28 June 2017

Smartphones make Humans Stupid

Results from two experiments indicate that even when people are successful at maintaining sustained attention—as when avoiding the temptation to check their phones—the mere presence of these devices reduces available cognitive capacity. Moreover, these cognitive costs are highest for those highest in smartphone dependence. 

This is both shocking and, frankly, illuminating research. In my opinion, this study is an absolute must-read, not just for those of us working in technology but for all humans.

After reading this, I will be making changes in my behaviors and usage starting today. I would suggest you consider some changes (assuming your cognitive ability matters to you).

26 June 2017

What's up?

It seems like every single day someone asks me what I'm up to, in terms of work. Since the curiosity seems to be increasing, I thought I would give a little update.

tl;dr I'm consulting while also sniffing around for something full-time.

At present I'm working as a strategy consultant. The majority of my work is for traditional mid-market Private Equity investment funds, where I focus on due diligence and evaluation / analysis. I also have a sideline in strategic consulting for operating companies (most commonly companies which have recently been acquired by PE) focusing on internet business, go-to-market and revenue strategy.

I've been a consultant on an off for a few decades now, and I've established a good track record and a lot of credibility. The work is lucrative and often presents enormous opportunities for new learning.

At the same time, being a consultant has always been a bit abstract for me. Even in the best consultant / client scenarios, as a consultant the company wins are never truly personally meaningful. And I miss that meaning, that accomplishment, and that reward. I miss being able to move the needle materially (and personally) for a company.

So I've been talking to folks about full-time jobs.

I'm focusing on the intersection of Strategy, Corporate Development and Business Development. While I have been talking to firms in Tech (this is, after all, the Bay Area), I'm also quite interested in seeing if I can apply the skills I've developed from two plus decades in the internet business world to more traditional businesses. In my current consulting work, a huge percentage of the companies I'm working with and evaluating are non-tech businesses and it has been very exciting to see the impact I (and my hard-gained knowledge and experience) can have on these businesses. In some ways I think that the knowledge and experience that I (and other OG, Web 0.5 folks) have is now of more value to non tech employers than to those in tech because we can have more direct and material impact on the success of those businesses at this time.

In the meantime, I'm keeping busy helping folks in the traditional retail distribution channel grasp the enormity of the coming challenges.

05 June 2017

My Dream for SF

All I dream of - all I ask for - all I want for San Francisco is for people who move here to try and give as much to SF as they take from her.