movies. And like Buddha, he escaped a “perfect” life because it was not natural. And in Matrix whole crops of humans were lost because we can’t live in a perfect world…. That avoids resentment because you dont feel like a victim anymore.

We must listen to people who differ from us because they have the ability to see and react to what we can’t see/detect.

Encouragement (see the problems, analyze, divide, make a plan) makes people to face the problems head-on. That is voluntary. You become braver, stronger and more courageous. We have more of that than we think.

The alternative is resentment and that doesn’t make any good.

If you take your turn at the difficult tasks, people learn to trust you, you learn to trust yourself, and you get better at doing difficult things. You can’t get away with avoiding your responsibilities (problem with your partner, at work, etc). This is connected to with disbelief in our own capabilities (Adam blamed Eva for eating the apple….)

The right attitude to the horror of existence (the alternative to resentment, deceit and arrogance) is the assumption that there is enough of you, society and the world to justify existence.

12- Be grateful in spite of your suffering

You can’t be really grateful or thankful for what good you have and what bad hasn’t hit you until you encounter the darkness of living. You look in dark places to protect/prepare yourself, because they will come. Human race has been dealing with death forever. We are the descendants of those who managed it. So that is in all of us. You are morally obligated to manifest strength in the face of adversity to indicate to yourself (and whoever is around) that there is something in you enough to face the worst throw to you and still prevail. That can make a bad situation much less dreadful that it might be. And that’s something.

Gratitude is therefore the process of consciously and courageously attempting thankfulness in the face of catastrophe in life (this is something in which you can discover part of the antidote to the abyss and the darkness)