Tempup artists

Tech is seeing its equivalent of the 1960s sexual revolution. Though once taboo, it’s gradually becoming acceptable for a startup to be like a hookup. You aren’t always interested in forming a long-term relationship, and you don’t want all the commitment, strings, compromises and messiness. Sometimes you’re just in it for a quick sale, and […]

Time to honesty

You get back, energized from the conversation over a great meal, only to find a glob of food stuck between your teeth. When you’re finished being mortified, the questions set in: did they notice? why didn’t anyone say something? It might be tempting to question the character of the people involved, or the quality of […]


June 25, 2009, and October 5, 2011.  What those two dates have in common is that I’ll remember exactly where I was, forever.  2009 was Michael Jackson. And 2011 brought Steve. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TahH7B_aUZc] The song playing in the background couldn’t have been more appropriate: Speed of Sound, by Coldplay. I was absolutely frozen in place […]

Jobs: a roundup

Yesterday the east coast had an earthquake, but today the entire world was shaken by the news that Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple. He’s going to continue as chairman, but retiring from daily operations. He leaves at a time when Apple is truly at its height. He’s disrupted some of the biggest […]


Given today’s earthquake, I’m going to commemorate it by rounding up my favorite tweets and posts. The building I am in was just told to evacuate. I just evacuated my bowels.  Did the Internet bubble just burst?  Breaking: Remaining East Coast VCs make plans to move West. Last remaining reason to avoid San Francisco just […]

Failure of compromise: the debt ceiling

While reading Howard Marks’ excellent memo on the debt ceiling crisis, titled “Down to the Wire,” I was struck by how deeply the political issue here relates to a core human behavioral problem called irrational escalation of commitment. Escalation is most commonly seen in the context of financial investments.  For example, gambler’s fallacy leads players to […]

Value pumps

Building a Better Value Pump (via Eugenia Lee) This article explored how, in order to create a social enterprise with sustainable value to the poor, it should also make the poor more valuable to society. In other words, the best social enterprises are platforms that increase the poor’s own productivity. Personally, I’ve always liked any approach that […]

Diminishing returns to work

How Many Hours Should you be Working? (via Pawel Hytry) – There’s a point of diminishing returns to work, and it’s closer to 40 hours a week than we’d think – Meeting with employees is productive; meeting with consultants or outsiders is not But how actionable is this?  While I completely understand diminishing marginal productivity, it’s […]

The curse of high achievers

HBR – Managing Yourself: The Paradox of Excellence What I learned from this… Use your support network and ask for help as soon as you’ve reached the point of diminishing returns Ask for feedback even when the process is painful Practice vulnerability.  Acknowledge publicly every time that you don’t know something or that you’ve made […]