Category: Uncategorized

  • ImportHTML and Google Spreadsheets

    We’re getting ready to go on a family vacation to Alaska, and one of the big questions in the months leading up to the trip has been what the weather will be. Last week my wife and I were reviewing our trip todos and I stumbled on a great feature in Google Spreadsheets that I’d […]

  • Kill Decision by Daniel Suarez

    One of the first “grown-up” books I read was Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. He wrote it in 1969, while he was a medical student at Harvard Medical School. I remember not just loving the book, but admiring his attention to detail. My Dad worked at Millipore at the time, and I was surprised when […]

  • Building Character with the Boy Scouts

    “The Boy Scouts of America provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.” That’s how the Boy Scouts describe themselves at I support that mission wholeheartedly; it’s why I’ve encouraged both of my sons to participate in Scouts for years. Both […]

  • My war on phone distraction

    At the risk of turning into a blog-stalker that only talks about his boss, I wanted to write up something I did in June as a direct result of watching a speech Joe gave on our “culture of distraction“. Joe’s entire speech is worth listening to, as it touches on a number of issues that […]

  • Failure is data

    A popular debate in the tech world is whether failure is good or bad. Eric Schmidt reminded people that at Google, “we celebrate our failures.” Taking a contrary position was Jason Fried from 37Signals, who wrote back in 2007 that “I’ve never understood Silicon Valley’s obsession with failure.” NPR’s Melissa Block recently visited Silicon Valley […]

  • Remembering John Carroll

    In March, John Carroll died unexpectedly while jogging around the lake on campus at the University of Richmond. John and I were classmates together over 15 years ago, and reconnected when he returned to the law school as a professor leading the IP law clinic. John contributed an article to the first issue of the Richmond […]

  • Success and luck

    For years, my favorite Michael Lewis piece has been his New Yorker magazine article about Shane Battier, The No-Stats All-Star. (I wrote about why that piece spoke to me here.) As of last weekend, I may have a new favorite: his recent baccalaureate address at Princeton. The entire address is worth watching, but here’s the […]

  • Livestreaming Google+ Hangouts

    One of my responsibilities at Google Ventures is to plan the growing number of workshops that we offer to our portfolio companies. In the last several months, we’ve offered workshops on a variety of topics, including SEO, AdWords, latency, technical recruiting and candidate sourcing, A/B testing, and business development. With each new workshop announcement earlier […]

  • Adding Bluetooth to my car stereo

    A few months ago, I flirted with buying a new car. I’ve driven a Subaru B9 Tribeca for nearly 6 years, and I was attracted to a sedan that would get better mileage. The Tribeca’s a fine vehicle, and since my commute has mostly involved driving to transportation (train in Illinois, the Google shuttle in […]

  • Taking passwords seriously

    I used to use the same password everywhere. In 1993, I crashed a Clinton inauguration party at a restaurant in DC, and for years my password was a derivative of that restaurant’s name. I’d read somewhere that it was a good idea to include numbers in your passwords, so I picked a number and my […]