Tone-deaf to the cries of protest and calls for help, America is in a self-inflicted crisis. Peaceful protests are ignored, inclusive voting participation acts are labelled as fraudulent, black professional athletes are told to shut up and dribble or worse, blackballed from their profession all while economic prosperity fractures at the color line. We treat the crisis symptoms of with overwhelming physical force and soul-crushing indignity. Our POTUS demands “no more game playing” and “get tough and fight” then describes the “most vicious dogs and ominous weapons” ready to confront protesters.

For the better, awareness is changing. CEOs are stepping…


During the next few months, heroes will emerge. The best kind.

They will create, build, run and operate one of the these necessary three systems.

The rest of us need to support them. This is a call to action.

The Three Systems we need to stand up now:

  1. A capable and scalable healthcare system. Our current healthcare system is not designed to handle a pandemic situation. Social distancing will help in “flattening the curve” but it will not be nearly enough. In October, a pandemic simulation run by the best and brightest demonstrated the intense challenges we may face. We…


The college admissions scandal feels quite personal.

I am friends with implicated parents, spent 16 years as University trustee, supported two children their their college process and believe that choice of college is far less important than the decision to go to college.

It will also feel personal to anyone who anquished over a child applying to college. It is personal.

Cheating is absolutely inexcusable. This year’s batch of parents are paying the price. While more than a decade of participanting parents have, so far, avoided discovery.

So, what drove this?

The college acceptance process is brutal. It’s stressful, opaque, unpredictible and seemingly high stakes. …


Trump’s administration finally released their “peace plan” for Israel & Palestine. Named “Peace to Prosperity — A New Vision for the Palestinian People and the Broader Middle East” and authored by Jared Kushner working closely with Israel, Saudi Arabia and a few other Arab countries, the plan lacked engagement or involvement of the very people it was claimed to help: Palestinians.

Overall, the plan calls for up to $28B of economic grants and aid, doled out over 10 years, into Palestinian areas (Curiously, it never says the word “Palestine”, it simply refers to West Bank & Gaza). Another $22B is…


John Carreyrou’s “Bad Blood” non-fiction thriller about Theranos quickly became a must read in the Bay Area. Many people knew former employees or investors and some had directly interacted with its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes. Peaking at a valuation of $9B, Theranos built elaborate new corporate and lab facilities and spellbound an industry while capturing the imagination of entrepreneurs everywhere.

Theranos came to a crashing halt with Carreyrou’s investigative piece in the Wall Street Journal questioning claims and legitimacy of Holmes and her company.

Since then, many have speculated on the what, why and how of this certain-to-be case study. It’s…


The technology half-life is incredibly short, yet stock options have remained a central compensation model for startups long past true usefulness. It’s time to dump them, we can do better.

This is a 10 minute read providing background and context for why options are broken and why something new, a version of RSUs that I call SRSUs (Startup RSUs) should be created to make equity compensation useful.

I am a major fan of the uniqueness and power of alignment that stock options brought to employees, management and shareholders. Over time, however, that alignment and benefit degraded to the point where…


Entrepreneurs don’t hide. It’s one reason they are special.

I wrote the “So Close” post to honor the team, entrepreneurship and the courage of startup teams to go for it. Creating a category defining product requires risk taking — often at very uncomfortable levels. I love that spirit.

I anticipated readers would bring a wide variety of perspectives. I didn’t write the post to deflect blame, fall on my sword, or even as an epitaph. As CEO, I know my role and the responsibility for the company rests with me. I own that. …


We were driven to build a product that people would fall in love with.

On a warm summer evening, I’m at a dinner with a small group invited to meet David Candaux, a top Swiss watch maker. Normally, I wouldn’t find much interest in discussing the engineering and design effort behind creating the finest of watches, but my engineering team at Otto had been hard at work innovating a gear mechanism for our digital lock and I was learning a thing or two about the elegance of an intelligent and well designed gearing system.

David Candaux is a mastermind of…


The launch of Amazon Key is exciting news for anyone who has dealt with the frustration of stolen packages or having to chase down missed deliveries. Several Otto employees had to work from home on a day they were waiting for a critical package. Delivery to the “last foot,” getting to the other side of the door, creates a new level of convenience for the millions of Americans who shop online and finally addresses the biggest blocker in creating a fully seamless home delivery experience. With over 60 percent of U.S. …

Sam Jadallah

Technology & Product exec, former CEO/founder, @samjadallah

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