Deleted Post

Sometimes I wrote a whole post and then delete it. This is one of those. It was about gratuitous violence in mainstream movies and TV shows like Altered Carbon and the hypocrisy of Hollywood liberals who star in movies which glorify torture, mutilation and murder and then say mass shootings are caused by loose gun…

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Basic Civility

Kindness. Empathy. Civility. I feel like the world is moving in the wrong direction on this. Maybe it’s the anonymity of the internet where you can say vile things to people on Twitter and feel no consequences. Even in a car, we yell at people, screaming that they are bad drivers when we would never…

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Nothing we can do

I passed a guy on the sidewalk talking to his friend. He said, “I know it sucks…but there is nothing we can do.” I have not idea what he was talking about, but those words haunted me from that moment until now. At first I was sad, thinking that life is truly hard. What can…

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LinkedIn Connection Algorithm

Do I personally know you? Accept. Did we meet within the last 7 days? Accept, I guess. Was it longer than 7 days? Dude, come on. Fine. Jesus. Accept. Are you famous? I make that impressed frowny “not-bad” face. Acceptaroonie. Are you a product designer? I click the mouse like I am giving you a…

2018 Wishes and Predictions

Politics Easy prediction: Trump will tweet stupid shit all year. The Russia investigation will lead to more drama and possibly impeachment along with sketchy pardons. My main prediction is that Democrats will gain one of the houses of congress. This will yield gridlock until 2020 (a good thing) when Joe Biden is elected president. Wish:…

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Decision Models

In 2005, I worked for a year at Intuit and they claimed to be Customer-Driven. This came from a specific story. Originally the company produced Quicken, a personal finance tool. When they watched their customers, they realized that many of them were using it for business purposes. They realized this market and produced QuickBooks, which…

The Care Pie

We all care about lots of decisions. However, it’s not healthy to argue about every single decision. In fact, it’s not healthy to argue about 90% of the decisions that are made. I talk to people about the Decision-Care Pie. This is a pie-chart that has two parts. The first part is the 10%. These…

History is not kind to Bill Clinton

Im a progressive. When I look back at Bill Clinton’s presidency, all I see is bad policy and embarrassment. He was not a liberal and no friend to progressives. Here is a run down of his “accomplishments”: Defense of Marriage Act: Clearly on the wrong side of history. He legislated against gay marriage instead of…

My Dog has Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis happens when the¬†pancreas¬†becomes inflamed. That’s an organ near the¬†stomach that helps digest food and control¬†blood sugar. (Source) Leroy was not eating and passing blood all over the floor. It’s freaking me out. The treatment is not really a treatment. You give him fluids and hope it goes away. Modern medicine is amazing and can…

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Social Anxiety

According to the Social Anxiety Institute: Social anxiety is the fear of interaction with other people that brings on self-consciousness, feelings of being negatively judged and evaluated, and, as a result, leads to avoidance. I am absolutely familiar with this feeling. Although I can be charming, outgoing, and gregarious in group situations, I constantly have…

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Great Team or Great Players

I often hear people say they want to work at a company because they are led by a great team. What they usually mean is that the team is comprised of people who were successful before, or at least they were at successful companies. The same goes for venture capital investments. They often will invest…

Moving on from Engagio & MarTech

After 9 years of Marketo and 2 years of Engagio, I am moving on to a non-martech product. Engagio has a great future ahead of it and as a shareholder, I fully expect them to go public and be worth billions of dollars. I think I have built a good product foundation at Engagio that…

Counter-Intuitive Thinking

The thing about counter-intuitive thinking is that its often the correct logical thinking and almost everyone believes the opposite. Logic and common intuition are not friends. For example, you can often ONLY get things done with the opposite person you expect. Some examples: Only a Jew can make fun of the Holocaust Just ask Mel…

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Teaching Excel in High School

My kids are in middle and high school. They are learning math at different levels. The thing that annoys me is how little they use Excel to do their work. Why do we teach kids how to calculate by hand? Think of the alternative: Start teaching excel early like kindergarden Accelerate through simple subjects like…

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The End of Trust

I listened to a Radiolab podcast recently about some new technologies. One is called Adobe Voco.¬†Voco allows you to easily manipulate audio of another person. You can even make someone say something they never said before. The other technology lets you create a video of someone saying something they have never said before. Sort of…

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Grinding

There are particular kinds of games where you have to spend alot of time doing simple things to get your level up. An example is killing a million squirrels in the forest so you can buy the sword to go after a dragon in a cave. This technique is called grinding. Some games specialize in…

An ABM Adventure

I am Head of Product for Engagio, a SaaS application with lots of features and users who use them. (Is there any other type of SaaS application?) Warning:¬†This blog post throws data around the web with total abandon and gets confusing. You have been warned. My Mission: To activate and spur usage in the system.…

Why I eat food

I can think of five reasons I eat food. Hunger Boredom It tastes good Food is in front of me Other people are eating in front of me Hunger I almost never eat food because I’m hungry. When I was 17 I was hungry all the time. I could eat ALL DAY. However, this has…

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Sphere of Influence, Control, Concern

An interesting way to frame an employee is by spheres, specifically three of them: Sphere of Control is the stuff you can decide on your own. This is people you manage and project you do the work personally. Sphere of Influence is stuff that you can guide through collaboration or subtle techniques. Your friendly co-worker…

The Sweet Spot

There are many manifestations of the sweet spot. ¬†Some examples: Product Strategy In this image, the sweet spot is avoiding competition while also focusing on what you do best. If you focus on the customer needs and ignore your own capabilities then you run the risk of failure to execute. If you only focus on…

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The Death of the Unsubscribe Link

I’ve been getting alot of email lately from SDRs using tools like Salesloft, Tout and Outreach. I have noticed a couple of important trend occuring. There is no unsubscribe link There is no content, just a request for a meeting/conversation They are not personalized or interesting to me the recipient It is hard not to…

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Myers Briggs 2017

I had another Myers-Briggs for an executive team offsite this month. Previously my tests in 2014 yielded these results: 2014 INFP Introvert(11%) iNtuitive(75%)¬†Feeling(12%)¬†Perceiving(33%) Slight preference of Introversion over Extraversion (11%) Distinct preference of Intuition over Sensing (75%) Slight preference of Feeling over Thinking (12%) Moderate preference of Perceiving over Judging (33%) They call this personality…

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Where am I from?

