Caught in a debate about whether or not software programming should be taught in schools, I wanted to start from a first principle. What do I think every American should graduate high school knowing?
Pulled out from pedagogy or educational theory, this became an exercise simply to explore what I felt was important.
Continue reading What a kid should graduate high school knowing
A friend asked me what I thought is the best skill to develop. Build the habit of habits, I told her.
That’s how you get the most out of yourself and your place. It won’t always work but if you develop the rigor and constitution to choose to add a habit and then go and do just that, you’ll be gold. That is how you develop discipline.
My method for doing this is my near obsessive approach to annual resolutions. Each year, I put forward a dozen of them, many straightforward goals but often several tied to habits I want to add to who I am. I tie them to individual months but in truth I plan to do many of them throughout the year and beyond.
Recently I was considering how many personality traits of mine I believe started as resolutions. I think they’re a good example of building the habit of building habits. I wanted to share.
Continue reading Build the habit of making habits: resolutions of mine that stuck
A version of this essay was published as part of my monthly newsletter a couple weeks back. Find other archives and join here to get updates like this first.
Privilege has nothing to do with how hard you work, or even what you deserve.
Among the many complexities we are confronting in our fist-flying, partisan online discourse, this is a translation issue. If you’re telling someone they’re privileged and you can’t understand why they get frustrated or tune you out, pause for a moment. Likewise, if you’re someone who has been called privileged and don’t understand why they ignore how hard you work, stop to consider.
Continue reading Privilege has nothing to do with how hard you work
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I’ve been writing, speaking and thinking a lot about modern talent-attraction strategies.
Not long after speaking at a DisruptHR event to define passive jobseekers, I recently joined an Employee Cycle podcast episode to dive deeper into the conversation. Listen to it here.
Continue reading Employer Branding is central to your passive jobseeker strategy
I moderated a panel on the topic of cities branding their entrepreneurship ecosystems.
In case you haven’t heard my ranting before: I think it’s silly for cities to talk about being the Silicon Valley of anything. Find my rants here and here and here. Funny enough, I was leading that panel at SXSW, another important vibrant national tradition I don’t want cities to try to copy.
Below are some questions I asked and a wrap video from the Amplify Philly house, where I did the panel.
Continue reading Don’t try to be Silicon Valley: a SXSW panel
My thoughtful coworkers brought in to the office a young Ben Franklin impersonator to discuss entrepreneurship and civic good in publishing last month. It was perhaps the most fun celebration of the ninth anniversary of starting what became Technically Media I could ask for.
(For some reason, someone shouted out that we should only have serious faces in the above photo. Believe me, we were having lots of fun.)
Afterward, I did a little Twitter rant I thought I’d save here for posterity.
Continue reading 9 examples of substance from nine years of Technically Media
When you say you’re the “idea guy,” I really hear you saying you’re the “I don’t wanna do any real work guy.”
Continue reading Don’t be the ‘idea guy’
One effective way to divide the kind of criticism you’ll get for your work is to split the feedback between that which comes from someone who has done the work you’re doing and that which comes from someone else.
It doesn’t necessarily mean one category will always be effective or helpful or productive or not. Those are further distinctions. But when I’m receiving critical feedback — on something I’ve written or presented or shared — often the first check I make is that one.
Continue reading You’re going to get criticized. Learn when to listen.
A version of this essay was published as part of my monthly newsletter several weeks ago. Find other archives and join here to get updates like this first.
When I think about mistakes I’ve made, one of the common causes of my blindness that led me there is entitlement. I thought something was going to happen because I deserved it.
Not because I had done the crucial work of understanding that outcome was good for all involved. Not because I worked to get a clear agreement or that I negotiated for it by offering something someone else wanted. No.
When I’ve really gotten something wrong, when I’ve been blindsided or made a miscalculation, a lot of times I just plain thought something was coming my way because I perceived I was owed it. Maybe I thought I had put my time in or I thought I was close to the person with power. Sometimes I admire the idea of how good for me it would be if this happened, or my friends tell me how great it would be.
Continue reading Don’t wait for things you think you deserve