Category Archives: Mentoring

Merit Badges – A Mental Model for Success

Today I celebrated my 5th-year anniversary working at Amazon. Woot! It’s also the 5th anniversary of me announcing I was going to Amazon as an April Fool’s joke. Tee-hee. (Yellow Amazon employee badges indicate 5-year tenure) This milestone given me …Continue reading

Attention is the Currency of Leadership

Great leaders optimize how they spend their attention. They are skilled at turning up the heat to get others to focus their attention on the right things at the right times. Attention is the currency of leadership and each person …Continue reading

Once I was Afraid

Once I was afraid to ride a bike. Then I did it. Once I was afraid to program in BASIC. Then I did it. Once I was afraid of getting married. Then I married Julie. Once I was afraid of …Continue reading

Four Things I Learned in Jordan

I wrote a guest post for the Huffington Post on Dec 7, 2012. You can read the full post here, but here’s the TL;DR: If the Middle East can stay relatively stable for just 10-15 more years, entrepreneurship will have …Continue reading

Congrats to the Seattle Angel Conference and Illumagear!

Yesterday we held the first ever Seattle Angel Conference. At the event, Illumagear, a scrappy Seattle startup with a vision for radically improving construction worker safety took home a check for $100K. By all measures the conference, as Bob Crimmins …Continue reading

The Job Decision Matrix

Changing jobs can be scary and confusing. Everybody has things that are important to them at a particular point in their career. Thinking clearly about what is important to you can be hard, but without clarity on what is important …Continue reading

You are Thinking of Your Career Trajectory Wrong

Most people think about their career trajectory as being like a bell-curve or that of a cannon ball fired from a cannon. Something like this: For 99% of all successful people, this is completely the wrong way to think about …Continue reading

Get Off Your Butt and Start Startuping

This message is for those of you who are either “Stuck” in a great paying job at BigCo in the Seattle area (Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Starbucks, etc…) Living near Seattle & trying to figure out what to do with your …Continue reading

Seattle Startup Internship Opportunities

When I was in college I did an internship with a big company (IBM; working on submarine sonar systems) and learned amazing things (including that I didn’t want to work for IBM <g>). I also did a short internship for …Continue reading

Advising FreePriceAlerts

Serendipity just rocks. Earlier this year my neighbor and I were talking about what I was working on now, and I mentioned my involvement with tech startups. He told me that our mutual friend, Bob Wilkins, who now lives in …Continue reading

Wanna Invest in the Seattle Startup Community?

Do you love the idea of startups? Do you want the Seattle Startup scene to thrive? Do you want to invest in early stage startups but don’t know how to get started? I’m committed to helping make Seattle a world …Continue reading

Formally Advising The Buddy Platform

I love startups. I love developers. I love Seattle. Given that my own startup will be based in the Seattle area (news on that coming soon!) it is important to me that the Seattle startup scene thrives. I’ve thrown myself …Continue reading

How Often Do Startups Join Together?

In talking to and mentoring dozens of startups I’ve noticed that many of them are in similar spaces; working on the same general problem, yet not quite competitors. Almost complimentary. This raised a question for me: In the history of …Continue reading

90% of the Decisions You Make Don’t Matter

In my post The 5 Ps: Achieving Focus in Any Endeavor I noted that “90% of the decisions you make don’t matter; real success comes in being able to identify the 10% that do and focus on those.” The best, …Continue reading

The 5 Ps: Achieving Focus in Any Endeavor

This post is about how to achieve focus in any endeavor you embark on by simply writing down the Purpose, Principles, Priorities, People, and Plan (the 5Ps). An endeavor could be a software development project, a job search, or a …Continue reading