Category: Random

Nov 4 2013

The Juxtaposition of Humility and Arrogance

I woke up this morning at 5am this morning determined that – if nothing else – I’d get a run in today. After procrastinating until almost 7am, I got out there and got it done. It was cold but I’ve now strung together three days in a row. Tomorrow will be four.

During my procrastination, I read two blog posts – one that made me happy and one that made me sad.

First the happy one. Tim Ferriss and I have a long distance relationship. We’ve physically been together twice – once at a SXSW dinner well before SXSW was trendy and once at Emily and Rob Lafave’s apartment. That’s it. But I’m a huge fan of Tim’s. I love his books. I love his irreverence. I love his art of self promotion. I love his endless experimentation on himself. And I love his humility.

Read his post “Productivity” Tricks for the Neurotic, Manic-Depressive, and Crazy (Like Me)It starts out strong and gets better:

I originally wrote this post months ago, but I’ve been too self-conscious to publish it until now. This quote convinced me to put on my big girl pants:

“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”
– Neil Gaiman
University of the Arts Commencement Speech

So, here goes, and I hope it helps at least a few of you.

Yeah – there are some good tips in there. But he also talks about his own constant struggle in the context of doing a ton of amazing stuff. He calls it “manic-depressive” – I call it “functional depression.” Regardless – it’s super complicated and observing the humility of being able to acknowledge the struggle in the context of a very public and successful life always makes me happy.

And then I read Silicon Valley Has an Arrogance Problem: It’s Too Proud, Too Self-Centered, and That’s Not Good For AnyoneAfter I read it, I wanted to unread it. Oh – it had all the typical Silicon Valley self-aggrandizing crap in it. But it also has a tone of “watch out Silicon Valley – your arrogance is going to backfire on you.” For example:

“This is Silicon Valley’s superiority complex, and it sure is an ugly thing to behold. As the tech industry has shaken off the memories of the last dot-com bust, its luminaries have become increasingly confident about their capacity to shape the future. And now they seem to have lost all humility about their place in the world.

Sure, they’re correct that whether you measure success financially or culturally, Silicon Valley now seems to be doing better than just about anywhere else. But there is a suggestion bubbling beneath the surface of every San Francisco networking salon that the industry is unstoppable, and that its very success renders it immune to legitimate criticism.

This is a dangerous idea. For Silicon Valley’s own sake, the triumphalist tone needs to be kept in check. Everyone knows that Silicon Valley aims to take over the world. But if they want to succeed, the Valley’s inhabitants would be wise to at least pretend to be more humble in their approach.”

Go ahead – substitute whatever you want for “Silicon Valley.” And when someone is telling the arrogant to be more humble, well isn’t that just arrogance writ large?

My suggestion – behave however you want to behave. Be as arrogant, or humble, as you want. Humans will sort over time based on how they act. And it won’t really matter in 40 years when the machines have taken over. But remember – the machines have a store of everything we’ve done and said (which we are aggressively helping them populate and search) and are watching us carefully.

Comments
Sep 5 2013

Boulder Is Hiring!

It’s no secret that many companies in the Boulder/Denver area are looking for talent — there are dozens posted on the Foundry Group and Techstars job pages alone.

If you’re looking to meet some great Boulder companies looking for technical help in person, check out the Boulder Tech Job Fair Sept. 11 from 3-7 p.m. at the Boulder Chamber building, 2440 Pearl Street in Boulder.

A total of 13 companies are looking to fill more than 100 technical positions covering a wide variety of programming languages and ranging from entry-level positions to senior embedded engineers with 10 or more years of experience. These companies are interested in speaking with qualified applicants from not only Colorado’s Front Range, but from other cities as well. While most positions are based in the Boulder/Denver area, some companies are looking to fill openings in other cities.

Participating companies with immediate openings include:

  • Cardinal Peak
  • Coalfire
  • Confident Financial Services
  • FullContact
  • Gnip
  • JumpCloud
  • Kapost
  • Mocavo
  • Pivotal Labs
  • Rally Software
  • SendGrid
  • Quick Left
  • Simple Energy

For more information, applicants can visit BoulderTechJobs.biz where there are links to all participating companies, as well as more detail on the job fair and information about Boulder. Qualified applicants not able to travel to Boulder for the fair may also request Skype interviews with participating companies.

