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I write about design, technology, and people. Sometimes I take photos of places I visit.

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Guiding principle

In the last several months, I’ve had a significant number of conversations, inside and outside of Google, about career (and sometimes life) choices. People are either stuck and can’t progress anymore, try to do too much and don’t do anything at the end, or are simply overwhelmed by a plethora of options.

One of the leading causes of these symptoms is the lack of a guiding principle. Every time I ask the people who are struggling, “Why are you doing this? What do you want to achieve? What’s your motivation?” I almost always get a blank stare and silence. I acknowledge they are tough questions to answer. Read more

Business strategy

I’m learning more and more about business strategy lately. I’m taking notes as I’m reading and practicing it. Here’s my high-level summary as a reminder.

Strategy is a set of activities that ensure unique positioning.

  • The essence of strategy is choosing to perform activities differently than rivals do.
  • Strategy should be sustainable. In other words, the goal of strategy is to maximize profits over time, not through growth.
  • Strategy is different from operational effectiveness. Read more

Cope, survive, thrive

Two days ago, I looked away from the screen and rested my eyes on my bookshelf. I noticed a book that I had read more than fifteen years ago when I was discovering my newfound love of outdoors—Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales. It recounts “true stories of miraculous endurance and sudden death” of people who found themselves stranded after natural or human-made disasters, climbing accidents, airplanes crashing in the mountains, and similar. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the book has shaped my adult life and me as a person.

  • survive (verb): continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship

In the appendix, the author distills twelve points that stand out concerning how survivors think and behave in the clutch of mortal danger. I’ll list them here and add my thoughts that are relevant to the current global situation. Read more

COVID-19 pandemic

A snapshot of a dashboard by Johns Hopkins University for
global tracking of COVID-19 confirmed cases.

May you live in interesting times, people say. And interesting they are. Panic has gripped the public, and the global pandemic is on everyone’s mind. The zeitgeist is such that even considering discussing something other than the virus feels wrong. So, let’s write about the virus, or more precisely, the situation caused by it. Read more

If you want to read more, check out the archive.

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