No Starving Children? The Shocking Truth About Prioritization.

Prioritization means making decisions that focus energy and resources on a few things that are at the top of the list, and starving things that are lower in the list. The most important aspect of prioritization is the concept of starvation. In the context of prioritization, starvation refers to the lack of attention or resources given to tasks lower down on the priority list. By definition, as we allocate more resources to higher-priority tasks, lower-priority tasks …Continue reading

Don’t Sell Ideas – Debate Them

The practice of selling ideas in meetings can lead to misalignment and superficial agreement. When the focus is on persuasion rather than understanding, team members may agree without fully grasping the implications or having their concerns addressed. This superficial agreement will lead to problems down the line when the complexities of the idea come to light during implementation. If the presenter’s goal is to get buy-in for an idea, dissenting voices may be silenced or …Continue reading

How AI Will Keep Us Honest

I was a guest on the “Are We There Yet?” podcast. We dove deep into several topics close to my heart: The future of life on Earth, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, leadership, and more. Have a listen and let me know your reaction! Legendary technologist, product visionary, and leadership coach Tigger (Charlie) Kindel winds through the challenges and choices his team made during the early development of Amazon’s Alexa; where AI fits in the continuum …Continue reading

The Secret to Delivering Outsized Results

In 35+ years of building companies and organizations in multiple industries, I’ve concluded most leadership books are great examples of survivorship bias. I’ve learned a lot from many of these books. But none of them really clued me into the secret of what distinguishes teams that consistently deliver outsized results from teams that are just mediocre. So what’s the secret? Principles. Principled leaders have a set of strongly held beliefs in the how (vs the …Continue reading

Announcing Kindel Leadership Development

In 2020 started hosting my Free and Open Office Hours as a way to give back and meet more people in the space industry. As I became useful to those in the space industry and gained expertise in the space domain I discovered how fulfilling helping multiple companies with leadership development was. To that end, I have pivoted and made Kindel Leadership Development my primary focus. Hire me for Learn more and get started here: …Continue reading

cek.log -> tig.log (Charlie -> Tigger)

When I was a baby my favorite eldest sister nicknamed me “Tigger” because I was bouncy and acting “Tiggerish”. Friends and family have called me “Tigger” or “Tig” ever since. When I started my professional career I figured the goofy nickname wasn’t appropriate, so decided on Charlie. After 30+ years of not loving being called “Charlie”, I’ve decided to reclaim Tigger as my name. In the earliest days of email, I signed my emails “-tig”. …Continue reading

Biases and Fallacies Lead to Smol Thinking

All human beings are prone to cognitive biases and fallacies that influence our thinking and decision-making processes. These biases and fallacies can be sneaky and hard to detect, but it’s important that we are aware of them and try to minimize their impact on our lives. By being mindful of our biases, we can expand our thinking and consider new perspectives and possibilities. One way to do this is by looking beyond our own planet …Continue reading

Engineer the Sh*t out of Errors – Everywhere

Errors. They’re everywhere, but they don’t have to spell disaster. In fact, they’re an opportunity for improvement, if you Engineer the Sh*it out of them. By everywhere, I mean in all functions of a company, not just product or operations. A hallmark of a world-class organization is a mechanism that treats errors as they should be: imperfections in the systems or processes, not personal failings. One of the most famous is Amazon’s Correction of Errors …Continue reading

Make the Routine, Routine – Blow up Dunbar’s Number

As fast-growing organizations approach Dumbar’s number, they either become forever mediocre or they adapt and become excellent at scaling (in addition to being excellent at delivering customer value). The key differentiator is making the routine, routine by implementing cadence-based mechanisms, which I call Routines.Continue reading

Breaking Down Innovation & Invention

A friend recently asked me if I had a Lexicon & Taxonomy for Innovation and Invention. While I do, I realized I’ve never written it down. Here’s my first stab; using the Customer, Business, Organization, and Technology (CBTO) mental model. What do you think? Lexicon: Taxonomy: This lexicon and taxonomy of innovation and invention provide a mental model for understanding and categorizing different types of innovative ideas and approaches. However, simply having innovative ideas is …Continue reading

Why Mars? For the Dogs!

Mars has long captivated the human imagination as a potential destination for exploration and settlement. With its rugged terrain and extreme conditions, Mars presents a unique challenge and an exciting opportunity for humanity. There are several reasons why we should colonize Mars. First and foremost, it would allow us to extend our reach beyond Earth and become a multi-planetary species. This would not only be an exciting and ambitious goal, but it would also provide …Continue reading

Torpedo Fuses: The Bane of Classic German Automobiles

Torpedo fuses in BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and Porsche cars from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s have not stood the test of time. Here’s why…Continue reading

Be A Volunteer

Once you get to the point in your career where you realize a) you’ll be just fine financially (because your resume kicks ass), b) your company doesn’t give a sh*t about you, and c) you know what the Right Thing to do is, act like a volunteer.Continue reading

I’ve Joined STOKE Space Technologies as an Advisor

In November 2020, I declared I was going to break into the space industry for my next professional chapter. My hypothesis was my experience rapidly scaling organizations that deliver results, coupled with my expertise in software would be helpful to space companies. The fact that I basically knew nothing about space wouldn’t matter. With the help of a lot of friends in my network, I was quickly connected with dozens of leaders in the booming …Continue reading

Posting Wrenching Videos

Every decade I try my hand at being a videographer. My foot surgery led me to giving Premiere Pro a try (I still hate Adobe UIs). A test project: Should I do more garage/wrenching videos?

Advising Rebel Space Technologies

I’m honored to announce that Rebel Space Technologies has asked me to join them as a Strategic and Technical Advisor. Satellites need to reliably and efficiently communicate with each other and ground stations in the face of severe spectrum congestion, celestial dynamics (these things and the Earth are always moving relative to each other), and changing mission profiles. Rebel’s first product is the Rebel Space Radio, which leverages software-defined radio (SDR) technology to allow RF …Continue reading

Virtuous Cycles, Platforms, Flywheels, Snowballs, and Tidal Waves

I’m working on writing down my thoughts on space. I’ve learned a ton since deciding space would be my next mission. Some pretty clear thoughts are forming, and whenever that happens, I’ve trained myself to write, write, and write to really solidify things. Space is big. In fact, it is, literally, the largest domain. Given the vastness of the domain, I need to formulate a Taxonomy and Lexicon that resonates to gain clarity. I’m a …Continue reading

I’m Advising Carv Because It Improves My Skiing

Last Christmas (2019) my daughter gifted me Carv. I fell so in love with the product that I stalked the CEO and begged him to talk to me to see if I could help. I’ve been working with the company since December and last week he asked me to join Carv as a Strategic Advisor. Initially, I assumed Carv was a gimmick. The abbreviated 2019/20 ski season meant I only got 6 days using Carv, …Continue reading

From Servers, Phones, and Voice Assistants to Space…

Last week I joined my good friend  Den Delimarsky and his colleague Courtny Cotten hosted me on The Work Item podcast. “In this episode, we dive a bit deeper into Charlie’s approach to product ideation and design, discuss the importance of having a principled organization, and ask questions about his most recent adventure around space.” Czech it out here (I love that the transcript is available along with the audio): From Servers, Phones, and Voice Assistants to …Continue reading

Find the Crux by Debating Excellence

No, don’t debate excellence; become excellent at debating. “It is better to debate a decision without settling it than settling a decision without debating it.” – Joseph Joubert Vigorous debate is critical to clear thinking in an organization. Debates garner the full intelligence of an organization. For decisions of great import, rigorous debate depersonalizes the decision. People are predisposed to focus on symptoms or minutia. Arguing over extraneous details is inefficient and is often the …Continue reading