The computing industry progresses in two mostly independent cycles: financial and product cycles. There has been a lot of handwringing lately about where we are in the financial cycle. Financial markets get a lot of attention. They tend to fluctuate unpredictably and sometimes wildly.
Exactly today (Dec. 26th 2016) I haven’t had a single drop of alcohol or coffee in 27 months. If you're reading this later, you can do the math yourself. A couple of my friends on Facebook & Twitter asked me to write about my experience, so here it is, in a nutshell.
A few months ago, my friend Tim took a new sales job at a Series C tech company that had raised over $60 million from A-list investors. He’s one of the best salespeople I know, but soon after starting, he emailed me to say he was struggling.
My framework for getting places, accomplishing things and living in a way that makes me happy. This isn’t a bullshit, head in the clouds, you can do it if you just *believe* post. There’s plenty of those out there. I’m not going to write another one.
It seems we’re entering another of those stupid seasons humans impose on themselves at fairly regular intervals. I am sketching out here opinions based on information, they may prove right, or may prove wrong, and they’re intended just to challenge and be part of a wider dialogue.
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes. I’m an expert on how technology hijacks our psychological vulnerabilities. That’s why I spent the last three years as a Design Ethicist at Google caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked.
Thomas OppongEver wondered why history’s great minds including Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Andy Warhol, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marcus Aurelius, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, George Bernard Shaw and Maya Angelou would spend so much of their precious time wri
Sometimes, to become successful and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add more things — we need to give up on some of them.
If you had asked 22-year-old me what my “career aspirations” were, I would have looked at you blankly and then casually changed the subject to what programs you’d recommend to model cute 3D bunnies for a video game, or whether the writers of Alias would be so devious as to ship Sydney Bristow
All creatives — be they entrepreneurs, writers or artists — know the fear of giving shape to ideas. Once we bring something into the world, it’s forever naked to rejection and criticism by millions of angry eyes. This fear is the creative’s greatest enemy.
How I learned to think like the world’s best and brightest.
Trent LapinskiDid you read Wikileaks?Well, you should have.The “conspiracies” were true, and the mainstream media lied to you to about everything.Wikileaks was not Russian propaganda, it was the news.
Learning should not end after formal education. Lifelong learning, the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge can enrich your understanding of different topics and make you a better person every day.
A certain farmer had become old and ready to pass his farm down to one of his two sons. When he brought his sons together to speak about it, he told them: The farm will go to the younger son. The older son was furious! “What are you talking about?!” he fumed.
Socrates, considered as one of the founders of Western philosophy, was once named the wisest man on earth by the Oracle of Delphi. When Socrates heard that the oracle had made such a comment, he believed that the statement was wrong.
Little things become big things. When you justify and allow even little things into your life which your intuition warns you against, you permit a virus to enter your life. It spreads to other areas.
If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves. — David Allen
Although people think they perform better on caffeine, the truth is, they really don’t. Actually, we’ve become so dependent on caffeine that we use it to simply get back to our status-quo. When we’re off it, we under perform and become incapable. Isn’t this absurd?
How to ask better questions.
The best advice I’ve ever got about reading came from a secretive movie producer and talent manager who’d sold more than 100 million albums and done more than $1B in box office returns. He said to me one day, “Ryan, it’s not enough that you read a lot.
Despite turbulence and other conditions keeping airplanes off-course 90 percent of flight time, most flights arrive in the correct destination at the intended time.
According to psychological research, the anticipation of an event is almost always more emotionally powerful than the event itself. The dread of asking your boss for a raise is paralyzing and can last months. Yet, once you get yourself to finally do it, it’s over before you know it.
We tend to think of learning a new skill or “going back to school” as something you’d do when looking to change careers, or to upgrade within your current one. But lifelong learning has incredible benefits, both personal and professional,say researchers.
OK, first things first. This guide is not for everyone. Who is this guide for? If you went to art school or consider yourself a UI designer already, you will likely find this guide some combination of a.) boring, b.) wrong, and c.) irritating. That’s fine. All your criticisms are right.
In 1978, Ellen Langer, a Harvard psychologist performed an important study. She gave houseplants to two groups of nursing-home residents. One group was told they were responsible for keeping the plant alive and that they had autonomy in their daily schedule.
A lot of people are good at what they do. Some are even elite. A select few are completely unstoppable. Those who are unstoppable are in their own world. They don’t compete with anyone but themselves. You never know what they will do — only that you will be forced to respond.
I read technology articles quite often and see plenty of authors attempt to dissect or describe the teenage audience, especially in regards to social media. However, I have yet to see a teenager contribute their voice to this discussion. This is where I would like to provide my own humble opinion.
Many people, myself included, have multiple areas of life they would like to improve. For example, I would like to reach more people with my writing, to lift heavier weights at the gym, and to start practicing mindfulness more consistently.
Can you imagine how awesome it would have been to be an entrepreneur in 1985 when almost any dot com name you wanted was available? All words; short ones, cool ones. All you had to do was ask. It didn’t even cost anything to claim. This grand opportunity was true for years.
Time is the raw material of getting anything worthwhile done. Time is precious and valuable. More valuable than money. Time is the only element in the world that is irretrievable when it’s lost. Lose money and you can make more. Lose a job and you can find another.
Peter Drucker once said “People often overestimate what they can accomplish in one year. But they greatly underestimate what they could accomplish in five years.”
