Balancing your party

It’s been a couple of months since I left TripAdvisor, and as I’ve been coming up for air, I’ve been going through the necessary process of re-evaluating the conventional wisdom I’d come to accept over the past six and a half years. Some of it was great – generally applicable best practices that I’ll use for years to come. […]

Cleverness kills

We had a problem. Facebook had just come out with the Like button, and had provided code snippets that allowed you to badge pages with Like counts. The problem was that it took a couple seconds for the number of Likes to load, and in some cases the resulting text was bigger than the allowable […]

The Technologist’s Dilemma

In 1997, Clay Christensen published the landmark book The Innovator’s Dilemma. In this book he went through a variety of industries (hard drives, backhoes, steel mills) and demonstrated the frustratingly similar pattern of how companies innovated, then stagnated – for entirely rational reasons. The key graph looks like this: The idea is that for any product, […]

Seven stages of learning

Stage 1: The opportunity At first, you’re excited. Something shiny and new! You’ve always wanted to learn this new thing, a language perhaps, and whether through planning or circumstance, you finally have your chance. Stage 2: Unwarranted optimism So you Google for tutorials, work your way through one or two, buy a book, start a MOOC. […]

Startup log: first impressions

As you may know, I recently left TripAdvisor to live the ups and downs of startup life. Now, one of the things that happens when you’re in a place for a long time is that you start to accrete responsibilities. You take ownership of cleaning up a particular error report. Or you set up automated jobs to monitor your […]