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What We’re Reading: Are you measuring the right metrics of success?

Adrienne Gibbs
The Medium Blog
Published in
5 min readFeb 24, 2024


Hi everyone,

How do you measure personal success?

Leadership coach and ex-Googler Sivan Hermon took a stab at that question by recounting a dinner time discussion of new Netflix series Griselda, based on the story of an infamous drug lord. After learning of the business woman’s more violent statistics, Hermon found an opportunity to lobby for more context when recounting metrics.

Hermon details these musings in “The Art of Success Measurement: Insights from Griselda and Googlein the publication Code Like A Girl.

“250 (killed) you say? What is the benchmark for killings in drug lord worlds? Can you normalize this for me? What percentile is that compared to her peers? In other words, what is the average number of killings among drug lords? What was the success rate? How many failed attempts preempted the desired outcome?”

She was joking a bit regarding the questions asked of Griselda’s track record, but the overall idea can be applied to any metric used at work. Asking the right questions and analyzing your metrics with appropriate context can show the value of your work much better than a flat statistic.

Similarly, entrepreneur Daniel Kang creates a framework for saving your job amidst a stream of layoffs in various industries. For Kang, context also matters.

“If the company can supercharge your labor and create leverage for value, that’s a good sign,” Kang. “Anchor your value to how much value you create, not what someone else is making.”

What advice would you give someone who needs to analyze or describe the value of their contributions at work or in a volunteer organization? If you write about the metrics of success, I’d love to read your pieces.

Thanks for reading, and writing, on Medium.
Adrienne Gibbs, Director of Content @ Medium

P.S. Have you heard about the Medium Pub Crawl? It’s a March 19, 2024 virtual hangout for writers and publishers on Medium. If that’s you, join us and register here.

What We’re Reading

Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash

What Sam Altman’s 7 Trillion Dream Means for Us

Published by Claire_Han in Predict

So this $7 trillion — actually, it’s estimated to be $5–7 trillion — will include the investments needed for the real estate, the data centers, the training, the infrastructure and everything needed to make an ecosystem of super-fast chip-producing factories.

Pundits are divided on whether this is at all feasible. To contextualise Altman’s $7 trillion ask, the global chip market was worth $527 billion in 2023.

New AI System, AlphaGeometry, Conquers Olympiad-Level Geometry

Published by the NYU Center for Data Science

The development of AlphaGeometry benefitted from collaborations with the group formerly known as Google Brain, also known currently as Google DeepMind. This industry connection provided Trinh with the computational resources and intellectual community necessary to refine his prototype into a robust AI system. This journey, marked by interdisciplinary collaboration and a relentless pursuit of knowledge, exemplifies the innovative spirit driving advancements in artificial intelligence.

AI-generated portrait of a black student | created by author using CANVA

Why Some Students Need Special Permission to Learn Black History

Published by Allison Wiltz in AfroSapiophile

The Miami-Dade County Public School District sent a permission slip home for students to “participate and listen to a book written by an African American.” And in doing so, they illustrated a clear-cut example of racism in our educational system. No permission slip is needed when students are introduced to books written by White authors throughout the school year. But, suddenly, when work by a Black author was introduced, the school sought special permission. What’s happening here?

Figure 1: A high level overview of conversion optimization pipeline

Evolution of Ad Conversion Optimization Models at Pinterest

Published by the Pinterest Engineering Team

People often come to Pinterest for inspiration on their next life or shopping ideas. In fact, over half of Pinterest users think of Pinterest as a place to shop. Ads and other content from businesses are an important part of the consumer journey because they add value to the discovery process. Conversion Optimization optimizes Promoted Pins for specific consumer conversion actions, rather than just clicks. Advertisers can choose conversions as a campaign objective and inspire people to take specific actions like online checkouts, increased signups, or stronger leads. In this blog we will deep dive into some of our recent advancements in machine learning modeling to connect pinners with the most relevant ads.

This week’s Final Word is from a YouTube math channel review written by LucianoSphere (Luciano Abriata, PhD) in Cantor’s Paradise. The piece not only offers insight into a cool online destination, but it also puts forth an equation that is fun to do, but difficult to explain.

Here it is.

“The “3n + 1” problem consists in a simple mathematical problem stated as follows:

Start with any positive integer n.

If n is even, divide it by 2; if n is odd, multiply it by 3 and add 1. Repeat the process with the resulting number, and continue iterating. The conjecture proposes that, regardless of the starting number, the sequence will always eventually reach 1. For example, if we start with the number 6, we get the following sequence: 6, 3, 10, 5, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1. Similarly, starting with the number 11, we get: 11, 34, 17, 52, 26, 13, 40, 20, 10, 5, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1.”

Read the rest of the story here.

What great reads have you discovered lately? Let us know in the responses.



Adrienne Gibbs
The Medium Blog

Director of Content @Medium. Award-winning journalist. Featured in a Beyoncé reel. Before now? EBONY, Netflix, Sun-Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe.