Network at small events, not big ones

I’m on my way to an VIP advisory board meeting in another city. The annual meeting stretches out over two days–Wednesday evening and all day Thursday–which means that many people won’t get in until Thursday. Networking newbies probably think, “I need to be there on Thursday, when there are more people.”  But I know that … Continue reading Network at small events, not big ones

Happiness Doesn’t Depend on Events

The research finding of the day comes courtesy of Eric Barker and Bakadesuyo: “Ed Diener and Martin Seligman screened over 200 undergraduates for levels of happiness, and compared the upper 10% (the “extremely happy”) with the middle and bottom 10%. Extremely happy students experienced no greater number of objectively positive life events, like doing well on … Continue reading Happiness Doesn’t Depend on Events

Trusting Too Much Is Better Than Trusting Too Little

Here’s a great item from Eric Barker’s Bakadesuyo blog: http://bit.ly/HxinYf “People were asked how much they trust others on a scale of 1 to 10. Income peaked at those who responded with the number 8. Those with the highest levels of trust had incomes 7% lower than the 8′s. Research shows they are more likely … Continue reading Trusting Too Much Is Better Than Trusting Too Little

The Power Of Being Trusted

I work hard to be trustworthy.  Partly, this is because it’s the right thing to do (darn my inconvenient morality!), but partly this is because it has real business benefits. When most of us think about the value of being trustworthy, we think that the key driver of value is that people believe us. In … Continue reading The Power Of Being Trusted

Humor is about Superiority…and Inferiority

I read a recent IO9 blog post about the superiority theory of laughter with some interest: http://bit.ly/1gQfZJl “The most dominant theory about why people laugh at each other also happens to be the meanest theory. It’s called the superiority theory of humor, and it goes all the way back to the classical Greeks. (Everyone knows … Continue reading Humor is about Superiority…and Inferiority

Why I Don’t Worry About Wantrepreneurs

There’s a lot of agita around the supposed plague of wantrepreneurs–posers who are into being entrepreneurs because it’s trendy, rather than because they want to build real businesses.  This Fortune piece is a good representative of the genre: http://bit.ly/1f5EX8n “Wannabe entrepreneurs with laptops hog up the physical and digital bandwidth of the Valley right now,” … Continue reading Why I Don’t Worry About Wantrepreneurs

Escaping the Scarcity Trap

Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir recently published their book, “Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much.”  I even wrote about them when I pointed out that busy professionals, like the working poor, face a scarcity–but of time, rather than money. http://bit.ly/1g1Pnod I wish I could say that I’ve already read their book, but alas, … Continue reading Escaping the Scarcity Trap

The problem with having money

One of the reasons that VCs and angel investors often get swelled heads is the fact that people kiss our asses all day.  It feels good to have smart, talented people speak glowingly of your wisdom and plead for your help. But the dark side of having money is the doubt it creates.  If entrepreneurs … Continue reading The problem with having money

Wealth, Class, and the Startup World

The myth of Silicon Valley is that it is a perfect meritocracy where things like wealth and class are irrelevant.  The truth is that while Silicon Valley and the startup world are better than most other institutions, wealth and class still play a role. The vast majority of entrepreneurs are young, well-educated, well-off men, who … Continue reading Wealth, Class, and the Startup World

What job are people hiring your product to do?

I am a product guy, dating back to my days as a design student at Stanford. I’ve been a fan of Clay Christensen ever since “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” and even interviewed him for the student newspaper when I was a Harvard Business School student. Which is why I’m shocked that I hadn’t heard of Clay’s … Continue reading What job are people hiring your product to do?