Amazon's Blind Spot: Taste
Let me get this out of the way first: I really like Amazon.com: I’m (very) long on Amazon stock. I buy everything that I reasonably can using the service, shipped to me quickly (and free) through my Amazon Prime membership that I happily pay for. Hiplist uses at least five different AWS services, all of which I’ve specifically chosen over competitors. If you put a gun to my head (please...
Rest In Peace.
I’ve been to two funerals in my life. I’m very lucky to be at the age of 31 having only experienced that twice. The first was my grandfather’s. In many ways he raised us. He was a brilliant man, small in stature and a giant to me in so many ways. When it was his time, we had a week to prepare ourselves. I cried for months. Silently in public and loudly behind the door of my...
Being a contemporary sports fan
The most famous sportswriter of our generation is so popular that, for most males in the U.S., he just goes by his last name: “Did you read Simmons yesterday?” He doesn’t write stylistically like Grantland Rice (by the way, if you didn’t know where the website name “grantland.com” came from before that, you’re welcome) or his contemporaries wrote, but...
Heroku and Root (aka "apex" or "naked") Domains
As I’ve spent a lot more time writing code and building web applications, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many PITA technical problems are solved by searching Google and finding a blog post that explains a pithy solution. It’s pretty amazing, so here’s a contribution: Let’s say you have your site awesomesite.com . It’s an awesome site, so when someone...
Guns. Admittedly From A Liberal Californian.
I’ve been trying to better understand the contentious discussion around guns in the US in the wake of last week’s horrible tragedy. As someone who considers himself fairly free-thinking, I wanted to make sure I was at least attempting to take as balanced a view as possible. Some links: The Atlantic had an interesting, balanced profile on Japan, which is more or less a country without...
Poker and Risk Mentality
I’ve had a number of people come across my answer to “What did you learn from player poker?” on Quora and ask me about it. The most interested questions were about ‘Risk Tolerance’ and my assertion that the concept of expected value can make a risky-looking decision logical. This is not an uncommon view among poker players. For example, I just came across a new...
Stanford and Penn State
Every morning as a kid, like clockwork, I woke up at 6:30am to grab the San Jose Mercury News from our front door and read Section D (Sports) cover-to-cover. It was a daily routine. A ritual, really. And it was a reflection of what I spent the rest of my day doing as well. I think because school always came easily to me, I quickly found myself filling my day with sports: playing, trying out,...
3 Observations For Other First-Time Founders
So you’re going to leave your safe, cushy job and start a company. Nice! Well, considering we’ve spent a few months starting Wisepatch, I’m clearly highly qualified to give you amazing advice about starting your specific company. Here goes… I’m kidding, of course. And by the way, you should probably be weary of anyone who gives you definitive, “you must follow...
We are stubborn on vision. We are flexible on details.– From Jeff Bezos. My favorite quote about building products/businesses.
Thoughts on Jeremy Lin
Like a lot of people in my generation, Michael Jordan drew me in to basketball. Watching MJ marked the first time in my life that I was truly inspired by the obvious brilliance of an individual at his chosen craft. That experience triggered my love for basketball. It drove me to practice hard at the game and try out for my junior high school team. It compelled me to get better and make my high...
Three Things I Learned At LinkedIn
Last Friday was my last day at LinkedIn. After almost four and a half years at the company, I decided to embark on a different type of experience, fraught with risk, uncertainty, and instability. Smart choice? We’ll see. Working at LinkedIn was a truly important experience for me. As I wrote to coworkers on my last day: I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity that I have been...
What happens when the Kindle Fire costs $0?
My coworkers often laugh at me because of the number of Amazon.com boxes I receive. I buy everything from books to toilet paper to golfballs from the site. It’s possible that I’m the company’s single best customer. So it might surprise you to hear that I haven’t purchased a Kindle Fire yet. Why? The answer’s pretty simple: I know it’s going to get better. And...
The French Laundry
A friend came by for dinner last night and we eventually started talking about his experience visiting The French Laundry, the iconic Yountville Thomas Keller restaurant. This morning, I opened up my browser and was greeted by a page from the The French Laundry website, left over from the evening: “Every day we create two unique nine-course tasting menus – chef’s tasting and a tasting of...