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Think Different

By on March, 18, 2012 in Blog - Comments Off

I started programming on a computer when I was about 10 years old. The Apple //e had just come out and I wanted one very badly. They had Apple //+ ‘s in my school and I was lucky enough that my parents bought me an Apple //e for Christmas. I couldn’t believe they actually got me one and it changed my life forever. I started playing games, making my own games, buying books on programming and thought about what it would be like to work at Apple. I added RAM to it, ending up with 128k and had two disk drives for copying games from floppy disk to floppy disk.

When I was in high school they came out with the color Macs and I got the first one, which was something like a Mac IIx. I studied computer science and ended up working for Apple, first as an intern for two summers and then full time as an engineer.

When I came to Apple, Steve Jobs had just come back. His impact was immediate and powerful. He did many great things (including upgrading the sushi chef at the company cafeteria) but one of the things that stands out the most was his “Think Different” campaign. Read More…


Why Gold May Be a Bad Investment aka The Case for Being Optimistic

By on March, 12, 2012 in Blog - Comments Off

A lot of investors have become gold bugs recently. This is understandable given the instability in global financial markets and with the risk of inflation as the US and other G20 countries take on massive debt. Smart friends of mine are buying gold as a hedge against inflation while the US prints money. The US national debt is about 13 trillion dollars, more info here.

After the housing meltdown and recent stock market volatility it’s natural for capital to go to safe places like gold and treasuries. However, there are some cogent counter points to this strategy that I feel aren’t being voiced enough by the media nor by people who manage money.

Some reasons not to buy gold: Gold will hedge against inflation but won’t pay a premium to it. It will track inflation, but won’t give you a premium over it. Gold is a shiny metal with limited industrial uses. Its value is based on history, civilizations have valued it for millennia based on a primitive attraction to the material itself. Gold is atomic, and you know what it is, but therein lies the rub: Read More…


You Learn More From Your Losses Than Your Wins

By on March, 10, 2012 in Blog - Comments Off

Growing as an entrepreneur is a function of how you grow as a person. It’s a process that mostly consists of making decisions, living with the results, and trying to incorporate those results into future decision making. We’re all bound to this process, but some of us are much better at it than others. Being right is of course important, but being wrong is more important. Being wrong lets you adjust your aim and improve. Without it you are lost. So get good at it. Admit mistakes, don’t be afraid of them, and try to understand what happened. Step outside of yourself and see how open you are to seeing things clearly, not emotionally.

If you can’t admit you are wrong emotionally, if you are basically too immature to do that, then you won’t grow. This is a process that is more emotional and having to do with your character than it is intellectual. It’s pretty rare these days for people to admit they got something wrong. Politicians don’t do it. Companies don’t do it (lawsuits certainly don’t help). Doctors don’t do it (lawsuits again). But great leaders can and should acknowledge when they got something wrong and focus on how to get better. Read More…


In-N-Out Burger vs. Bank of America

By on March, 06, 2012 in Blog - 1 Comment

When companies are good, or great, they find a way to get things right. And when they’re broken, they can’t seem to get anything right. This fundamentally comes from leadership at the company. So I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that when I tried to call B of A the other day to get information on my multi-million dollar mortgage, I couldn’t get a human being on the line. I waited 20 minutes, and because I didn’t have my mortgage number handy, I was stuck in an automated loop. I had to eventually give up. It was frustrating and pretty pathetic given that I pay six digits of interest ever year to them.

Shortly after, I was flying in to LAX. It was about 11:00 at night, and I was starving because the airplane food is inedible. So when I landed, I decided to call In-N-Out Burger to see if they were still open. There is an In-N-Out close to LAX. I Googled the number from my iPhone and dialed them up. A guy picked up on the second ring. I asked if the one near LAX was open this late. He knew the answer immediately (of course they were) and was very polite.

How is it that a company that I have a multi-million dollar business relationship with can’t get a human being to pick up the phone when I call? Yet a company like In-N-Out where the margin must be $1 / meal gets everything right? Read More…


Related Posts

  • You Learn More From Your Losses Than Your Wins Growing as an entrepreneur is a function of how you grow as a person. It’s a process that mostly consists of making decisions, living with the results, and trying to incorporate those results into ...
  • Why Gold May Be a Bad Investment aka The Case for Being Optimistic A lot of investors have become gold bugs recently. This is understandable given the instability in global financial markets and with the risk of inflation as the US and other G20 countries take on ...
  • Think Different I started programming on a computer when I was about 10 years old. The Apple //e had just come out and I wanted one very badly. They had Apple //+ ‘s in my school and I was lucky enough that my par...