Fear, friendship, and solidarity

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A shared enemy can connect people in amazing and ironic ways. There was once a man — let’s call him Ernest. Ernest was troubled. Much of the time, Ernest seemed like a typical suburban neighbor, keeping mostly to himself. But Ernest had a major problem with alcohol. When Ernest had been drinking, he terrorized the … Continued

We have trouble trusting machines. Ask a Tesla owner.

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Is a Tesla safer with autopilot? That’s a challenging question to answer, because it’s not just about statistics — it’s about human psychology. According to Tesla’s statistics for Q1 of 2021, for every mile driven with a Tesla on Autopilot, you’re half as likely to have an accident as without the autopilot feature. Here’s the … Continued

The epiphany: why people end things

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Things tend to go on as they always have — until somebody has an epiphany. A decade ago, I was the lead on hiring a new social media analyst at Forrester Research. A woman with a strong and positive social media presence interviewed with us, and got to the final stages, which included doing a … Continued

The ideal collaborator

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I’m thinking back on all the projects I did with a partner. What qualities made for an ideal collaborator? They were passionate about ideas. Their ideas were different from mine. They have skills I didn’t have, and that the project needed. They were good at arguing without becoming nasty. They understood what a logical argument … Continued

God’s test

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God is testing you. But maybe not the way you think. I am betting you are a committed person. The values you hold close are sacred to you. You put a lot of energy into living and sustaining those values. But that is not always easy. There will come a moment when you are tested. … Continued

Win-win

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You want to win. Is there a better way to be a winner? Earlier in my career I worked for a startup software company. I was in product management. Then, as now, there was a shortage of qualified engineers, so the company paid a generous bounty if they hired someone you referred. Rachel was a … Continued

No place like home (office)

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I was featured in an article in The New York Times today. The point was that some people have actually felt more comfortable during the pandemic than with their lives before — a sentiment that applies, at least partially, to me. My ability to control my environment and be close to my immediate family is … Continued

I was just thinking . . .

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People younger than you know stuff you don’t know. So do people older than you. So learn to listen better. You shouldn’t engage with politics unless you are also engaged with reality. The things you know about people will still be true decades later. The things you know about things will be obsolete in a … Continued