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Competing with Unicorns: How the World’s Best Companies Ship Software and Work Differently

November 20, 2019

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On this day in 1820, an 80-ton whale attacked and sank a whaling ship from Nantucket and provided the basis for Herman Melville's classic novel, Moby Dick.

Massive "whales" remain common in the business world and remain formidable competitors. But much rarer, faster, more nimble, and more powerful, are the "unicorns": massively successful companies that scale like an enterprise while working like a startup.

See how they do it in Jonathan Rasmusson's Competing with Unicorns: How the World’s Best Companies Ship Software and Work Differently, now available in beta from

Go get 'em.


Competing with Unicorns: How the World’s Best Companies Ship Software and Work Differently

Massively successful tech companies, or Unicorns, have discovered how to take the techniques that made them successful as a startup and scale them to the enterprise level. Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Spotify all work like startups, despite having workforces numbering in the tens of thousands. Ex-Spotify engineer and coach, Jonathan Rasmusson, takes you behind the scenes and shows you how to develop software the way the best companies do it.

Learn how to give teams purpose through Missions, empower and trust with Squads, and align large scale efforts through Bets. Create the culture necessary to make it happen.

If you're a tech or product lead and you want to ship product better, this is your playbook on how the world’s best do it. If you're an engineer, tester, analyst, or project manager, and you suspect there are better ways you could be working, you are correct. This book will show you how. And if you're a manager, Agile coach, or someone just charged with improving how your company ships software, this book will give you the tools, techniques, and practices of the world’s most innovative, delivery-focused companies. Don’t just admire the top companies—learn from them.

Now available in beta from

Upcoming Author Appearances

  • 2019-11-22 Adam Tornhill,
    GOTO Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2019-12-03 Dominik Hauser,
    MacDev, Karlsruhe (German conference)
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    Coming Soon:

    • Designing Elixir Systems with OTP, in print
    • Software Estimation Without Guessing: Effective Planning in an Imperfect World, in print
    • Engineering Practical Software Managers, in beta

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