April 14, 2011

BookShort: Vive La Difference

Book Short:  Vive La Difference Brain Sex, by Anne Moir and David Jessell, was a fascinating read that I finished recently.  I will caveat this post up front that the book was published in 1989, so one thing I’m not sure of is whether there’s been more recent research that contradicts any of the book’s conclusions.  I will also caveat that this is a complex topic with many different schools of thought based on varying research, and this book short should serve as a starting point for a dialog, not an end point. That said, the book was a very interesting read about how our brains develop (a lot happens in utero), and about how men’s and women’s brains are hard wired differently as a result.  Here are a few excerpts from the book that pretty much sum it up (more on the applied side than the theoretical): Men tend to be preoccupied with things, theories, and power…women tend to be more concerned with people, morality, and relationships Women continue to perceive the world in interpersonal terms and personalize the objective world in a way men do not.  Notwithstanding occupational achievements, they tend to esteem themselves only insofar as they […]


March 10, 2011

The Beginnings of a Roadmap to Fix America’s Badly Broken Political System?

The Beginnings of a Roadmap to Fix America’s Badly Broken Political System? UPDATE:  This week’s Economist (March 17) has a great special report on the future of the state that you can download here, entitled”Taming Leviathan:  The state almost everywhere is big, inefficient and broke. It needn’t be,” which has many rich examples, from California to China, and espouses a bunch of these ideas. I usually try to keep politics away from this blog, but sometimes I can’t help myself.  I’m so disgusted with the dysfunction in Washington (and Albany…and Sacramento…and…) these days, that I’ve spent more spare cycles than […]


January 3, 2011

Macroeconomics for Startups

Macroeconomics for Startups I’m not an economist.  I don’t play one on TV.  In fact, I only took one Econ class at Princeton (taught by Ben Bernanke, no less), and I barely passed it.  In any case, while I’m not an economist, I do read The Economist, religiously at that, and I’ve been reading so much about macroeconomic policies and news the past 18 months that I feel like I finally have a decent rudimentary grip on the subject.  But still, the subject doesn’t always translate as well to the average entrepreneur as microeconomics does – most business people have […]


July 31, 2010

I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend (Today), part III

I Don’t Want to Be Your Friend (Today), part III My first thought when my colleague Jen Goldman forwarded me a SlideShare presentation that was 224 pages long was, “really?”  But a short 10 minutes and 224 clicks later, I am glad I spent the time on it. Paul Adams, a Senior User Experience Researcher at Google, put the presentation up called The Real Life Social Network.  Paul describes the problem I discuss in Part I and Part II of this series much more eloquently than I have, with great real world examples and thoughts for web designers at the […]


March 17, 2010

Book Short: Gladwell Lite

Book Short:  Gladwell Lite What the Dog Saw, And Other Adventures (book, Kindle) is Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book.  Unlike his three other books, which I quite enjoyed: The Tipping Point (about how trends and social movements start and spread) Blink (about how the mind makes judgments) Outliers: The Story of Success (about how talents are genetic, situational, and cultivated) this was not a complete book, but rather a compendium of his New Yorker articles loosely grouped into three themes. If you love Gladwell and don’t read The New Yorker, it’s not a bad read. He’s a fantastic writer, and his […]


January 26, 2010

Context is King

Context is King A small post with a good point.  I noticed in The Economist this week something that struck me.  They posted a correction to a prior article.  Publications do that all the time, but this particular correction was placed on a page in the same section of the magazine in which the error appeared a couple weeks before.  Most print publications tend to bury their corrections in the front or the back where they never get seen.  But this one was right in the middle of the magazine, saying “we made a mistake – right here.”  Noteworthy to […]


November 16, 2009

Book Short: Sloppy Sequel

Book Short:  Sloppy Sequel SuperFreakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the original Freakonomics, either.  I always find the results of “naturally controlled experiments” and taking a data-driven view of the world to be very refreshing.  And as much as I like the social scientist versions of these kinds of books like Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and Blink (book; blog post), there’s usually something about reading something data driven written by a professional quant jock that’s more reassuring. That’s where SuperFreakonomics fell down a bit for me.  Paul […]


October 22, 2009

If this madness all ended tomorrow, I would do…almost nothing

If this madness all ended tomorrow, I would do…almost nothing (This post originally appeared on FindYourNerve on October 21) I don’t know what you call the last 12 months of global macroeconomic meltdown.  I’ve taken to calling it the Great Repression.  In part because it’s somewhere in between a Recession and a Depression, in part because it’s certainly repressed the wants and needs of startups and growth companies the world over.  And it makes for good cocktail party chatter. Someone asked me a question the other day, which started off with “Now that the recession is over…”  I can’t even […]


July 23, 2009

A David Allen nightmare

IMG_3029.JPG Originally uploaded by heif A David Allen nightmare The comments on Flickr are almost as funny as the picture, but for those of you who can’t see the detail, I believe this is Esther Dyson peering over an inbox that has almost 4.3 billion emails in it.


July 9, 2009

Opening Night

Opening Night My brother Michael, internet marketer by day and a writer by night, had his first play produced last night off-Broadway at the Manhattan Repertory Theater’s SummerFest.  The play is a romantic comedy called Fallout, and it’s my favorite thing he’s written of about 8-10 works I’ve read over the years, both screen and stage plays.  This is the first time I’ve ever had a bit of a “behind the scenes” look at an Opening Night, and it was fun to be a part of it.  When I think about entrepreneurial pursuits in business, I’m not sure this even […]


June 18, 2009

The Passion of the Specialist

The Passion of the Specialist I remember once talking to my friend Cella when she was between jobs.  She said she was working out 9 hours a week, which I found stunning at the time.  I try very hard to get 3 hours a week in, and I am usually successful, but it's not without sacrificing sleep and being deliberate about my schedule.  So 9 felt luxurious, but appropriate for someone between jobs. With that as a frame of reference, I have heard lots of definitions or embodiments of the word "commitment" before, but I ran across another one the […]