Taking Some Old Advice

Today I’m leaving my job as design partner at Google Ventures. Instead of another full-time job, I’m focusing my energy on writing. I have about twelve books in mind, including some nerdy fiction. And I’m gonna go for it.

Six Years With a Distraction-Free iPhone

In 2012, I realized I had a problem. My iPhone made me twitchy. It called to me from my pocket, the way the Ring called Bilbo Baggins. My moment of clarity happened in my living room. I was sitting on the floor…

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The "Burner List"

As much as I dislike to-do lists, I have to have one. I’ve been using my system for a while now and figured I might share it in case it’s useful to others. Yes, I know, another to-do list system! But you’re the one who clicked...

How I Saved My Cat’s Life with a Selfie Stick

It’s New Year’s Day, 2016, and I’m standing in my bathroom trying to explain to the fire chief that I bought this selfie stick for the sole purpose of rescuing my cat. “Bullshit,” she says with a knowing smirk. “But let’s see...

How We Tried to Design Our Own Book Cover

Last June, with a near-complete draft of our book in hand, we began thinking about the cover design. We’re a team of designers, so how hard could it be? (Spoiler alert: Turns out it is very, very hard.)

Stop Brainstorming and Start Sprinting

For years, people have told us group brainstorms don’t work. A1958 Yale study found that individuals are emphatically better at problem-solving than teams of brainstormers. And yet, we keep right on brainstorming...

The Three-Hour Brand Sprint

For most of my career, any mention of the word brand made me uncomfortable. I figured it was a fine line between “brand exercise” and “total waste of time.” I was forced to confront my branding heebie-jeebies when I joined Google Ventures. 

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The Facilitator's Handbook: 24 Design Sprint Tips

Here are some things I think about when I facilitate a design sprint. There are a few principles and tricks I consciously remind myself to do, again and again, because they work and are not obvious to me.

How to Live, How to Work, and How to Die (or “Everything I Learned From My Dad But Can’t Possibly Put Into Words")

1985—A knock wakes me up, and Dad’s voice says it’s time to get up. I get dressed. It’s cold in the kitchen, dark outside the windows. I stare inside...