Elizabeth Spiers

maker of digital things


Why Developing Serious Relationships in Your 20s Matters


Are you in your twenties? Are you an entrepreneur? Have you been told by your friends, your advisors, and your professional…


What Passes for Excellence


If you’re looking for housing in Silicon Valley, you may have come across the following listing for spots in a startup house/community of excellence outside of Stanford. Others have expressed thoughts about it, but what I think it’s really missing is a between-the lines interpretation of the requirements, which, according to at least one member of the house, are…


Your Two Jobs as a Manager

Over the years I’ve ended up hiring and training a lot of people in their first jobs as a manager, and I always tell them they have two responsibilities: to set clear expectations and to reduce uncertainty for their teams. (I think this is true of anyone in management, but if you’re a founder / CEO, you’re also responsible for overall vision, strategic direction…


Top Five Digital Launch Mistakes


I’ve been thinking about my work plan for 2015–things I want to change, things I like, and so on. Part of that process is figuring out what I’m doing wrong and what’s out of my hands. With consulting, what’s out of your hands can be anything from nearly all of it to almost none of it, depending on the client and the extent to which they give you the…

Publications edited by Elizabeth Spiers

thoughts on personal development

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How Do I Write?

“Speaking up every. Fucking. Time”

How one feminist publisher is taking on the worst of Silicon Valley (and some of her allies, too)


In Memory of Peter Kaplan


Shortly after I got the editor-in-chief job at The New York Observer in 2011, I had drinks with Peter Kaplan, the longest running editor of the paper, to beg for advice. Peter had been the editor of the Observer for 15 years and I had been the editor for about three weeks.

We met at Naples 45, a so-so Italian place on the backside of Grand Central…


Confessions of a Part-Time Vegan

Eating vegan before six with Mark Bittman


There’s nothing I love more than a big, bloody red steak (rare, Peter Luger)…


The Impossibility of Retirement

For me, at least. 


A couple of months ago, at the age of sixty-three, my mother retired from her job as an accounts receivable clerk at…


How Not To Be An Entrepreneur

Professionalism and Maturity: Not Optional


A few weeks ago, Valleywag published correspondence between JESS3 co-founder Jesse Thomas…


What You Do Is Not (Necessarily) Who You Are


Among the niceties and travails of meeting people for the first time, there’s no more loaded question than “What do you do?” I would almost…


On Keeping a Notebook in the Digital Age


A few days ago I had a moment of sheer panic because I couldn’t find a pen. I went through the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross stages of penlessness (Denial…