Category Archives: Leadership

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 a professor writing Fast Fourier Transforms in FORTRAN. In addition to running my own little software company that I had started in high school, these internships were hugely valuable to me later in my career. …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, I’ve seen that no one way is “the right way.”  As a manager, it depends on who you are as a person.  I’ve seen successful teams get built around the “serious boss man” and I’ve …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 – I updated this post with some typo fixes and minor tweaks). A recent story on Hacker News gave me an excuse to write down my thoughts on this subject. I’m reposting here in order to …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, most effective leaders can free their teams up to get stuff done by making lots of decisions quickly and enabling those decisions to stick. We all regularly hear criticisms of ineffective leadership voiced as “Decisions …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 avoid it. Geniuses remove it.” – Alan Perlis “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus “No matter where you go, there you are.” – BB …Continue reading

The 5Ps: Achieving Focus in Any Endeavor

Always have a plan. Always. A great, simple, framework for any plan is the 5Ps:  Purpose, Principles, Priorities, People, and Plan. This framework applies to software development projects, job searches, building a garden, or a phase in your life. I have personally found the 5Ps a useful tool for small projects (e.g. prepping for a VC demo/presentation) as well as large-scale projects that include 1,000s of people. The 5Ps : Purpose, Principles, Priorities, People, and …Continue reading

A great quote

Someone just forwarded me the following quote. This really resonates with me. I have been working on trying to get a home server product built at Microsoft for over 8 years… “At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done. Then they begin to hope it can be done. Then they see it can be done. Then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done …Continue reading

Technology Complexity

Mostly when I read Don Box’s blog I say to myself “Hmmm, interesting. I didn’t know that. I wonder how long his hair is these days?” What he’s working on (Indigo) is interesting to me (it was my former life), but it’s not where my passion currently lies. Today Don posted a piece as a response to Eric Raymond’s article on software usability. I hadn’t read Eric’s article, but after I did (and John Gruber’s analysis …Continue reading


Speaking of heros… This got me thinking about who my heros are. I actually have quite a few, and I think I can categorize them: Real Life My father. Duh. Geeks Jim Gray Ray Ozzie Anders Hieldberg Chris Guzak Leadership Bob Muglia Ronald Regan Abrhahm Lincoln

Ray Ozzie on WinFS &amp; Longhorn

One of my favorite industry visionaries, Ray Ozzie, has written a great note in his blog on WinFS titled “640KB ought to be enough for everyone“. Interesting read. He references Jim Gray (another of my geek heros) and points to an old but topical presentation on the trends in storage. Jim gets it.