June 18, 2014

Democracy in Action

I went to our local high school gym last night to vote for a smallish ($12mm) school bond issue as well as another proposition I didn’t quite understand about paying for fire alarms in the schools. As is always the case in New York, I was somewhere between amused and appalled that the voting machines are pre-war vintage (possibly Civil, definitely WWI). But this election was a new experience for me. When I finished voting, I ran into a friend of ours who is on the school board, and he suggested I stick around because the polls were closing, and I’d get to hear the results. This picture is how the results were tabulated. A woman with a whiteboard yelled across the gym to each of three other volunteers, who yelled back the numbers from each of the three machines. Hand tabulation in 2014. I’m glad the vote wasn’t close! Why exactly are we not all voting on the internet by now?


July 4, 2013

Best CEO/Entrepreneur Quote Ever, By a Mile

Best CEO/Entrepreneur Quote Ever, By a Mile I’ve seen and heard a lot of these.  But perhaps it’s fitting that on Independence Day, I realized that this gem of a quote, not specifically about entrepreneurs or CEOs but very applicable to them, comes from President Theodore Roosevelt in his “Citizenship in a Republic” speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, April 23, 1910: It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in […]


January 5, 2012

Book Short: Fixing America

Book Short:  Fixing America I usually only blog about business books, but since I occasionally comment on politics, I thought I would also post on That Used to be Us:  How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back, by Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum (book, Kindle), which I just finished. There is much that is good about America.  And yet, there is much that is broken and in need of serious repair.  I wrote about some thought on fixing our political system last year in The Beginnings of a Roadmap to Fix America’s […]


September 9, 2011

9/11’s 10th

9/11’s 10th I wasn’t yet writing this blog on 9/11 (no one was writing blogs yet), and if I had had one, I’m not sure what I would have written.  The neighborhood immediately surrounding the World Trade Center had been my home for more than seven years before the twin towers fell, and it continued to be my home for more than seven years after they fell.  That same neighborhood was Return Path‘s home for its first 18 months or so, across two different offices.  Like all Americans, the attack felt personal.  Like all New Yorkers, it was in our […]


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 […]