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Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  8,858 ratings  ·  948 reviews
Legendary venture capitalist John Doerr reveals how the goal-setting system of Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) has helped tech giants from Intel to Google achieve explosive growth--and how it can help any organization thrive.

In the fall of 1999, John Doerr met with the founders of a start-up whom he'd just given $12.5 million, the biggest investment of his career.
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Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Portfolio (first published 2018)
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Dimitri Kurashvili Absolutely. You can use it even for yourself to be clear about your own goals with yourself.

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Martin Brochhaus
This book is bad.

The first 18% of the book is simply silicon valley hero worshipping, basically the author bragging about all the cool people he has worked with and why they are so important and genius and surely everything that follows must be of importance because he has worked with important people.

This book is nothing more than a bunch of case studies. As always with these case studies, they are extremely specific to the companies under observation and you will not learn anything from this
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Keith Martin
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Solid methodology that could be adequately summarized in two pages, padded to 300+ pages with self-aggrandizement and surface-level case studies.
Rick
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've worked on the Google campus for 11 years, and have seen first-hand the impact OKRs have had on the company. John Doerr is single-handedly responsible for bringing OKRs to Google. He saw before anyone else the transformative power Andy Grove's system from Intel could have at Google, and this book is a great window into those early days. John does a great job showing how that early presentation at Google set the stage for so much of the growth and success that came later.

Some of the best
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Romans Karpelcevs
Did I learn how to set OKRs? No.
Did I find out what's the difference between Os and KRs when you choose them? No.
Do I know how to align departments with non-trivial objectives? No.
Did I understand what to do when things go wrong? No.
Do I feel confident about doing OKRs now? No.
Am I inspired about OKRs more than I was when I started the book? No.
Did I at least heard about how to measure what matters? No.

Did I learn anything at all from this book?! Hm... I heard empty case studies where people,
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Peter Tillman
In 1999, John Doerr got his VC firm Kleiner Perkins to invest $11.8 million for 12% of the infant Google Corp. Current market cap (Dec 2018) for Google is around $743 billion, so Kleiner Perkins' 12% would be worth (say) $89 billion. Doerr himself has a personal net worth of around $7 billion. So, if he's writing a book on how to achieve those sorts of results, he has earned our respectful attention. Plus the book is clearly written, and short. There are caveats, as you can see in nearby ...more
Romanas
I am a big proponent of written goals with systematic follow-ups. Otherwise, they are just the dreams in the sky, which might accidentally realize, but, most often, they will not. John Doerr presents his approach to goal-setting and ways for following them up. His system is called Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

The author’s system is solid and, apparently, has been implemented with great success at several outstanding companies like Google.

I can’t agree with the proclamation that the method
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Martin
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing that someone like John Doerr wrote such a shallow book.

*It's extremely vague. Never gotten into the details of OKR or the shortcomings of this goal setting system. The most detail this book offered is the football analogy
*90% of this book is brief case studies
*Tons of plugs into companies Kleiner Perkins invested
*Lots of reference to Intel and Andy Grove so if you are looking for solid mgmt advise read "High Output Management" instead
Piotr Pisarz
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an ex-Googler, I’m quite familiar with OKRs -
They are a key management tool in the company. While they sometime frustrate you, they are your key northstar. Having left a few years ago, i do have to say i miss them, and I encourage all companies and founders to instill them.

John’s book is a great intro to the OKR system, used by all leading companies worldwide. It provides clear examples and use cases. If you’re a founder, this should be a new position on your must read list.
ScienceOfSuccess
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: waiting
I hate to grade this kind of books. Any grade from 2 to 5 would be explainable.

There is a clear message so simple you can't miss it...
'The OKRs system is better than goals because goals can measure anything and everything, and OKR's focus on measuring what matters.'
...and then there are 20 examples of how it works.

For me, this book could be a blog post. I don't need quotes from Bono to believe this system works, but when I think more about it, I'd probably forget OKR's and just move one
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Yevgeniy Brikman
This book should've been a long blog post. At its core, it contains valuable advice about the power of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) as a mechanism to help get everyone in a company moving in the same direction. Unfortunately, this nugget of wisdom is wrapped in loads of generic business book jargon, scattered through chapters that seem to be organized randomly, and padded out with lots of case studies, which while sometimes interesting, are not terribly useful, and often written in an ...more
Herve
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kleiner Perkins is a, not to say the VC brand name – but there is also Sequoia. When their partners write something, it is often worth reading. And this month two of them publish a book! I begin here with John Doerr and his Measure What Matters - www.whatmatters.com (though this is the paperback publication – the hardcover was published in 2017). In my next review I will write about Komisar’s Straight Talk for Startups

Ideas are Easy. Implementation is Everything.

Doerr is a Silicon Valley legend.
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Vishwanath
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent read on implementing OKRs by the master of them. The google/intel/bono case studies are all detailed and provide a lot of examples on how you can implement these in your own organizations. John Doerr built on the method he learnt at Intel under the great Andy Grove and then helped more than 50 companies implement those OKRs with a lot of success. The system obviously works but the true challenge is influencing the leadership in organization to follow such a methodical approach. This ...more
Mindaugas Mozūras
If we try to focus on everything, we focus on nothing.

OKRs, as a tool, seems solid.

