Setting the context

Sometimes I wonder about the value of what I do at Google. In the search ads organization where I work, there are hundreds of people building new features and products. And then there’s me wandering around, looking at big picture business metrics, and thinking about long-term trends and how they might affect Google. I’m not […]

The Generalist Is In

I really enjoy giving feedback to people on their ideas and thoughts. In the past week alone, I have: Given feedback to an architect friend on their entry into a memorial design competition Talked through customer segmentation and business plans with a new startup as part of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service Talked through engineer […]

Instigating unhappiness

Michael Anton Dila, one of the cofounders of Overlap, recently gave a talk at the BIF conference. He starts with his frustration with the question “What do you do?”, as he can never answer it. He then talks about Overlap and the community that has built around it (Overlap is full of people who don’t […]

Planning for surprise

I had lunch today with the always inspirational Grant McCracken, who leaves my mind fizzing with new ideas and thoughts, so I’m riding that energy wave and updating my blog. As an aside, Grant is in the Bay Area talking about his soon-to-be-released book, Chief Culture Officer, about how companies need to incorporate an understanding […]

Language Games

My last post on faking it engendered some discussion that made it clear I hadn’t communicated my point very clearly. To paraphrase one uncharitable commenter, one interpretation is that I’m looking for ways to justify my tendencies towards self-aggrandizing attention-seeking egotism. And there’s certainly an element of that, as I thought I covered in that […]

Defending generalists

Seth Godin is one of my favorite writers, but I have to take exception to his latest post called We specialize in everything: When choice is limited, I want a generalist. When selection is difficult, a jack of all trades is just fine. But whenever possible, please bring me a brilliant specialist. If you’re shaking […]