leadership

What Do You Think About Smoke Breaks?

There was something bewildering at my first full-time job. Not exactly in my office, but in the building we shared with other companies. It seemed like whenever I arrived at work or took a bathroom break in the restroom shared by the entire building, I’d see the same people smoking outside. I was baffled that […]


This Is What the High Road Looks Like

I’m always hesitant to write a political post, especially one that isn’t at all political but could be construed as such. But I’m compelled to do so anyway today. Not long ago, I learned about a video from the 2008 presidential election campaign trail that I’d never seen before. It’s a town hall where John […]


How Does Your Cat Motivate You?

How Does Your Cat Motivate You?

Yesterday I wrote about Steve Jobs’ unique and abrasive style of leadership. Today it occurred to me that one of my cats may ascribe to the same methodology. Around 4:00 am every morning, Biddy decides that he absolutely needs food. The problem is, as smart as he is, Biddy cannot open the fridge where I […]


The Steve Jobs Leadership Dilemma

The Steve Jobs Leadership Dilemma

I watched the Steve Jobs movie this past weekend in the hopes of being inspired as a leader. Instead I walked away confused. In the movie, Jobs describes himself as a conductor. Essentially, he claims to bring out the best in each of his employees, and he keeps everyone working in sync to produce the […]


How to Get the Best Stories from an Introvert

I’m an introvert.  That is, I’m energized by being alone, I don’t like small talk, and as much as I’m invigorated by spending time with other people one-on-one or in small groups, it’s also exhausting. I’ve talked about introversion on this blog, but there’s an area of it I haven’t explored: Things people can do […]


What Was Your Favorite Corporate April Fool’s Prank of 2017?

What Was Your Favorite Corporate April Fool's Prank of 2017?

Ever since I started running my own company, I’ve stayed away from doing anything for April Fool’s Day (despite how much I enjoy a good prank). I’ve seen how easily a joke or offhand comment can be misconstrued as something else–I don’t want to cause any confusion.* However, I have a great appreciation for companies […]


What If Offices Were More Like Kindergarten Classrooms?

What If Offices Were More Like Kindergarten Classrooms?

I had an odd experience a few days ago. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw a photo a friend had posted about her son selecting the kindergarten he’ll enter in the fall. The photo was of her son standing in a kindergarten classroom. As I looked at the photo, this wave […]


To Shill or Not to Shill?

To Shill or Not to Shill?

Recently I saw an article on ESPN about former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling. Apparently he’s considering running for senator from Massachusetts in a few years. His decision was considered somewhat controversial because he owned a video game company that received a $75 million loan guarantee to move to Rhode Island in 2010, only to go bankrupt […]


What Is Your Favorite Position? (for working)

What Is Your Favorite Position? (for working)

Recently I noticed something about the way I work: I prefer doing different types of work in different positions. Creative work (writing, prototyping, future planning): Sitting down at my desk. Logistical work (spreadsheeting, Skyping): Standing up at my desk (it’s a sit/stand desk). Brainstorming (game design/development): Turning off my computer and sitting at a separate […]


Is Generosity an Indicator of Success?

Is Generosity an Indicator of Success?

In a recent episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld asks Lorne Michaels (7:20), “How did you see in Jimmy Fallon that there was a talk-show host in him?” Michaels replies (I’m paraphrasing here), “He’s truly funny, and he’s incredibly talented, obviously, but he also is generous. I’ve been thinking about that line ever since […]


Is Life Easier If All of Your Clothes Are the Same?

Is Life Easier If All of Your Clothes Are the Same?

Every morning/afternoon when I get dressed, I spend about 67 seconds selecting my outfit for the day based on my mood, activities that day, and availability of clean clothes. 67 seconds isn’t much, but is that time and mental energy I could better spend on other things? Steve Jobs (who I generally try not to emulate) thought […]


Would You Want to Live at Work?

Would You Want to Live at Work?

