Skip to main content


Bias For Clarity

Bias for action. Gets things done. Go-getter. Traits companies big and small look for. And for good reason, you're being hired to do things! However, action is a secondary step that often overshadows the primary step, direction.   Clear direction is the foundation that enables our actions to takeoff. Without it, we're stuck in the mud.  Striving for clarity is an underrated skill. Having the courage to ask ( seemingly ) obvious questions, and to check in, making sure we're all on the same page. "O bvious " questions are a low risk, high reward way to add value. At worst, you'll add confidence to our actions. At best, you discover a misalignment that saves us from a dead-end.  The more people, the more clear we need to be. The bigger the initiative, the bigger the risk of reaching the finish line, only to realize expectations were off.  Success is always uncertain. But we can be certain about what we want and what everyone's job is. Things that can be clea

(Almost) Never Say Never

The words "always" and "never" are so popular in daily conversation, despite few situations being truly deserving of the adverbs.  When getting passed over for a promotion:  "My work is always overlooked" When arguing with your spouse:  "You never do the dishes" Always means at all times . Never means at no time ever . Even if rare, I'm sure there was a time you got a pat on the back and your spouse cleaned up after eating.  We exaggerate to emphasize. To drive home a point. We don't mean to be dishonest, but to exaggerate is to say something false. A poor foundation for communication.  If a co-worker's late for a meeting, it's unproductive to accuse them of " never being on time ", even if tardiness is common. This breeds defensiveness. It's untrue and they can ( rightfully ) accuse you of lying.  Exaggerated accusations breeds exaggerated responses.  "You're always complaining about me" they'll f

Skeuomorphic Design and Predictions

A floppy disc to save your drafts. A shelf to access your ebooks. A recycling bin to store your deleted files. These are examples of skeuomorphic design - digital interfaces that mirror their analog counterparts. A helpful way to introduce the new through the familiar.  Skeuomorphic design leverages the past to guide us into the future, but it's doesn't create that future.  If we think skeuomorphicly, we dream narrowly and fall into the classic "faster horse" trap - where the future is only an improved version of now. We predict better horseshoes and saddles, instead of self-driving cars.  Smartphones are not phones with internet, but entertainment consoles and payment systems. Youtube is not home videos online, but a medium for a whole new class of creators.  Amazon started as a bookseller and evolved into the world's biggest cloud provider - an innovation in its own right that spring-boarded countless others. Innovation by its nature is surprising. It's not

The Importance of Small Experiments

We admire commitment. Colleagues who put in extra hours to meet a deadline. Athletes who push through the pain to achieve the win. Those who simply "gets things done" despite it all. Commitment demonstrates grit and resilience. A strength of character that is often associated with success.  Conversely, the reverse can hold true. Expressing itself as stubbornness, commitment can be a lack of flexibility and growth that leads to failure. Athletes who stay with the same team despite a poor culture, businesses who double down on a product no one wants.  Commitment only works when committed to the right things. Knowing what's "right" is the tricky part. This is where testing things out helps.  Small experiments with minimal resource commitment is a great way to gather data. Data that can point us in the right direction.  Try out different jobs. Meet different people. Visit new places. Try a variety of hobbies. Unabashedly dip your toes in the spirit of continuous lea