If you’re curious, stop by. You’ll meet some great companies and see just what a strong market Boulder/Denver is.

Comments
May 13 2013

CU Deming Center of Entrepreneurship Is Hiring A New Director

Deming Center LogoThe Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at CU is looking to hire a new Director. As part of the Leeds School of Business, the Deming Center prepares students across CU’s campus to think like entrepreneurs, act as social innovators and deliver as successful business leaders. It actively engages the community members of Boulder in order to accomplish this. The Deming Center also partners closely with Silicon Flatirons and other CU organizations to put on events such as the New Venture Challenge, Productive Collisions, and annually hosts the regional Venture Capital Investment Competition for MBA students.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of CU and the larger Boulder entrepreneurship community. The person who serves in this Director role will have a unique opportunity to work with individuals both inside and outside the University to help foster and shape entrepreneurship on and off the campus. This person will also be responsible for the overall brand of the center as well as its operational and financial oversight. If you want to be part of a unique contributor to Boulder’s startup ecosystem, apply here!

Comments
Oct 8 2012

MakerBot Is Hiring Software and Manufacturing Engineers

MakerBot is hiring a lot of folks but they have a two specific needs that are unique. If you fit the description, or know someone who does, please reach out to me or apply.

1. Software Engineer with a focus in Computational Geometry and Image Processing (https://makerbot.applicantstack.com/x/detail/a2m4ro97dz39)

2. Manufacturing Engineer to be a strong leader for our manufacturing teams (https://makerbot.applicantstack.com/x/detail/a2m4ro9s06i3)

The jobs are in Brooklyn, home of all things MakerBot.

Comments
Aug 11 2012

Slice of Lime Looking for Two Senior UI/UX People in Boulder

My friends at Slice of Lime are growing. If you don’t know them, they are a local Boulder company that we use for a bunch of UX / UI / web stuff for ourselves and a number of companies we invest in.

If you are a Senior UX person looking for a new gig, go apply now. Following is more info on Slice of Lime and the position.

We’re a 11+ year old business that specializes in creating marketing websites and user interface design for web apps and mobile apps. We work with a wide range of clients including technology startups and big brands. We’re consistantly recognized as one of the fastest growing companies and top ten in our industry in Boulder.

We’re looking for an individual that can:

  • Interact directly with a client and be accountable for managing their own project schedule and deliverables
  • Run meetings and present / defend your strategy and design work
  • Create strategy documents such as personas, information architecture, user paths, and wireframes
  • Create high-end design work suitable for both marketing websites as well as web and mobile applications
  • Collaborate well with other Slice of Limers

We practice agile methodologies with our UX/UI work and have fine tuned our process to work seamlessly with our clients’ internal or external development teams.

Slice of Lime offers a great work environment with a focus on “creating amazing experiences” for our clients and ourselves. We offer wonderful health insurance, a generous vacation plan, $500 to spend on work-releated materials and gear every 6 months, and a competitive salary. We’re located in the heart of downtown Boulder and can’t wait to meet the new member of our team. We hope it’s you!

Comments
Jul 23 2012

Gnip is Hiring In San Francisco

I’ve written a lot in the last year about how fast Gnip is growing and how they continue to lead their industry. Many of Gnip‘s customers and partners are in the bay area and they have decided to begin adding people in San Francisco to better support those clients.

They’ve just posted their first position in San Francisco to help manage and grow existing customers. If you have the appropriate skills and want to join a truly incredible company, I encourage you to apply.

Comments
Jun 4 2012

TechStars Company OkDidIt Looking For A CTO

If you are in Boulder, are a CTO, are into changing the way email works, and are looking for a hot young TechStars company to join, take a look at OkDidIt. They are looking to add a CTO to their team to augment one of the technical founders (who is the CEO) – the job description is up at Careers 2.0.

The skills and requirements follow:

REQUIRED:
– CS degree from a top school (or equivalent experience)
– minimum 7 years experience building real-world systems software
– proven ability to be the technical team lead
– prior startup experience as a founder or very early employee
– in love with agile development
– proficient developing on Unix-type platforms (no Windows dev experience required)
– proficient developing in Python

STRONGLY PREFERRED:
– experience using co-routines/Greenlets/gevent
– experience using MongoDB
– experience developing/supporting platform APIs

If this is you, email me or apply now!