A few days ago when I read the following article–“From WeWork to WeLive: Startup moves members into its first residential building”–I bookmarked it because it seemed like a pretty novel concept. It read to met that a company was offering housing to employees, presumably to build community, reduce commutes, and blur the line between business and […]


The Source of Your Goodness

The Source of Your Goodness

A few weeks ago I had one of the best phone calls of my life. I had reached out to an organization holding the rights to a very special license that I’ve loved since I was a kid. I highly doubted I would hear back from them…but then I did. They called me. And they […]


Is a Bigger Staff Better?

Is a Bigger Staff Better?

The other day I was watching an online clip of Conan O’Brien involving him talking to various staff members on the show. In one of the conversations, he revealed that the show employs over 180 people. That number surprised me. 180 people working to create 1 hour of content a night? How is that possible? […]


The Best Grocery Store Clerk Ever

The Best Grocery Store Clerk Ever

Yesterday I wrote about a fictional (likely not fictional) story about really poor customer service. However, the universe reminded me today about the importance of balancing the bad with the good, as I had a truly wonderful experience at the grocery store. After loading up my cart, I was rolling past the check-out lanes–some open, […]


Louis CK and the Worst Customer Service Ever

Louis CK and the Worst Customer Service Ever

I recently watched an episode of Louis that I can’t stop thinking about. The show is fictional, but I have the feeling it’s grounded in reality. In the opening scene, which you can watch at the bottom of this article, Louis is shopping at a home and garden store. That is, he’s trying to shop there. He’s […]


CEO’s Choice of $70,000 Minimum Salary for Employees: What Do You Think?

CEO's Choice of $70,000 Minimum Salary for Employees: What Do You Think?

You may have seen a story floating around on Facebook last week about the CEO of a Seattle-based credit-card processing company, Gravity Payments, decided to enact a new minimum salary for every full-time employee: $70,000. As discussed in detail here, CEO Dan Price read an article about how peoples’ happiness significantly increases when they earn […]


What Does a Customer Deserve?

What Does a Customer Deserve?

I have a bit of a situation. In the greater scheme of things, it’s truly a first-world problem, but I figure you might have some interesting ideas about it. I went the my local AT&T store last week to buy a new iPhone and renew my service plan. I was there for about an hour, and […]


How to Brainstorm with Introverts

How to Brainstorm with Introverts

In a few days, my fledgling game company will have a visioning session to discuss where we are today, where we want to be in 5 years, and how to get there. A key part of the session will be open brainstorming from participants. I love open brainstorming, especially when you can feel the creative […]


The Power of Asking for Feedback

The Power of Asking for Feedback

A few days ago I listened to a talk about asking for feedback. While I’ve been a big fan of the power of asking for feedback for a long time now (as a manager at my previous job, to my Kickstarter backers at my current job, and in general), the talk really opened me to […]


Distractions and Creativity

Distractions and Creativity

Last year I wrote about how my increase in productivity and efficiency since getting a second computer monitor. I continue to love my multiple-monitor setup, but I’ve noticed that it–and my computer–are actually quite counterproductive for a specific subset of my job: creativity. Part of my job involves designing and developing board games, so I spend […]


Your Favorite Speakers

Your Favorite Speakers

I’ve been asked to participate on a panel about crowdfunding and Kickstarter next Tuesday in front of about 200 people. I’ve been on a few of these panels in the past year, and for each one I’ve tried to work in some new skills that I’ve observed from my favorite speakers (usually TED talks): ask […]


How to Become 60% More Imaginative in 3 or More Easy Steps

How to Become 60% More Imaginative in 3 or More Easy Steps

Recently I’ve taken up walking. I’m not going on walks or strolls–no time for that. Rather, when I need to think something through, I walk around my condo, cats at my heels. It helps me think. Then, completely coincidentally, I read this article a few days ago, and I now have actual proof that walking makes me […]


Patrick Rothfuss in Candyland

A week or so ago, Patrick Rothfuss (an amazing writer) posted a blog entry about playing Candyland with his kid. Feel free to check it out. I’ll wait. Or I’ll just recap the key part below for you. You might recall Candyland from your childhood with fond memories, probably because you played it while your […]