Measure What Matters

OKRs - The Simple Idea That Drives 10x Growth

John Doerr

Publisher: Penguin, 2017, 306 pages

ISBN: 978-0-241-34848-2

Keywords: OKR, Performance Measurement

Last modified: Feb. 29, 2020, 9:37 p.m.

In 1999, legendary venture capitalist John Doerr invested nearly $12 million in a startup that had amazing technology, entrepreneurial energy and sky-high ambitions, but no real business plan. Doerr introduced the founders to OKRs, Objectives and Key Results, a revolutionary approach to goal-setting, and with OKRs at the foundation of their management, the startup grew from forty employees to more than 70,000 with a market cap exceeding $700 billion. The startup was Google.

Since then Doerr has introduced OKRs to more than fifty companies, helping tech giants and charities exceed all expectations. OKRs focus effort, foster coordination and enhance workplace satisfaction. They surface an organization's most important work as everyone's goals from entry-level to CEO are transparent to the entire institution.

In Measure What Matters, Doerr shares a broad range of case studies, with narrators including Bono and Bill Gates, to demonstrate the focus, agility, and explosive growth that OKRs have spurred at so many great organizations. This book will help a new generation of leaders capture the same magic.

  • Part One: OKRs in Action
    1. Google, Meet OKRs
      How OKRs came to Google, and the superpowers they convey
    2. The Father of OKRs
      Andy Grove creates and inculcates a new way of structured goal setting
    3. Operation Crush: An Intel Story
      How OKRs won the microprocessor wars
    4. Superpower #1: Focus and Commit to Priorities
      OKRs help us choose what matters most
    5. Focus: The Remind Story
      Brett Kopf used OKRs to overcome attention deficit disorder
    6. Commit: The Nuna Story
      Jini Kim's personal commitment to transform health care
    7. Superpower #2: Align and Connect for Teamwork
      Public, transparent OKRs spark and strengthen collaboration.
    8. Align: The MyFitnessPal Story
      Alignment via OKRs is more challenging-and rewarding-than Mike Lee anticipated.
    9. Connect: The Intuit Story
      Atticus Tysen uses OKR transparency to fortify a software pioneer's open culture.
    10. Superpower #3: Track for Accountability
      OKRs help us monitor progress and course-correct.
    11. Track: The Gates Foundation Story
      A $20 billion start-up wields OKRs to fight devastating diseases.
    12. Superpower #4: Stretch for Amazing
      OKRs empower us to achieve the seemingly impossible.
    13. Stretch: The Google Chrome Story
      CEO Sundar Pichai uses OKRs to build the world's leading web browser.
    14. Stretch: The YouTube Story
      CEO Susan Wojcicki and an audacious billion-hour goal.
  • Part Two: The New World of Work
    1. Continuous Performance Management: OKRs and CFRs
      How conversations, feedback, and recognition help to achieve excellence.
    2. Ditching Annual Performance Reviews: The Adobe Story
      Adobe affirms core values with conversations and feedback.
    3. Baking Better Every Day: The Zume Pizza Story
      A robotics pioneer leverages OKRs for teamwork and leadership — and to create the perfect pizza.
    4. Culture
      OKRs catalyze culture; CFRs nourish it.
    5. Culture Change: The Lumeris Story
      Overcoming OKR resistance with a culture makeover.
    6. Culture Change: Bono's ONE Campaign Story
      The world's greatest rock star deploys OKRs to save lives in Africa.
    7. The Goals to Come
  • Dedication
  • Resource 1: Google's OKR Playbook
  • Resource 2: A Typical OKR Cycle
  • Resource 3: All Talk: Performance Conversation
  • Resource 4: In Sum
  • Resource 5: For Further Reading


Measure What Matters

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Decent ****** (6 out of 10)

Last modified: Nov. 23, 2022, 12:40 a.m.

This is one of the most known books about about OKRs. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint) this is mostly geared towards convincing senior management of why they should use OKRs.

But it lacks any details on how to execute the concept, it is mostly a lot of testimony, case studies and some superficial guidelines. But it can be used to convince senior managers on why they should use it, as it is written in very simple language, with short chapters (if they manage to read it).

I recommend that it is read, as it is important to understand why the concept exists, why it has been proven to be successful, and what it can be used for. But you need other, more execution books to be able to implement it efficiently-


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