JW on Tech

James Whittaker is a technology executive focused on making the web a better place for users and developers. He is a former Googler, former professor and former startup founder. Follow him on Twitter @docjamesw.

An Ode to Reviews

An Ode to Reviews

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(To be sung, with respect, to the general tune of John Lennon's Happy Christmas.)


So it's review time
And what have you done?
One set of commitments over
A new one just begun

But does any of it matter?
This time we all make
To fuss over ratings
And claiming our take

Did reviews create the PC?
Did they contribute to the Web?
Will they improve the human condition?
Will they make a topic for TED?

So have a happy review time!
And write what you want
Make it sound like you exceeded
And yes this is a taunt!


Here's a better idea: Do what needs to be done. And when something needs to be done, do it.

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  • Spot on

  • Well said, James!

    I guess just like a lot of administrivia, annual reviews are something we are forced to tolerate, but are usually free to loathe.

    (The phrase I always use for my better idea is: "Do the right thing, at the right time.")


  • Fantastic!  Put a smile on my face this morning and puts our review system in place.

  • Nice!!

  • Will annual reviews exist forever?  I really wonder about that sometimes.

  • Another reason why small companies outperform the bigger ones, we don't bother with so much process around reviews. The longer the review work, the less real work. The more people focus on getting a good review, the less people focus on adding actual value.

    Keep up the good work JW. Microsoft needs you now more than ever. None of us want creepy Google to win.

  • Made my day!

  • Roses are red,

    violets are blue,

    those who shipped Kin,

    matched same curve as you.

  • Well said..

    It doesn't even matter...

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