Fly by Notes

One thing that kept me focused during the learning period was to maintain a document that captures everything I learned. It’s like the Cliff’s Notes of a private pilot course, and I decided to make it available to other student pilots.t

Why Managers Should Learn to Fly

Many of the qualities that make a good pilot also define outstanding managers and leaders. Product managers in particular can benefit from learning to fly. Taking your product off the ground is not an easy feat, and learning to fly can hone your skills and help you excel. Here’s a list of ten skills you’ll get better at while learning to fly.

The Job’s Not Done

Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible.” I love this quote attributed to a West Point cadet. I think Steve Jobs would have agreed with every word, but I couldn’t be sure about the “care more” part.

The Book is Dead, Long Live the Book

For many of years, bookstores and libraries played a significant role in the lives of many people including yours truly. We even have a dedicated word for them: “bookstore” (one word) as opposed “barber shop” or “shoe store”. Due to our increasing reliance on electronic media, bookstores are rapidly disappearing. Most small ones are already gone, and larger ones are gradually following suit.

Explaining Expletivists

You know those people who use curse words not to insult anyone but to emphasize their message? Like a respected business man who says f%$! every few minutes in a conversation about oil futures or hiring or saving panda bears. A young mother of three living in a posh neighborhood who spices up her endless blurb about shopping and nail salons and house maids with an occasional curse.

Short Won’t Sell

Feature style articles often start with an anecdotal lead. It is usually followed by some numbers from seemingly respectful sources and one or more pundit opinions. The writer then goes back to the anecdote, finally telling the reader how it ended.

Accuracy Doesn’t Imply Usefulness

Accuracy can easily be mistaken for usefulness. If you hire a consultant and pay them a hefty sum to come up with a detailed analysis of some key business function, the results may be impressively accurate but can also be utterly useless.

On Managing Chaos

Management is the art of creating order in situations that would otherwise become chaotic. Managers do this in various ways, most of which (at the lower rungs, at least) fall in the spectrum between micromanaging and letting employees manage themselves.

The Future of Silicon Valley – a Year After

Last year I wrote about Science Olympiad, an amazing science-focused competition for middle and high school kids. I was surprised by the fact that the vast majority of participants were Asian, and was quite happy to see that this population group cares about their children’s future and is connected to the global reality, in which engineers and scientists drive innovation.

The Winning Species

This better species had now reached a critical mass in the technology ecosystem and is rapidly eliminating inferior variants or transferring it’s genes to them. How long will it take for this superior species to kill off all the others? It might take a while, but the evolution is unstoppable.