Category Archives: Leadership

A Mouse and Keyboard Don’t Make a Hardware Company

Microsoft is not, and never will be, a hardware company. Please don’t go off saying “what about Xbox or mice & keyboards?” Microsoft does not really want to build & sell hardware. Surface is akin to Google’s Nexus; a ‘north …Continue reading

Apps Must Be Cross Platform

This is a copy of a guest post I wrote for GeekWire. View the original here. Maybe there are a few Robert Scobles out there who still believe that a significant number of successful apps in the future will be …Continue reading

Wanna Compete with Apple? Focus on Experiences.

TL;DR Apple’s insane profitability has the other big guys jealous and freaked out. None are stupid enough to try to compete with Apple on Apple’s terms. The way to beat Apple is to redefine the game by making apps irrelevant …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

Don’t Build APIs…

My first job at Microsoft was providing developer support for the early Windows SDKs. To do my job well, I spent hours studying the Windows SDK documentation, the Windows source code, and writing sample applications. I then spent hours poring …Continue reading

The Five Big Guys

I’m working on writing up my thesis on the future of the consumer technology business and have convinced myself that there are 5 companies that stand to dominate. I call them The Five Big Guys. This post lays the ground …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

Experience = Stuff / Time

Successful entrepreneurs build businesses, not products or technologies. The real value in creating new businesses is in delivering experiences. The ubiquitous nature of the web, devices, and social networks means successful companies in the future will understand this. The question …Continue reading

Brand is a Critical Part of the End-to-End Experience

A commenter on another of my posts asked me to explain further why I think “brand is as much a part of the end-to-end experience as the user interface, device, OS, apps, and services.” I took it as a challenge to …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

My Best Hiring Stunt To Date

I’ll be doing some serious recruiting soon. I will only hire the best, and attracting the best requires them noticing jobs are available. This got me thinking about “best-practices” for driving recruiting. Watching others lead, and as a manager myself, …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

Be Either an App or a Platform, Not Both

If you think the thing you are building is both an “app” and a “platform” you will fail. Oh, and if you think it’s going to be a just a platform, you will fail too. (Update: April 6, 2012 – …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

Some of my Favorite Quotes

“A long, healthy, and happy life is the result of making contributions, of having meaningful projects that are personally exciting and contribute to and bless the lives of others.” – Hans Selye “Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can …Continue reading