Ancestry.com has this chart to show me where I am from. (I sent in a sample of my spit) The little orange dots are matches for other people with connections in my DNA. As you can see, I am Eastern European. My ancestors lived right in the middle Empire central. The Holy Roman Empire, The…

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Marketing Podcast 2017

I was interviewed on a podcast by marketers last week. Kristen Malkovich and Grant Grigorian did a great job making me feel comfortable and asking good questions. They need to buy some better audio equipment but otherwise, it went off without a hitch. I talked about the following topics: being the first employee at Marketo…

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Not how I wanted to lose weight

Around the holidays (3+ months ago), I got a stomach ache. It didn’t go away for a week. Since then, my appetite has diminished by about 50%. I noticed the issue quickly and bought a new scale that syncs to my phone. (It was on sale at the time) I strongly suggest getting a scale…

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Facts, Fakes and Fox

English is funny. Spelled different, pronounced the same, spelled the same, pronounced different. It’s like English doesn’t want to be “understood”. It’s like the language itself it trying to obfuscate the truth. Why is phonetic¬†not spelled phonetically? Language is behind this whole issue. Whether you are in the world of product development¬†or politics, the facts…

Product Management Bullshitometer

Recently, I’ve been interviewing candidates for Product Manager and sometimes I hear phrases that set off my bullshitometer. This is a finely tuned piece of equipment that I keep with me at all times. It can detect bullshit intensity from any source. When I interview people, I keep a close eye on it. CEO of…

The Negativity Filter

Sometimes I will hear people talk about something and I will hear alot of negativity in the statements. This is especially true on twitter, reddit¬†or other semi-anonymous forum. A former boss did this frequently. I ended up helping people by using a special trick I call¬†Negativity Filtering. How does it work? Basically, you just think…

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The (possible) Meaning of Life

There are infinite possibilities, but one sticks out for me. This is what I think life is and the meaning behind it and the secret to a successful life. First, you need to imagine that technology is taking us to a place where we no longer have fear, hunger, or death. The advances in technology…

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Product Idea for an App: Told You So

I always had this dream of an app called “Told You So”. Here are the requirements: You sign in with Google or Facebook. It asks you to make a prediction. You sign it with your finger. It has a button for “I disagree” and someone else can sign that. It stores the predictions and signatures…

Masterful Conversations

I’ve mentioned this technique in other posts, but I was searching for it and thought it deserved its own spot. The technique is one that I learned during my 12 months at Intuit in 2006 called Masterful Conversations. The basic premise of the technique is that we collectively spend all of our time talking about…

Goodbye New York Jets

Superbowl III was played in 1969. Broadway Joe Namath guaranteed the win and came through. It was a miracle moment for fans of the Jets. I was born a few years later and grew up in the shadow of that glorious moment. I was a Jets fan, hoping that one day, another Joe Namath would…

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Disturbing Trends

Not all trends are bad, but some really scare me. For example: Congress is supposed to pass laws. It’s kind of their job. I suppose I would rather no laws than terrible laws, but still, this is a disturbing trend. How about this one? The top 1% is earning more and more of the pie…

Election 2016

The election is over and the next President of the United States will be Donald Trump. To many people like myself, we imagine someone voting for Trump and it fills us with rage and frustration. However, with my empathy hat on, I know that the people who voted for him feel the same way about…

The Gooey Emotional Center

Marketo Retrospective Part 9 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo.¬†This might be the last one.¬†It’s the part that very few people understand, but I think it is the reason Marketo did well. Some people call it Product Market Fit, but to me that doesn’t do…

Marketo Marketing

Marketo Retrospective Part¬†8 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo.¬†Today, I focus on the Marketo’s¬†Marketing. Like building a Sales Team I think this is an area that Marketo really shined and set the benchmark for thousands of other companies in the past 10 years. Content Marketing…

Email Transparency, Pandora’s Box

If you have a corporate email address, you should read this post. You currently may not realize, but IT and the management of the company have full rights and access to your email..right now. They can copy your entire inbox and see every message. This probably doesn’t bother you too much because the reality is…

Building a Startup Sales Team

Marketo Retrospective Part 7 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo.¬†Today, I focus on Building a Startup Sales Team.¬†I think this is an area that Marketo really shined and set the benchmark for thousands of other companies in the past 10 years. In the beginning of…

UX and Technical Debt

Marketo Retrospective Part 6 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo.¬†Today, I focus on product development. Specifically about a philosophy I have around maintaining products after initial innovation. When you have a startup, the first innovation is complete free from existing customer complaints. It is pure…

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Brand, Culture and Recruiting

Marketo Retrospective Part 5 As part of a series, I am doing retrospective lessons from my 9 years at Marketo. So far, the learnings have been in fits and spurts. Also, not much complaining so far. ¬†Today, I’m thinking about how Brand Identity evolved at Marketo and specifically how it related to culture and recruiting.…