When Cassius Clay was born in 1942, it would take 12 more years for Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas to order the desegregation of public schools. When Muhammad Ali died in 2016, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, tweeted, “He shook up the world, and the world’s better for … Continue reading Muhammad Ali (1942 – 2016)
We all know that the Civil War happened because of slavery. The South fought for the right to keep African-Americans as slaves, the North fought to outlaw slavery. While this is a bit of an oversimplification, it isn’t wrong. Here’s the funny thing: Only 25% of white Southerners held people in slavery (I chose not … Continue reading The Psychology of Slavery in the South
Each year, we take the family on the road to explore America. Some of our past trips have included driving up the Pacific Coast Highway, and visiting all the museums at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. This year, Alisha had the opportunity to take a two-month sabbatical, which allowed us to take a longer (and … Continue reading The Yeh Family East Coast Vacation
I was talking history with my old friend Alvin Fu when we both realized that there seemed to be a consistent pattern with some important implications for the startup world Our conversation began with a discussion of Ulysses S. Grant, the great Civil War General and two-term President: http://bit.ly/14mIVQx When the Civil War began, Grant … Continue reading The Crucible of Reality
We began the day at the Smithsonian’s most popular museum, the National Air and Space Museum. Airplanes and rockets–what more could someone want? (Sadly, they still haven’t found a way to justify an exhibit on giant fighting robots) The Air and Space Museum is always inspiring; as you walk through the museum, you go from … Continue reading The Yeh Family in Washington DC, Day 2
When you’re startup is fortunate to have paying customers, it’s very tempting to evolve your product based on the feedback you receive from them. After all, isn’t that the best practice–to iterate based on customer feedback? The problem is, if you base what you do solely on the feedback that comes in from customers, you’re … Continue reading Design for your best customers, not your worst ones
A lot of folks believe that the Microsoft empire is doomed, and that the rise of touchscreen computing and mobile devices will lead it its inevitable downfall. This may very well be true; it certainly is true that to date, Microsoft’s attempts to enter the touch and mobile markets have been poorly received. Yet much … Continue reading Is Microsoft doomed? I’ll let you know when Windows 10 comes out.
I recently wrote about how being a jerk isn’t the best way to maintain high standards: Yet this isn’t to say that bad behavior is always detrimental to starting a company. Indeed, given the odds, some level of delusion is a necessity for entrepreneurs–after all, only 6 out of every 1,000 entrepreneurs who seek angel … Continue reading Does being a psychopath help you start a company?
Whenever a boom comes around, I read articles about how it’s dangerous to be too cheap and too cautious. One saying I learned during the last boom was “You can’t save your way to prosperity.” Maybe. But as you start to hear the siren song of profligacy (last time, we called it “Get Big Fast”), … Continue reading In Praise of Capital Efficiency: How Being A Cheap Bastard Leads To Startup Success
Entrepreneurial success is less about picking your battles than it is about picking your battlefields. Amateurs focus on tactics–working around the clock, hard-selling, flooding the world with business cards. The truth is that most battles are won or lost before the opposing forces take the field. During the Second Punic War, Hannibal beat the Roman … Continue reading Pick Your Battle(field)s