In Memoriam: John L’Heureux

This Memorial Day weekend, I had the pleasure of attending John L’Heureux‘s funeral. That is not a typo or mistake; John’s funeral was a true pleasure, and I left with a smile on my face, as did many of the other attendees. I should probably explain. John was my faculty advisor, and oversaw my Creative … Continue reading In Memoriam: John L’Heureux

Lessons On Writing A Book

On Thursday, we turned in the manuscript for Blitzscaling.  While there is still a lot of work to go before the book appears on shelves (physical or virtual), I wanted to write and share some of my thoughts about the experience of being an author while they were still fresh in my mind. The story … Continue reading Lessons On Writing A Book

Lives Well Lived

This afternoon, I left the office early to attend the memorial service for my old professor, Ron Rebholz. When I was at Stanford in the early 1990s, Ron was already a legendary teacher, with his Shakespeare course considered one of the top “bucket list” courses at Stanford (along with other legendary classes like ME101 and … Continue reading Lives Well Lived

Write or do not; there is no try

As I’ve written in the past, a writer is someone who writes: http://bit.ly/KvOCIK While this definition seems simplistic and circular, it has the advantage of being correct.  Here is a long list of things you can do that don’t make you a writer: 1. Think about what to write. 2. Read what other people write. … Continue reading Write or do not; there is no try

Always Be Crafting

When you’re a writer, one of the effects on your life is that you’re always processing the events around you on two levels: Your gut reactions, and your writer’s eye for the bigger story. For some writers, this metacognition brings misery.  Think of all the tortured artists throughout history, whose sensitivity made the experience of … Continue reading Always Be Crafting

The Performer and the Script

The very wise and very successful Saad Khan says that he only invests in “badasses.”  I’m on board with that; given the likely length of the investor/entrepreneur relationship, life’s too short to waste on people you don’t like. Yet like many simple rules, it’s incomplete.  Investing in great people is a critical part of being … Continue reading The Performer and the Script

You Always Need Luck (the lesson of JK Rowling & Robert Galbraith)

Harry Potter author JK Rowling provided an excellent illustration of why you always need luck with her most recent book, “The Cuckoo’s Calling.”  Here’s a succinct Bloomberg article by Duncan Watts that explains the tale:http://bloom.bg/15XEAab After finishing with the Potterverse, Rowling turned to adult fiction with her first non-Potter book, “The Casual Vacancy,” which met … Continue reading You Always Need Luck (the lesson of JK Rowling & Robert Galbraith)

If People Don’t Get Your Product, It’s Your Fault, Not Theirs

Spend enough time with any startup’s product team, and you’ll hear complaints about the customers. Many of these complaints are justified.  Customers misuse, misunderstand, and just plain miss the point of products. But blaming the user is useless, unless you’re going to find a brand new set of customers who, magically, are smart enough to … Continue reading If People Don’t Get Your Product, It’s Your Fault, Not Theirs

Is Writing Now A Core Focus For Top Tier VCs?

I read with some interest the news that Michael Copeland was leaving Wired to join Andreesen Horowitz to lead that firm’s “content strategy.” http://tcrn.ch/19u4LWj It makes perfect sense that Andreesen Horowitz would make this move.  Not only has a16z flourished by departing from the traditional VC model (hiring tons of non-investing staff to add value … Continue reading Is Writing Now A Core Focus For Top Tier VCs?