How to Fail

In a previous post, I talked about what it was that stars did differently, and how it didn’t require either 80 hour weeks or incredible genius to shine. But there’s another side to this, and one that doesn’t get as much air time. Everyone wants to know how to be a big success, but the […]

Status Reports

This is a blog post about status reports. Yep. And I’m not going to lie to you – the fact that I find this interesting enough to write about is simultaneously disturbing, disappointing, and unpleasantly enlightening. I’m not proud, but it was something I was thinking about, and I thought I’d share. You see, I’d […]

Message in a Bottle

I imagine him sitting on a plush couch, or possibly standing, a newborn snuggling up against his shoulder. His eyes are closed, he is humming softly, unconsciously making endless tiny adjustments as the infant shifts. It’s 1970, and he doesn’t have a beard yet, though his sideburns lightly tickle the baby’s face. He makes little […]

Hard Problems

I interview a lot of software engineers, and people (especially college seniors) frequently tell me that they want to work on “hard problems.” When I ask them what they mean, they generally talk vaguely about doing something algorithmically challenging on the back-end, maybe related to machine learning, natural language processing, or big data. They don’t […]