startups, investing, and miscellaneous thoughts

Social networks work because they form habit loops. You visit, and get a boost of dopamine, fueled by novelty. It’s always new, and randomly rewards. Even if you’re disappointed with what you see, it’s too late. But, what if you do get value from them, and just want to be in control? Remove social apps from your phone that have become the default filler to stillness. Remove the default feeds with an ad blocker. Here’s my Facebook homepage:.. (more) →

Four months ago, I took a break from the news. Partly from exhaustion. Partly because I realized how I wasn’t informed, I was entertained. Mostly because a friend challenged me — to limit inputs and consume slower; to be intentional about information consumption. And I challenge you: I’ll show you how you can learn more and avoid the outrage rollercoaster by going slower. .. (more) →

Google started a shift to real-time, online collaboration with their apps suite. Microsoft quickly chased. Both were primarily replicating a desktop environment on the web. This had many benefits: no forgetting to save, easier collaboration, a chance to drop unused features, better version control, and easier sharing. For many customers, this was an obvious improvement, and so the Shift to Cloud has continued. Piece by piece, however, a new wave of products are entering the market that re-think the form factor of these productivity tools... (more) →

Google recently concluded a program where senior engineering manager candidates could get coaching before interviews, in order to help experienced people be as effective as possible during their interviews. My understanding is that they had systemic problems of engineering managers performing poorly on technical interviews, so the program was created to provide pointed feedback early in the cycle. We’ll ignore what that may say about the interview process (where we provide “training” for candidates ahead of the interview), but the program is changing a bit now, and my role as a coach is ending... (more) →

On Generalists

Over the past couple years, I’ve had the fortune to coach engineers through their career journeys, including people currently in coding bootcamps, to startup founders, to people bored at their BigCo job. Fortune, because it’s entirely as much a benefit for me, as I synthesize patterns for the first time to improve my own career and spot opportunities. One pattern that’s common, especially for new college grads who go straight into a FANG, is becoming specialists early. Certainly, being a proficient machine learning engineer right now is quite lucrative... (more) →