False Equivalence

The latest installment of inequity-induced outrage came across my feed today. And it reminded me of an important principle.

False equivalence underpins my intense distaste for and impatience with Libertarians and privileged folks. Its simplistic approach neglects history and context and leads to us repeating the same mistakes.

Maddeningly, intelligent people pursue this anemic line of thinking all the time. It’s understandable in that it’s a convenient construct that supports a status quo serving a select few, and eases the conscience through the fallacy that everyone enjoys the same spot at the starting line.

Take the time to understand the bigger picture. Go beyond your own experience and assumptions. Your world will be richer as a result.

Embracing the Geekery

Honored as always to be invited to speak again at the awesome Forward conference, this time ’round I went with the allegedly elusive and ephemeral yet very important and real topic of Geek Culture.

Peter Drucker, famously misattributed to the famous “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” adage, knew some things aren’t so simple. When it comes to culture, things are rarely simple, easy or measureable. But they are ultimately important and influenceable. And just as the Lean Movement has established a process and framework to cultivate product & market growth (ok, it borrows from Newton a little), we’re keen to apply similar principles that make sense for culture.

Even small scrappy companies with few resources and infinite external challenges (you know, the survival things like building product, finding funding and getting customers) are increasingly aware that focusing on culture is a baseline and not a luxury. The entrepreneurs at Hackers / Founders get it enough that they asked me to share about this yesterday too.

As with any business initiative, you must know your audience. This one is targeted to those we know and love: the geeks.



Ich bin ein Berliner

All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin.

I never met President Kennedy but it’s comforting to know we share this sentiment (though I might swap ‘men’ for ‘people’ but that’s the 2015 in me).

While Berlin and Germany have long been on my travel bucket list (a layover in Frankfurt doesn’t count), when the real opportunity to visit emerged through my work, I couldn’t believe it: could we really do this now? For reasons I couldn’t fully articulate, Berlin has long held a captivating if ephemeral appeal to me. So much history, so much culture and so much transformation in so little time. But these were all abstract concepts to me before last month. Continue reading →