The Wolf in Steve’s Clothing

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Theranos started out … Read More

The ‘Shiny Things’ Trap

What are the traits of great founders? A 2006 study by Zhao, H. & Seibert, S.E. meta-analyzed 23 studies and mapped the findings onto the Big Five personality model. The paper reveals entrepreneurs tend to exhibit higher conscientiousness and openness when compared to non-entrepreneurial managers. While interesting, the study failed to correlate these traits with the financial outcomes for the founders in the study. My theory … Read More

The preconditions of thoughtful debate in meritocratic hierarchies

“Holding wrong opinions in one’s head and making bad decisions based on them instead of having thoughtful disagreements is one of the greatest tragedies of mankind.” — Ray Dalio The evidence shows humans are wired to organize people, objects, and ideas into stacks prioritized from ‘top’ to ‘bottom.’ In the context of human organizations, this biologically wired human behavior gives rise to the … Read More

When to make Ugly Moves

Imagine you are a lizard. Now get over the shock that you are a scaly skinned cold-blooded reptile who also owns a computer and can browse the internet. Okay with that behind us, welcome to being a lizard. As a cute little lizard you will be spending the day making choices about where to walk and jump. Having recently been … Read More

Jump off the problem solving treadmill

The life of a startup founder is unglamorous. My day is mostly filled with the fixing of issues. Cool stuff like discussing strategy, closing major deals, & designing products are a pretty low percentage of actual time expended. Issues that fill days include: Tracking down pieces of paper the government requires of me Getting customers to actually pay invoices Taking out … Read More

You ≠ Your Startup

This is the type of post I wish someone shared with me two years ago. In corporate America I was a number. Make no mistake — you are too. The truth of corporate life is that your worth to the company is 100% tied to your usefulness. Somewhere a manager has you as an expense in an excel spreadsheet. If you can’t … Read More

The ‘Add an S’ Heuristic. (Last Mover Advantage)

My Mom has an incredibly vast vocabulary. I love doing things with my Mom. Naturally, these collisions of interest led us both to the game of Scrabble. As a kid, I’d find moments to fit in games, usually a matchup of titans that also included my younger brother. My Mom would always play very unique, impressive words with solid point … Read More

Most startups should be tweets

As a creator, you should always aim to nudge the ideas you feel are valuable to others out into the world. This is the art of idea deployment. To do this well, you as the creator have to think carefully about which reality deployment channel your idea best fits into. Would it be best presented as a scientific paper? A painting? A blog? A conversation? … Read More