Hiring as a Probabilistic Exercise

Poker is a great game for business people. It requires players to think in probabilities rather than absolutes. You can make the right play in poker and lose some percentage of time because luck is involved. (This is a great primer on poker math.) Many new managers think about hiring…

Thoughts on Blockchain

Blockchain is still really very early. It feels like IP/Internet protocols did in the mid-90s. Gopher, Telnet, Usenet and the WWW were all the rage with no clear winners. The most interesting tech was still to come like Javascript, web-MVC and P2P didn't exist. This list is what made…

The Power of Context

Alan Kay is one of the thinkers from the early days of Xerox PARC. If you’re a user of modern tech, things like the graphical user interface on computers and the mouse where first conceived of there. Alan has a concept he talks about called the Power of Context:…

On Personal Productivity; Getting Things Done

Personal productivity is the difference between being a high-performer and a low-performer. I’ve seen the difference often comes down to a few choices in personal organization: Low-performers expect to remember tasks. High-performers get it out of their head. Low-performers let their calendar fill. High-performers fill their own calendar. Low-performers…

The CityHacker Manifesto

Author's note: This post is longer than most on this blog. I consider it an MVP (minimum viable product in startup "speak") at this stage. So, please forgive any poor writing or clarity issues cause it's a 1.0!) The Problem If you're not rich, making change for…

Young People Should Travel

Let's get this out there. I love Tokyo. I really love Tokyo. It's a city with core values that align closely with mine: In Tokyo, people are quiet. I like quiet. I recall being amazed walking through Shibuya Station and it was so peaceful despite thousands of people running to…

The Agency Problem and Startups

In any deal, startup founders must think about the other parties’ motivation in all arrangements — even when those people are on your “side.” Many startup problems are explained by a pretty cool economic theory: the Principal-Agent Problem (AKA the “Agency Problem”). It describes situation where an agent working on behalf…

Giving Great Educational Talks

At places like Geekdom or other community-building spaces, folks like me are often asked to speak on topics like fundraising, investing, hiring or culture. Talks like this are all about providing maximum benefit to the audience. Since audiences are variable, preparing a slide-deck a tricky approach. It's often either way…