Setting expectations

Of course I told you. I didn’t tell you? Are you sure? Well, maybe I told your brother twice. – my mom I wish I could say that I’ve always set expectations consistently across my teams. That I’ve sat down with each of my direct reports and, based on their level, given well-defined explanations of […]

Joining M.Gemi

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not, shall we say, fashion forward. Or fashion anything, really. My tastes run towards jeans and black hoodies, mostly so that I never have to think about what I’m going to wear. So, it’s come as a bit of shock to friends, family, and colleagues that I’ve taken […]

Specialization: Part 1

I didn’t do that well in physics. It was one of the engineering requirements for a CS degree, but I wasn’t that interested, pushed it off as long as possible, didn’t spend much time on it, and immediately forgot most of what I’d learned moments after taking the exam. Fast forward a bunch of years, […]

I told you so

A number of years back, I saw that my company was going to be facing a particular challenge, and that we could get ahead of it if we took some risks and made some difficult but important changes immediately. If we waited for the crisis, the problem would be that much worse, and it would […]

On exceeding capacity

We completed performance evaluations in January, and one of the conversations I’ve been having with my team members is, “what can you do to be a star in 2017?” It’s an important discussion to have, for a couple of reasons. First off, most people haven’t even considered the question. They have the idea that stardom is some […]

Management competencies

It’s been a couple months since I got back to TripAdvisor, and while in some ways it’s been as comfortable as slipping on an old shoe, my time in startup-land has given me a new perspective, especially with respect to my own role. What, after all, does a middle manager do? I’m not the player/coach I was at […]

Climbing Back on the Wagon

Dear readers, I haven’t been entirely straight with you. Three years ago, on the eve of New Years 2014, I started on a diet and exercise regimen – every month I added another rule, until there were over twenty separate restrictions, each infraction punished by a $100 donation to charity. I did this for eighteen months, during which […]


When I left TripAdvisor a year and a half ago, I wasn’t expecting to return. I’d had a great time over the preceding six and a half years, learned a lot, made an impact, and climbed the ladder. I’d worked on a dozen different teams across the Core Product department, finished up with a helping […]

How to make an introduction

Most people think of networking as something to do when they need a favor – they’re looking for a new job, mentor, advice, etc., so, time to start sending out the emails. This is the worst method, of course – people like to be treated like people, not favor dispensers. Good networkers are always trying to keep up with professional […]

Negotiating for time

Interviewing is a stressful process. And oddly enough, one of the most stressful times can be after you’ve received an offer. You’re still interviewing, you think the offer’s a good one, but they want an answer in 48 hours, and you still have another week’s worth of interviews lined up. What do you do? It can […]