A few weeks into my job at Google, a colleague seamlessly incorporated the plural form of the word “focus” into a meeting (i.e., “foci”)—and in a sidebar taught me how the word was properly pronounced (something like “faux-sci”).
I’d found my people.
For nearly four years, I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with hundreds of incredibly talented people as we collaborated on making new products like the Firebase suite, and improving some mature ones, like Chrome.
In the process, I’ve been given the opportunity to travel the world meeting with developers, customers, the press, and fellow Googlers, and to participate in some amazing events, like Google I/O and the Beijing Google Developer Day. …
Since I signed up in 2003, Audible.com has been in my short list of top Internet services. In the early days, it was a chore to play Audible files in the car or sync them with a portable MP3 player. Nowadays, with a smartphone and AirPods, I can easily sneak a listen anytime I have dead time between focus tasks, such as walking in-between buildings, taking out the trash, or brushing my teeth.
These small moments add up, and have reopened my life to the magic of books. I regularly promote Audible to others, and to get them hooked, I share a list of my favorite listens. …
I started work at Google this week; I’m pretty excited about it. Dion also joined. We’re leading some teams in Google’s new-ish “Developer Products Group”, focused on ensuring Google’s developer-facing products are awesome.
When you stop to consider Google’s developer offerings, even the most partial list is pretty impressive: Android, Chrome, Google Cloud, Firebase, Go, Project Tango, TensorFlow, Kubernetes, Material Design, and Pixate to name just a few.
I’m humbled at the opportunity to work with the teams behind such great products and thrilled that I continue to have the chance to work closely with Dion.
More later; back to work!
When I was very young, I saw an episode of Beyond 2000 that featured an innovative watch that let its wearers tell the time just by feeling its surface. I was captivated by the idea, reinforced by its inventor’s assertion that just the subtle act of looking at your wrist could negatively impact a conversation.
Over the last few years working in the world’s largest company, the majority of my day time has been spent in meetings. I found myself having to juggle being fully “present” in each meeting along with being very aware of the passage of time, a task I often failed to do well. …
My memory stinks. I get it from my mother.
A creative genius, Mom is a natural artist and storyteller with enough charisma to fill any room. She’s always dreaming up new plans, new projects, and new ideas and bursting with energy and dynamism.
But on the flip-side of this raw talent is a memory that can only be described as “fuzzy.” Mom’s always coining new nicknames for the people and stuff in her life or re-inventing new solutions to old problems because she can’t remember the last solution.
I didn’t get all of her talent but I did inherit the fuzzy brain. It’s particularly problematic with names. You can be a close friend of mine, but if I haven’t interacted with you in a couple of weeks, please don’t be offended if I greet you with a hearty, “Hey… dude! …
“There’s more than one way to do it.”
— Larry Wall, creator of Perl
“More choices make us less happy.”
— Barry Schwartz, The Paradox of Choice
As a species, I think we’re very schizophrenic when it comes to the freedom to choose. We place a high value on maximizing our potential choices, but at the same time, we often resent the anxiety and inefficiency caused by having to decide which of many choices is optimal.
While I’m grateful that our society affords us the luxury of pursuing options ever more specialized to our individual predilections, I find it increasingly pleasurable when I can avoid entirely having to make decisions, especially when such decisions are about means rather than ends. …