I’ve stumbled into something new. When I write, I find myself rewriting my sentences along the way. If feels slow and painful, and the edited words no longer feel like me. A few weeks ago, while writing a long note to my team, I closed my eyes so that I couldn’t edit along the way. When I opened them, I noticed a few things:
Sanjay (your Tauji) just told me a story about his colleague, Dan, at the hospital. At his 60th birthday party, Dan’s 25-year old daughter stole the show with her toast. The day Dan learned his wife was pregnant with her, he vowed to do 50 pushups a day, and has kept his commitment for 25 years.
Some of his daughter’s fondest memories of him involve pushups. She remembers sitting on his back, looking into his room, even being locked out of their cabin watching Dan do barehanded pushups in snow.
When I hear her story, I wonder whether…
When I told your Uncle David that I was scared about being a father, he put a comforting hand on my shoulder and said “Being a good dad isn’t about rolling a perfect strike. It’s about laying down the right bumpers.”
I’m a terrible bowler, but the metaphor still resonates three years later. Instead of trying to roll a strike and be an awesome father, I try to create a “lane” where we can build a relationship. And I protect that lane with bumpers.
When your mother and I first met, I did what I often do — I fumbled. We learned something then that continues to serve us now: mommy and I are better at communicating real feeling through the written word.
That shouldn’t have been surprising. When we met, mommy was in journalism school, and I had just spent a year writing for a losing presidential campaign (to your Dada’s chagrin, I’m still a Democrat).
So while most logical parents archive photos, videos, and collectibles — we’ve chosen to leave behind words. …
Originally Posted on TechCrunch, Aug 10, 2013
There’s a classic scene in the 80s movie The Karate Kid when Daniel LaRusso discovers that he’s actually learned how to fight. Here’s how it goes down: Miyagi agrees to train Daniel-san after learning that he’s been taking daily beatings from Johnny and the cobra-kais. To Daniel’s surprise, Miyagi has him sanding floors, painting fences and waxing cars. Daniel gets frustrated that the old man is wasting his time and is about to quit when something important happens. Miyagi starts to throw punches, and Daniel realizes that he can actually defend himself. As…
Originally Posted on November 4, 2012
“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” — Pascal, Provincial Letters: Letter XVI
I’ve had the good fortune to work with different kinds of Creators, including writing speeches at the White House under the direction of Michael McCurry, directing documentaries under the guidance of Hoop Dreams Director Steve James, and building products under the tutelage ofJohn Lilly. What made these people excellent wasn’t just their ability to create, but their ability to reduce. They weren’t afraid to cut lines, chop clips, or axe features if it trimmed…
Originally Posted on September 16, 2010
It’s easy to find people who are humble, and even easier to find people who are humbling. It’s rare to find someone who’s both.
Matt Puchlerz was a teammate and a friend. Shortly after I joined Groupon, we teamed up together to build a new product, along with Keith Norman, Anthony Caliendo, Steven Walker, Sean Iams, Evan Farrar and Seth Lochen. To focus on the job ahead, we isolated ourselves from the rest of the company by moving to a windowless room with no air-conditioning, or elbow room. It was a cast of characters…
Originally Posted on September 9, 2009
It’s a bit unsettling to keep updated on your family’s well-being through the television. My brother arrived last week in Afghanistan to report on the tragic medical consequences of war. Today was the first time we were able to speak. Conditions are rough, but as always, he is staying positive and contributing in every way he can, both as a surgeon and a journalist. Friends have commented lately on how human his reporting has been. I agree. Here is his first clip taken minutes after arriving in Kandahar. Keep safe, big brother.
Originally Posted on July 12, 2009
Inspired by the 3.5 launch, Q3 goal setting, this post (John), and that post (Mitchell), I took an *unsolicited* crack at a mission statement for Mozilla into and through 2010. It’s a work in progress, so post your comments and thoughts:
In the next 18 months, we turn big ideas into executable goals. We expand our global impact, while empowering others to expand theirs. We remain entrepreneurial, while leveraging the opportunities that accompany our scale. We strengthen our grassroots fight, while realizing our brand-built ability to influence decisions at the highest levels. We…