Silicon Valley Is Not a Fad
A 20-year veteran of Silicon Valley outlines the region’s history of technological innovation, and dispels its recent reputation as a shallow, lucrative party for tech bros.
Deadlines Are Killing Us, And Almost Everything Else I Know About Leadership
This morning, I spoke with a good friend who lives in France. He started a business with his wife to develop a web-based, software-as-a-service product. As the business began to grow, his belief in…
Mentioned: 10 Things
The Value of Incompetence
At work, I meet with a different person for lunch every day. I also usually have one-on-one meetings with one or two other people throughout the day. All of my lunches are scheduled out until…
How to Build a 100x Company by Fully Unlocking Human Potential
Many years ago, when I was a manager, I spent at least fourteen hours per week in one-on-one meetings with the people who reported to me. As a problem-solver and an optimizer, I sought to understand…
What I’ve Learned About Thieves and Patent Law
Before going into the ocean, I had carefully placed my flip-flops next to an odd-looking arrangement of driftwood on the beach, near a broken and abandoned fold-away camping chair. When I returned…
You Can Become Whatever You Choose
A couple of days ago, I was presenting a research poster at a machine learning conference called ScaledML. Large groups of people were gathering around my poster while I delivered ad-hoc summaries of…
The Most Important Leadership Skill
I think a lot about leadership and how to motivate people, and I also often experiment with different approaches. It seems to me that the most important leadership skill, by far, is the ability to…
Why I Never Work Weekends
It’s Saturday and I just signed-off an email to a customer by adding, “Now I’m going to write an article about how I never work on weekends.” I guess it’s more true to say that I hardly ever work on…
The Insanity of Driving
Recently, I was driving back to the South Bay from San Francisco when I got caught in some stop-and-go traffic, which is a common experience in the Bay Area. I was on the 101, a freeway (motorway in…
Networking for No Reason
I usually have one-on-one lunch meetings booked for weeks, if not months, into the future. Most of the people I have lunch with work at the same company as me, but sometimes I invite people from…
A Satirical Look at a Mythical Startup / A Leadership Teaching Story
CarPusher started out as just Stanley Bucket, a sole trader, pushing cars out of his parent’s garage in Mountain View, California. Before long, word got around that Stanley was great at pushing cars…
Letter to a New Manager
Sixteen years ago, at 27, I was promoted to a managerial position at work. I was employee #197, and I had joined the company several years before the initial public offering (IPO). When I started…
When Work Is Play
I’ve been noticing how I experience work as play. Throughout the day, I keep a list of things to do, which I then get to check-off as they are completed. If I think of something that I could or…
How to Always Crush a Job Interview
I have a fresh, alive, and powerful conversation with with at least one person every day. I have all my lunches at work scheduled out for months. I have breakfast meetings, coffee meetings, and…
If I Was a Recruiter, I Would Do This
I had a long conversation with some recruiters in a bar at Lake Tahoe in Nevada recently. They told me how challenging the work is and that they never get a break because they’re always having to…
The Position of Power
In a room, the seat facing the entrance is generally considered the position of power. This is because it is inside looking out, is protected from behind, and provides the optimum vantage-point from…
For Maximum Corporate Performance: Eliminate Internal Competition
We all lined up in front of the whiteboard to so that our coach, André, could explain the workout of the day, which is called a “WOD” in CrossFit. On this day, the metabolic conditioning part of the…
What I Learned from My Dream Job Interview
I don’t know how it happened, but I was interviewing with a senior vice president (SVP) in the company where I currently work. I don’t remember what the role was, but I think it was in a…
Leadership for “Winners”
Leadership is big in the news right now, and for good reason: leadership is important. You are important. Being a leader makes you feel good and look good. It also brings other benefits, like being…
How I InstaTroll GaryVee for Followers
I’ve been following Gary Vaynerchuck (pronounced vay-ner-chuck) on Instagram for a long time. I haven’t really been using Instagram much, but whenever I would hop on there to look at something my…