Comments
Jan 2 2012

CU Law School Is Hiring

Over the past decade, I’ve developed a very close friendship and work collaboration with Phil Weiser. Phil is now the Dean of the CU Law School. Prior to this he spent several years in the Obama Administration, most recently as the Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation to the National Economic Council Director. We first met when Phil was running Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, an organization he founded at CU Boulder.

Phil is an incredible thinker, totally understands entrepreneurship, is on a quest to level up law school education, and is my guide to all things politics. Simply put, he’s awesome.

He’s also hiring two positions – both of which report to him. If you are interested in these areas, I strongly encourage you to apply as Phil is a remarkable person to work with, and for.

Director of Communications and Public Relations: responsible for improving and expanding written and electronic communication within the Law School and for developing/ maintaining a public-relations program for the Law School. The Director will further serve to develop and implement an aggressive strategy to use traditional and innovative media work with the External Affairs team inorder to communicate the Law School’s research, teaching, and service excellence to external audiences.

Director of Information Technology: oversees all technology-related responsibilities and efforts for the University of Colorado Law School. In so doing, the Director will evaluate and support a range of strategies for using technology more effectively to advance the mission of the Law School and the effectiveness of its departments.

As a bonus, I expect you’ll get more time with me since I spend a chunk of mine with whatever Phil wants me to do.

Comments
Dec 19 2011

Foundry Group Backed Mobile Startup Looking for First Developers In Boulder

If you are looking to be in on the ground floor of a hot, new mobile startup based in Boulder, now is your chance.

We’ve funded a new company focused on the business conferencing / collaboration market that uses a unique mobile approach. Our co-investors including Google Ventures, SoftBank Capital, SoftTech, and a few prominent angels. The team is led by an experienced entrepreneur who I have worked with in the past and he’s built a dynamite founding team.

The company is looking to build its core development team here in Boulder. If you are a great mobile developer (iOS or Android) and want to help start and build a great company, email me and I will connect you to the team.

Comments
Nov 1 2011

Racism in Tech

There was a huge kerfluffle over the weekend about racism in Silicon Valley which tried to end when Michael Arrington wrote a post titled Oh Shit, I’m A Racist. But it didn’t end – on Monday there were stories by CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien defending herself with an article titled Michael Arrington is right (about one thing) and then a well reasoned post by Mitch Kapor titled Beyond Arrington and CNN, Let’s Look at the Real Issues. And I’m sure there will be more posts, including this one.

If you don’t know me, I’m white, Jewish, third generation American, born in Arkansas, grew up in Dallas, lived in Boston for 12 years, and I now live in Boulder, Colorado. My great grandparents emigrated from Russia and Germany – there were people in those countries trying really hard to kill them before they managed to emigrate to America. I say this not because I’m going to prognosticate about racism, but rather I’m going to tell a story. Of something that happened last week. Just to remind all of us that racism is alive and well in the US and in tech.

On Thursday, I got a call from a CEO of company I’m on the board of. He was very upset as he relayed a story to me. He had just heard from one of his employees who had been at a customer site for the past three days with another employee. The first person (person A) is white; the second is Indian (person B). The customer site is a government owned military installation.

Upon arrival, the customer would not shake hands with B. The customer would not acknowledge B’s presence directly. Over the course of the three days, the customer made endless racial and ethnic slurs directed at B. While it was extremely uncomfortable, A and B did their work, put up with the nonsense, and were professional.

While the CEO was relaying this to me, I was pacing outside a room that I was about to give a talk in. I was furious at the customer. I was sad that A and B hadn’t called the CEO immediately – I know he would have told them to pack it up and come home right away and he’d deal with the customer situation directly. The notion that B, and A, had to put up with racist behavior for three days was appalling to me. Especially at a government facility. In the United States. In 2011. In the tech business.

Everyone on this planet gets to believe what they want to believe, but I’ll assert that racism is alive and well in the US. I’ve seen it many times, including in Silicon Valley. Rather than get into arguments about the existence, or lack thereof, I’d encourage anyone who cares about this to listen to some wise words from Mitch Kapor.

“Being meritocratic is a really worthy aspiration, but will require active mitigation of individual and organizational bias. The operation of hidden bias in our cognitive apparatus is a well-documented phenomenon in neuroscience. We may think we are acting rationally and objectively, but our brains deceive us.”

When you see racism, don’t tolerate it. Take action. And don’t deny reality.

Comments