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Clockwise Co-Founders Gary Lerhaupt, Matt Martin, and Mike Grinolds

I never seem to have enough time. Nobody I know does, really.

We’re are living in a golden age of productivity tools: Slack and Zoom and Figma and Dropbox and Quip and Crew and many more. The combined macro trends of mobile, cloud, modern design, and machine learning have paid huge dividends in our ability to create, collaborate, and build things quickly.

But one of the ironies of the age is that as amazing as these tools are, it’s gotten increasingly tough to find the time to sit down and use them productively. …


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Caffeine founders Sam Roberts and Ben Keighran.

For the past decade, we’ve seen a massive shift in the way we consume, interact with, and share media. We all stream more and more video content online, of course. But we also expect deeper and more meaningful interactions with content creators and streamers. Users want an easy way to watch and interact with their favorite streamers and with their friends at the same time. Streamers want better ways to connect with users without latency, and better tools for monetization. And publishers want to provide both streamers and users with a great content experience in a brand consistent way. But…


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Figma co-founders Evan Wallace and Dylan Field

I’ve been interested (and obsessed, really) with design for my whole career, stretching back to the early nineties when I got to work on early human-computer interaction at Stanford. A lot’s changed since then — the rise and dominance of the Internet; then the absolute ubiquity of phones and other connected devices — because computing has permeated every facet of the way humans live, intentional design has become a necessity for just about every product.

But for all that the orientation towards and understanding of design has changed, the technology we use to design hasn’t really. Despite advancements in cloud…


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Crew co-founders Danny Leffel and Broc Miramontes

In just a decade since the introduction of the iPhone, our mobile phones have become the dominant technology we all use in our everyday lives. We send messages (text, pictures, video) all day long, every day. It’s no exaggeration to say that the way we communicate with each other has changed fundamentally over the past 10 years.

And so it’s no surprise that the way we work has also changed dramatically. We text and chat with our colleagues and rely less on email and in-person meetings. …


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Building for Rhythm & Pacing

Not sure whether I’ve posted about this before, but I’ve been having a great time teaching a class this quarter at the Stanford Business School — HR282: Startup People Operations. I’m teaching it with Huggy Rao and Sujay Jaswa, and we’ve been having a great time — this is the second year we’re teaching it, and I think it’s getting better & better.

The course content is what you’d expect — lots about recruiting, hiring, firing, cash & equity compensation, equity plans, etc. And we’ve been lucky to have a number of amazing guests.

The past couple of classes we’ve…


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I’ve been blogging since 2004, and have always loved the freedom of expression and the ease of distribution. Blogging has given amazing super powers to anyone anywhere in the world who’s got something to say. But even as it’s gotten more powerful over time, it’s also become more challenging to keep up to date with all the tools and options. Over the years, in addition to using just about every type of publishing software around, I’ve also invested in different platforms that help people share content in various ways (notably Tumblr & Instagram). In 2015, I invested in DWNLD because…


I haven’t been writing a lot lately. Partly because it’s the beginning of the year and a lot of (really uniformly amazing) things are going on at work. Partly because Kathy & I have two young kids at home who need (& deserve) a lot of our attention. Decidedly not because of how great the Stanford men’s basketball team is.

But the real truth is that I’m having a hard time coming to terms with what’s happening in Washington, D.C. and our country more broadly.

Someone asked me the other day how I’m doing — my reply was, “Oh, you…


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I had an opportunity this week to speak on a panel to some newly elected members of Congress about technology policy, and it was an interesting and positive experience.

I won’t go into all the things we discussed (although not difficult to imagine) since it was off the record, but I started off by quoting David Foster Wallace in a commencement address at Kenyon College some years ago. Starts off with a joke:

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning…


A couple of weeks ago I attended a reunion for Stanford CS198 — the program at Stanford that runs undergraduate section leading/teaching assistants for the introductory CS classes there.

I’ve said many times that deciding to be a section leader was probably my best career decision ever — no exaggeration. It’s been instrumental in creating a ton of great leaders over nearly 3 decades now.

We’ve had a couple of other reunions over the past few years — they’ve been amazing to attend because there are just so many incredible and inspirational people who have gone through the program since…


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I’m a day late writing about this, but yesterday Figma launched their 1.0, which included multiplayer simultaneous editing. Evan’s got a post that describes what they’ve done in great detail — it’s worth reading every word — Evan’s posts generally are amazing like that.

I’m really excited about this launch (and judging by the responses we got yesterday and today, lots of other people are) — for a couple of different reasons.

First off, I love love love productivity software. We’re in an absolute golden age of software that helps us do things together. For the first time in 25…

John Lilly

Partner @ Greylock, former CEO @ Mozilla, dad, husband, son, nerd

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