Dear Mr. Yang,
Your PacNet piece is the best thing I’ve read. Would you be interested in coming to New York to brief us on the topic?
這是我在華府戰略暨國際研究中心 (CSIS) 任職的時候，收到的一封 email。寄件人我早已經久仰大名，曾任美國駐中國大使。他跟另一位前大使正要前往中國，希望出發前邀請我到紐約跟他們簡報。
Like a lot of my friends in tech circles, I watched with curiosity, then shock, as more than a third of Basecamp employees quit the company after Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson announced policy changes.
I glanced at Fried’s initial post when he published it and, to be fully honest, I thought it was well-written and reasoned. He’s a great writer and communicator, and I thought they’d averted a crisis.
My goodness was I wrong.
So I decided to go back and re-read Fried’s initial blog post —but this time with my speechwriter lens back on.
I was completely…
After I wrote about my traumatic relationship with public speaking — fails leading to shame, shame leading to worse fails— a friend of mine asked me a question:
When was the exact moment I started feeling shame?
As a little kid, I don’t actually recall having any concrete notions of shame, and that’s how I could fall off the stage and get up right away to finish the speech. I didn’t know better.
But when DID shame get control over me?
After some searching, I managed to trace it back to one specific moment: an improv performance workshop in junior…
Found this in 2021, and it's as relevant as ever!
For me a top takeaway is "intellectual honesty". Most founders I meet don't express their POV as hypotheses to be validated, and this can hurt them (especially when they don't admit that these are just hypotheses).
Imagine walking into a meeting with two strangers.
One of them is very confident — leaning forward, gesturing actively, speaking loudly, and giving you an impressive pitch.
The other one is relaxed — leaned back in their chair, a peaceful smile on their face. They’re not selling anything, and are clearly comfortable with whatever.
Which would you assume was the boss?
I’m guessing you’d say the comfortable one, not the confident one.
But why is that?
Let’s think about this in terms of the professional journey. Whatever it is that you do — art, engineering, football, politics, etc. …
上禮拜4月 15 日，亞馬遜創辦人 Jeff Bezos 發表了他 CEO 任內最後一封致股東的信。
歷年來亞馬遜的 shareholder letters 都廣受好評，甚至被許多專家封為美國最會寫股東信的企業之一。但今年的信似乎格外厲害：
當然，這些也跟美國近年來高漲的 “anti-big tech” (反科技巨頭 …
In Part 1 of this mini-series, we looked at two types of storytelling by two very different kinds of founders — “heroes” who charge into battle, and “generals” who stand back and strategize first.
I argued that even for hero-type founders, the general’s craft of strategic storytelling can be very useful.
So today, let’s look at a prime example of strategic storytelling: the Rippling Memo. It’s one of the best pieces of writing I’ve seen from any startup (or public company for that matter), I’d strongly recommend reading the whole thing.
For context, Rippling’s software to helps enterprises manage their…
In the past few months, our team that works with entrepreneurs on their pitching began noticing two very different “types” of stories founders tell about their companies.
The first type goes something like this:
Founder: I’ve always been passionate about this problem. I personally suffered from it (with touching story), and I’ll stop at nothing to solve it. People told me it was impossible, and there were a series of obstacles in my way, but I fought through all of them and finally made a breakthrough.
Let me show you…
We’ve always loved and admired founders with this kind of…
Sometimes you hear investors say that a founder has “incredible product vision”. Evan Spiegel of Snap, for instance, is so famous for this that he’s been jokingly called Facebook’s head of product because the social giant kept copying his creations.
But this provokes the same question I often ask investors about such personality traits: how can you tell that someone has “product vision”? How did the founder convey this?
In a recent episode of the Twenty Minute VC with Jeremy Liew — Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners and early Snap investor — he gave a fascinating answer to this question: