Measurements are getting cheaper, but the amount getting done is not keeping pace. Why is that? Nearly 150 years ago, William Thomson, the physicist better known as Lord Kelvin, said during a lecture in 1883: “I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express… Continue Reading Measurement overload

“For best results, mattresses should be replaced every 8 years” — I recently saw an ad with this copy in a window of a mattress store near my home. My immediate reaction was amazement at my ignorance. I had no idea what the useful life of a mattress is or… Continue Reading A healthy skepticism

Last night, I made a small change that made a big difference. It didn’t feel significant when I made it. It felt like a thing you do when you’re bored. I changed the background of my Trello board. For this to make sense, it’s worth understanding that I spend more… Continue Reading A small tweak but a big difference

I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o clock sharp. – W. Somerset Maugham It’s not necessarily intuitive that the meeting, subject of much maligning and discontent in the corporate world, should make for a good addition in your personal life. But I’ve found… Continue Reading Meetings with yourself

In his brilliant book on management and leadership, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz covered a lot of ground. Three years later, I still think frequently about the rule they implemented at AndreesonHorowitz related to meetings. The rule is one of my favorite examples of a firm conscientiously… Continue Reading Sending a signal – Meetings at AndreesonHorowitz

The hat tip is “a cultural expression of recognition, respect, gratitude.” It’s more modern incarnation takes that tradition and translated it to the internet what the constraints of Twitter created “h/t.” It’s an efficient way to acknowledge someone who inspired or taught you without eating up the available characters.  It… Continue Reading The hat tip

There are days when I don’t want to show up. Days when I wish I could just jump ahead to the part where I have accomplished my goal, won the contest, finished the project. The allure of the quick fix or the easy win is huge. It’s why get-rich-quick schemes… Continue Reading Showing up and the Daffodil Principle

Habits are a way to automate certain decisions to make space for the bigger ones. They are not, however, a panacea – a lesson which became painfully obvious recently. Every week when I plan my week I set my expectations down on paper. These include what progress I want to… Continue Reading The hidden cost of habit creep

A few days ago, I got to talking with a friend about the Berkeley students’ recent protests and threatened protests in advance of speeches by Milo Yiannopoulos and Anne Coulter on campus. In both cases, the speeches were cancelled. In both cases, the speakers are known firebrands who have gained… Continue Reading The allure of banned materials

In his annual letter to shareholders, Jeff Bezos answered a question that had been following him around for twenty years: what does Day 2 look like. Bezos painted a bleak picture of stasis, irrelevance, excruciating painful decline, and ultimately death before describing four strategies to avoid falling into Day 2.1 Bezos’s… Continue Reading Why write?