The book itself is just ok. It's filled with a collection of stories of companies using OKRs. While some stories were fun to read, they fail to convince that OKRs were the catalyst for success.
Thomas
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_2018, business
I truly don't get the negative reviews. I suspect some of them must have read a different book than I did. Anyway, this is a solid introduction to OKRs. If you want to learn how various companies have put them into practice, you'll get that and more. The resources at the end are especially helpful and I suspect I'll be referring to them repeatedly.
Ali Sattari
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Could have been a ~10 page essay.
Sumit Singla
I've always been keenly interested in figuring out how to unlock high performance in an organization. Traditional models like MBO and the Balanced Scorecard have survived so far, but in the fast-changing digital age with shorter business cycles, a new approach is needed.

And that's where OKRs are like a breath of fresh air. Cut the crap. Stop creating complex goal sheets that no one has the time or patience to fill and review. Keep it simple, and focus only on the top priorities for your business
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Eugene
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book about OKR (objectives - key results) goals management system invented by Peter Drucker and popularized by long time Intel CEO Andy Groove. Though the OKR system is well known now (see www.withgoogle.com) but this book provides the instruction and the details and nuances on the proper implementation along with interviews from managers and founders who are using OKR for the projects, including Bill Gates (Gates Foundation), Bono (U2), Sundar Pichai (Alphabet), Susan Wojcicki (YouTube) and ...more
Annie
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this book 3.5 stars. The title suggests that it will guide you in defining objectives and key results. However, it's more of a memoir of how this method had worked for the many companies that the author was involved with (hence, the negative reviews for self-aggrandizing). The few important lessons from the book are select 3-5 objectives every quarter (specifically 'what' has to happen to increase business value), identify the key results needed ('how' to reach the goal - what are the ...more
Geoff
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of these kind of books because I'm assuming that they'll be read by someone in the senior leadership of my company and then I'll need to respond to the new exciting fad they want to have the company embrace without critical thinking.

This book demonstrated without fail that Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) can produce microprocessors, save people from malaria and HIV/AIDS and deliver HOT pizzas made by robots!

If I bought into the silicon valley/startup hero worship echo chamber that
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Julia
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear past, present and future manager: please read this book. If you can, get a hard copy. Unless listening is the only way you will read it[1]. In particular, please pay attention to Chapters 15 and 17 about 1:1s. These are the best parts of the book. I wish I had read these pages when I was a manager, and I'll be referring to them again in the future.

[1]: Yes, I listened to it and just bought the hardcover version so I did put my money where my mouth is thankyouverymuch.
Neil S W Murray
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in two sittings as it was easy and enjoyable to read. Hardly groundbreaking stuff but a good reminder of the power of structured goals as well as the history of OKRs. The best part are the case studies/stories interwoven throughout the book. Useful resource section at the end too to help you set your own OKRs.
Phil Calçado
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Repetitive but useful

The first chapters are great, it gets quite repetitive after that. Too many case studies that repeat the message that OKRs are great, not enough interesting corner cases or other interesting tips.
Vlad
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The best book on OKRs. Not the best book on measuring what matters. An indispensable guide for anyone implementing OKRs in an org, or working to succeed in an org where OKRs rule.
Simon Eskildsen
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The right book at the right time for me. The central premise (backed up by numerous studies) is that hard goals drive performance more than easy or no goals. If the vectors or where people are going point in different directions, they add up to zero. But if you get everybody pointing in the same direction, you maximize the results. OKRs are a good way to get there, and the book goes into numerous examples. Don't get too focused on the results, or you end up placing the gas tank six inches from ...more
Matias Myllyrinne
Great book, took loads away from it and has helped me and our team.
Jeremy Zhang
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good concepts that will positively impact the company. Could have been a lot more concise.
Graeme Roberts
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Humans evolved a much bigger brain to support collaboration across larger groups. The bigger brain needed much more energy, so the whole human digestive tract, mouth to anus, had to evolve the capability of processing animals not just plants. For all of that, we are still not very good at working together. It's difficult, even in a small team, but big organizations have greater difficulty in staying aligned, effective, and efficient. Many fail, and people are hurt.

Andy Grove, the legendary CEO
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Tõnu Vahtra
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought this is the WHY OKR's book but it's more the WHERE OKR's book as most of it is case studies description of various organizations using OKR's (Intel, Nuna, MyFitnessPal, Intuit, Youtube, Gates Foundation, Google, Adobe, Zume Pizza, Lumeris, Bono's ONE Campaign). Got interested more in the Intel topics and will add "High Performance Management" by Andy Grove to the reading list.

At the beginning of each cycle, distinguish between goals that must be attained 100% (committed OKR's), other are
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Robert Lintzen
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really opened my eyes into the world of good goal setting! Lots of good resources in the book that you can immediately put to practical use.
I gave the book only 4 starts as in my opinion, at the end of the book the examples start to be too many with little added value. It is portrayed like every business became a huge success just because of OKRs which lacks some depth sometimes.
Bjoern Rochel
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, eng-mgmt
For me (without prior exposure to OKRs) the book was perfect and gave me everything I needed in order to understand OKRs and CFRs. It's written by one of the guys who experienced OKRs at Intel and subsequently introduced them at many other companies (Google being one of the most prominent examples). The case studies are pretty engaging (for instance that pizza robot was pure nerd-porn). Overall I felt though that there were too many of them and the book could have been much shorter. The book ...more
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