I just finished Scott Hartley’s new book The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World. It is an inspiring read full of compelling stories and ideas about the rapidly evolving world around us.

The central thesis of the book is that instead pushing every last student to major in a STEM field, we need to recognize that the liberal arts provide a crucial human perspective in a world increasingly governed by machine algorithms. Continue reading

tl;dr: I recently left Etsy and I’m working on some new projects: one around improving tech hiring, and another around personal excellence. I have some spare cycles to take on part-time consulting / contract work in product and marketing, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

I joined Etsy in August of 2015, five months after the IPO. I had admired Etsy from afar for years and I was excited do product at an established, publicly-traded technology company after leaving a privately-held B2B software company.

Over the past two years, I’ve built products and features to support our global seller community of 1.7 million creative entrepreneurs. I helped launch a marketing / promotional tool called Shop Updates, oversaw a major rewrite of the system we use to assess listing and transaction fees, Continue reading

If you’re a regular reader, you know I believe that training makes it possible. No one is good at everything, and everyone can improve with sustained effort.

I’m working on some new projects that can be loosely categorized as “helping people be more excellent at things they care about”. I know that readers of this blog are involved in tech, entrepreneurship, fitness, and management from my last readership survey, but I’d like to go a little further on what you’re working to improve right now.

For instance, in the past, I’ve focused on improving my dating life (I even hired a dating coach at one point), taking my fitness to new levels with monthly fitness challenges and marathon training, and improving as a product manager. Continue reading

Something I’ve noticed is that people and organizations that are successful over a long period of time periodically reinvent themselves. That is, they start out doing one thing, become good at it and get known for it, but eventually transform themselves and pursue something different.

Amazon of course is making headlines for their purchase of Whole Foods for $13 billion. Are they an e-commerce company? A technology company? A logistics company? A services provider? With the mission of being the most customer-centric company on earth, they can be all that and more. Continue reading

It’s sort of a tradition at this point for me to do a post around my birthday (see: 30, 29, 28, 27, 26). This year, I decided to write down 31 lessons I’ve learned in the past few years. Anything older than that tends to become a “known fact of life” and stands out a lot less.

These were initially written with modifiers like “most”, “often”, or “tend to”, but since that makes the points less pithy, I’ve taken them out. However, know that I don’t mean these lessons literally to be true in all circumstances and situations. The universe is messy and the right answer is always: “it depends”.

So without further ado: Continue reading