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Is Peter Thiel's "one thing" management philosophy a good model for startups? - Quora


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Is Peter Thiel's "one thing" management philosophy a good model for startups?

"One thing" is a management strategy where each individual employee is given a single variable to optimize (improving page load time, increasing userbase, increasing adoption of a single feature, etc.) which is then used as the sole performance review axis 3-6 months later.  In CS183, he described it as crazy.  Is it a good idea for startups, and when?

No, it's not a good idea, because often can pit employees against each other with incompatible goals.

The most important benefit of this approach is that it impels the organization to solve the challenges with the highest impact.  Without this discipline, there is a consistent tendency of employees to address the easier to conquer, albeit less valuable, imperatives.  As a specific example, if you have 3 priorities and the most difficult one lacks a clear solution, most people will gravitate towards the 2d  order task with a clearer path to an answer.As a result, the organization collectively performs at a B+ or A- level, but misses many of the opportunities for a step-function in value creation.

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