A month ago I was the CMO of a startup based in San Francisco. I could freely walk outside and go to Philz, Orangetheory, Taco Bell and all of my normal haunts. I was working out, kids were going to school, life was grand.

Fast forward to today and we are at the beginning stages of what looks to be a watershed moment for all of our lives. My company underwent a huge layoff (I am now ‘funemployed’), half of humanity if quarantined, and we’re all trying to figure out when this is going to end. …

It’s only day eight and you’re already out of oat milk

A few lonely cars make their way into San Francisco. Photo: San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers, Contributor, Getty Images

You wake up on the couch at 6:30 a.m., cringing from the crick in your neck. Another night passing out to Netflix and nachos. And horrible nightmares after watching the “Pandemic” episode of Explained. This is the new norm. This is life under quarantine.

You stumble over to your room for a moment to assess the situation. Your two kids are passed out next to your significant other. Amazing. A chance to go into the master bathroom uninterrupted. But your relief turns to anxiety when you spot only two lonely leaflets of toilet paper adhered to the cardboard. …

We interviewed the Wall Street Journal’s Eliot Brown to find out

WeWork Midtown Manhattan by Ajay Suresh

When you look back on the decade in tech, one of the biggest stories will be the rise and fall of WeWork. And while the company is still around, it has shed around $40B in valuation in the past few months. At the forefront of the story is the mercurial Founder of WeWork — Adam Neumann. And a Wall Street Journal Reporter named Eliot Brown — who broke some of the now-infamous stories about the company.

Today, we hosted Eliot as a guest on This is Your Life in…

She’s not moving up and to the right

Artwork: Hayden Currie

Second week in a row. No goal, and it’s halftime already. Your six-year-old is making you anxious. What are you spending all your Saturdays doing? Maybe you should have enrolled her in Kumon instead of soccer?

Her team is winning 9–1. But Amelia didn’t score, so you lose, and so does she. Why are you wasting your time going to AYSO (All Your Saturdays are Ours, a.k.a. the American Youth Soccer Organization) when she could be taking fencing lessons, which could eventually get her a scholarship to a top-tier school?

There is no way your daughter is getting into…

Image courtesy of Irina Blok.

One of my resolutions in 2019 has been to meet people IRL that I’ve only known ‘virtually’ or through an email list. Over the past several years, many people who are reading this have ‘clapped for’ or ‘liked’ my writing. But I don’t know who many of you actually are. I want to change that.

I wanted to invite anyone who is based in San Francisco to an event I’m hosting on July 11th at Betabrand SF at 6pm.

For those who follow my writing, I also host a podcast called ‘This is Your Life in Silicon Valley’ (which started…

IPO FOMO is real

Illustration by Irina Blok

Artifical intelligence.

If you have to hear those two words again, you are going to throw your fucking computer out the window.

It’s Monday morning at 8:00. You are on a sales call with an East Coast customer. You’re normally at the office at 10:00. You’re grumpy. You need a personal day.

You are in a Lyft with AirPods on while videoconferencing on Zoom. Two companies that IPO’d. Your company hasn’t IPOd. Being in a Lyft on a Zoom is a perfect metaphor for everything you are not. You are nowhere close to an IPO. …

A picture I took on my iPhone (aka ‘User Generated Content’)

TL;DR: there is only a 20% chance you’ll only get halfway through this article before bouncing.

Long (ish) version below:

I’ve been building writing businesses for the past decade. In 2008, I co-founded a web-based screenwriting tool/community which amassed a user-base of about 80,000 writers. That eventually turned into a business called Scripted, which is a marketplace for businesses to hire freelance writers. I’ve also dabbled in publishing with my work on The Bold Italic, which a small group acquired from Gannet Publishing.

This has been a pretty awful week for writers, journalists, and anyone who cares about preserving the…

A modest—yet genius—proposal to fix your HR issues

I’ve been studying human resources for the past 15 years. And by “studying human resources,” I mean that I’ve worked for, like, almost four companies. I’ve experienced lots of ups and downs. A few examples of things that I consistently see at the workplace, which might add a bit to my credibility/credentials:

Podcast episode with Philz CEO Jacob Jaber

An employee hits “Reply all” instead of “Reply,” causing catastrophic damage every time.

  • Two employees chat with each other in quick spurts, smirking/laughing simultaneously.
  • Someone won’t restock the fridge after taking the last La Croix, which can be extremely harmful to…

Illustration courtesy of Irina Blok

You wake up in a puddle of water. It’s 5:00 a.m.

Not water. Pee. You realize it’s pee. Your three-year-old has been having trouble sleeping lately and expertly wedged herself between the two of you. You lazily decided to forego the pull-up last night. You both pretend not to see the wet patch. One of you will deal with it later.

You can’t fall back asleep. You reflect. You turn on the Headspace app and give yourself 10 minutes of peace. You have no idea whether meditation works or not. It’s really boring, and all your mind can think about…

Sunil Rajaraman

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