Most people are not living the life they want right now. Instead, most people are living the life that is expected of them, the one they think they should live. Their primary motivations are to…
These two words serve as my daily mission statement. Every time I feel a little lost or don't remember what I wanted to do, I go back to the basics. I just try to be useful. Being useful is so simple. It not only helps other people but also yourself.
Reading isn’t just for writers. Reading helps us learn more about our craft — whether it’s marketing, management, engineering or teaching. It sparks new ideas and pushes us forward when we’re in a slump.
The traditional 9–5 workday is poorly structured for high productivity. Perhaps when most work was physical labor, but not in the knowledge working world we now live in.
Steve Jobs is explaining why, as a young man, he spent so much time with the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs a generation older, men like Robert Noyce, Andy Grove, and Regis McKenna.
Every year, I find myself in awe at how much I have changed, how much I have learned, and how little I know. It’s humbling in the best of ways. It’s a reminder that many of my day to day certainties are far less concrete than I think, and it’s an excuse to reflect on why and how I have grown.
The most comprehensive case that has ever been made for why nearly everyone should become a polymath in a modern knowledge economy. The warning against being a generalist has persisted for hundreds of years in dozens of languages.
Trump’s younger supporters know he’s an incompetent joke; in fact, that’s why they support him. Around 2005 or so a strange link started showing up in my old webcomic’s referral logs. This new site I didn’t understand. It was a bulletin board, but its system of navigation was opaque.
I highly recommend you read these books and form your own takes. But if you only have 45–90 seconds time blocks, here is a list of times to go through the actionable ideas from each book. · Strive to have a growth mindset. It will allow you to develop and improve your abilities.
Last week, I wrote about 25 habits that will make you a better writer. This week, I thought — let’s dive into books. After twenty-plus years writing, I’ve collected some resources that I absolutely couldn’t do with out. I love borrowing books.
In their many (justified) laments about the trajectory of their profession in the digital age, songwriters and musicians regularly assert that music has been “devalued.” Over the years they’ve pointed at two outstanding culprits.
Don’t major in minor matters.
On Monday, October 21, 2013, I sent this letter to our entire team at Airbnb. I have decided to publish this in the event it is helpful to entrepreneurs building their cultures. Our next team meeting is dedicated to Core Values, which are essential to building our culture.
Less than 1% of people are living according to the principles/science described herein. However, I’m confident that if you apply these recovery principles to your life, you’ll live a more engaged, meaningful, and productive life. Being busy and being productive are far from the same thing.
In the year 1820, a person could expect to live less than 35 years, 94% of the global population lived in extreme poverty, and less that 20% of the population was literate.
The first three hours of your day are your most precious for maximized productivity.
I’ve been programming in Object Oriented languages for decades. The first OO language I used was C++ and then Smalltalk and finally .NET and Java. I was gung-ho to leverage the benefits of Inheritance, Encapsulation, and Polymorphism. The Three Pillars of the Paradigm.
As you may already know I am very curious about habits, behaviour psychology and how it all affects success. For over two years I have been experimenting with my routines, work and lifestyle to find that perfect fit for happy and productive, purpose and passion driven routine.
Gandhi was completely right. When you don’t act in accordance with your values and goals, you’re internally-conflicted.
Your subconscious never rests and is always on duty because it controls your heartbeat, blood circulation, and digestion. It controls all the vital processes and functions of your body and knows the answers to all your problems.
On June 26, 2008, our friend Michael Seibel introduced us to 7 prominent investors in Silicon Valley. We were attempting to raise $150,000 at a $1.5M valuation. That means for $150,000 you could have bought 10% of Airbnb. Below you will see 5 rejections. The other 2 did not reply.
In the very early hours of May 18, 2015, Alexander Mordvintsev was wrenched from sleep. A nightmare, he later described it to me, in the first interview he has granted on the experience.
Many startup folk say that failure should be celebrated. “Fail fast, fail early, fail often!” they all chant, trying to put a positive spin on the most excruciating pain any founder could experience. Let me tell you — failure fucking sucks.
There are two paths in life: Should and Must. We arrive at this crossroads over and over again. And each time, we get to choose. Over the past year I’ve chosen Must again and again. And it was petrifying. And at times it was dark. But I would never, ever, trade this past year for anything.
Books are a powerful technology. We only live one life, but through reading books, we can gain the wisdom from thousands. When an author writes, re-writes, and edits, they are turning their words into a more perfect version of themselves.
Over the last few days, dozens of people have sent me a link to Andrew Watts’ “A Teenager’s View on Social Media written by an actual teen.” Increasingly, I’m getting uncomfortable and angry by the folks who are pointing me to this.
For the longest time, I believed that there’s only purpose of life: And that is to be happy. Right? Why else go through all the pain and hardship? It’s to achieve happiness in some way.
This is what I wish: that my daughters don’t go to school. I offered my oldest the very prestigious “Altucher Fellowship”. Never awarded before. Only awarded to her.
Manners Matter. OK. Versailles Etiquette seems pretty awful. “Those wanting to speak to the King were not to knock on his door. Instead, using the left little finger, they had to gently scratch on the door until they were granted the permission to enter the room.
I am by no means the unicorn prophet, but here’s how I think about which companies have earned their unicorn status vs. which ones are playing a dangerous game of massive capital needs, sky high valuations, impossible expectations, and deferred judgement days.
NOTE: Thanks for all the positive feedback on this article. This is now one of the most read design articles on Medium and has been reposted in Fast Co Design, the Huffington Post and dozens of other awesome publications!