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?

The purpose of a startup is not “success”

I strongly urge you to read the entirety of Alex Payne’s “Letter to a Young Programmer Considering a Startup.” http://bit.ly/132Lcpc This heartfelt, eloquent essay encapsulates much of the ambivalence I feel about the startup world.  I am, of course, a startup enthusiast.  Sometime in the next few years, I’ll reach the point where I’ve started, … Continue reading The purpose of a startup is not “success”

To make a difference, you have to write

Another “Friday Night Writes” post, as requested by Brian Reese. Many people are afraid of writing.  The thought conjures up bad memories of school assignments and term papers.  But if you want to make a difference you have to write. Brian asked me what I thought of his philosophy, which is, “Writing equals thinking, which … Continue reading To make a difference, you have to write

Tours of Duty: The Employer-Employee Compact

I’m delighted to share that I just had my very first article appear in Harvard Business Review.  I can’t take much credit for it; it helps that my co-authors, ReidHoffman and Ben Casnocha are a world-famous billionaire and New York Times-bestselling author respectively.  But I still think it’s pretty cool. Thanks to all you loyal … Continue reading Tours of Duty: The Employer-Employee Compact

What startup entrepreneurs can learn from writer’s workshops

One of my undergraduate majors at Stanford was Creative Writing.  This meant that I sat in many different writing workshops.  For those who haven’t taken a creative writing course before, here are the basics: 1. The workshop consists of a small group (~12) of students. 2. Each class session focuses on workshopping one of the … Continue reading What startup entrepreneurs can learn from writer’s workshops

Why I Write Essays On Controversial Topics

“While nonviolence only sometimes works in the immediate moment, it always works.” (Michael Nagler) One of the reasons I wrote my essay on PyCon is because of a young hacker I’ve worked with.  He’s a smart, funny, thoughtful person, and he was quite worked up about the PyCon incident.  He was convinced that Adria Richards … Continue reading Why I Write Essays On Controversial Topics

You are the storyteller, not the story

I’ve been envious of Jonah Lehrer for years, ever since I started reading his neuroscience articles in Wired. I’ve also been a fan of applied neuroscience and psychology for years, ever since I discovered some of the early figures in the field of positive psychology like Edward Deci and Martin Seligman. I always fancied that … Continue reading You are the storyteller, not the story

Have a big goal? Start with steady progress, no matter how small

I love this recent blog post about the power of making progress, no matter how small the increment: “Nathan Barry, a normal guy from Idaho with a wife and kid, found the time to write his book in thousand word chunks. Jonathan Hardesty, an aspiring artist who started at “rock bottom”, did one sketch or … Continue reading Have a big goal? Start with steady progress, no matter how small

bukowski on writing

so you want to be a writer if it doesn’t come bursting out of youin spite of everything,don’t do it.unless it comes unasked out of yourheart and your mind and your mouthand your gut,don’t do it.if you have to sit for hoursstaring at your computer screenor hunched over yourtypewritersearching for words,don’t do it.if you’re doing … Continue reading bukowski on writing

The content continuum and why I’m worried about the direction of the online world

At the risk of sounding (even more) like a crotchety old man, I feel like the online world is moving in exactly the wrong direction. I would argue that there is a direct correlation between the amount of effort a creator expends and the quality and value of that creation. For example, I listen to … Continue reading The content continuum and why I’m worried about the direction of the online world