My grateful thanks for every setback, frustration, screwup, and failure

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As I look back on a long and fairly successful career, it’s become clear to me that the disasters, screwups, flops, and efforts that fell decisively short of the goal are the ones that I learned the most from. I started smart, but the flops were where I learned what mattered. On Thanksgiving, I’d like … Continued

What’s the headline on your obituary?

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Just after Fidel Castro died, The New York Times revealed that 16 different journalists had been working on his obituary . . . since 1959. (They keep these things on file, just in case a famous person dies.) It made me wonder about my own obituary and how it would have changed over the years. If … Continued

Spreadsheet wars, camaraderie, and the pink slime incident

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It’s not about what you’re building. It’s about who you’re building it with, and how it feels. It’s the hot summer of 1985 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I’ve left Software Arts, the company that created VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet. After Software Arts lost focus, a new competitor called Lotus 1-2-3 came along and crushed it. I’m still … Continued