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
I Don’t Believe in Climate Change
I was driving to work this morning with Cindy in the passenger seat next to me. I don’t know who she was referring to when she said, “it annoys me that he doesn’t believe in climate change.” I found…
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…
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…
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…
My First Public Tech Talk: What I’m Learning in Preparation
A while back I wrote an article titled What Standup Comedy Has Taught Me About Public Speaking and Life. That article provides a pretty comprehensive coverage of everything I know about public…
Transform Group Dynamics by Diffusing the Drama Triangle
Once you know about this pattern of human behavior, once you’re able to recognize it, and once you’re able to avoid or resolve it, your life will become much more pleasant. Pretty much exclusively…
What It’s like to Feel Responsible for Everything
Last night, I woke up at around two a.m. and looked around. It was very clear that all that was happening was what was apparently being witnessed: everything in my field of vision plus the thoughts…
My Boundaries Are My Responsibility
I’ve often heard people saying about others, “He needs to learn about boundaries,” meaning that he needs to learn not to overstep other people’s boundaries. To me, this seems like an inversion of the…
The Ultimate Potential of Healthy Masculinity
I’m on a plane flying back to San Jose, California from Houston, Texas. My small, blue fishing rod is in the overhead bin. A couple of days ago, on a small boat, I was piercing a hook through the…
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…