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Ask for Help

In 2018, I wrote How to Rands, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Someone else came up with the idea of the manager readme, and the idea of writing a document regarding how I worked seemed like a helpful exercise1. I shared the document with the executive team at Slack, and the Head of People commented on this clause: I am an introvert and...

The Hotel Giraffe

The 9th floor of The Standard located in Greenwich Village of New York City. Pre-pandemic. I wake up mid-day and a full-sized giraffe stands in the corner of my hotel room. The view of mid-day downtown Manhattan is obscured by a full-sized living breathing giraffe. This animal is staring at me. Blink. This situation makes complete sense, but I have...

I Think in Flowcharts

The most valuable part of a long bike ride is the second 30 minutes. The first 30 are spent settling into a groove, finding the right pace, and clearing my head. I know this is done when random interesting ideas start showing up, as I’ve written about before. There are three categories of exciting ideas: Stop now. Instantly tell Siri to create a...

Going Full Pascal

First-year of college at UCSC. First computer science class. Introduction to Programming. The language: Pascal. Failed it. Failed it badly. Knew I was going to fail it halfway through the class. This was my chosen profession. I’d been a grocery store clerk, a butcher, a video store clerk, the guy who backs up the system to tape drives on Saturday,...

Feedback is a Mirror

You have an internal storyteller, and they are always telling you a story. Today the story is, “Almost done with all of my bugs. There were ten at the beginning of the week, but now I have two. One of them is hard, but I’ll figure it out. The other, I’m sure, will be a breeze. When these are done, I am going to spend some time working on my prototype...

You are Going on a Quest

The most common conversation I’ve had during the last three start-ups was the growth conversation.Some version of: “Rands. I am here. How do I get there?”For leadership-minded engineers, there are four career paths available to you. I will describe three briefly, and then I’ll talk about the fourth one a lot.The first three career paths for leadership-minded...

Doomscrolling at Scale

WARNING: The contents of this article might adversely affect your information consumption habits.A few weeks back, the sitting President incited domestic terrorists to storm the Capitol, so they did. For reasons I still don’t fully understand, this was a relatively straightforward process for the insurrectionists. It was also an incredibly well-documented...

The One About Small Things, Done Well

In our 44th episode, we walk through the first chapters of Lopp’s 3rd book. Learning to deal with endless meetings, understanding The Situation, and learning that people often just want to be seen. Spend 45 minutes with Lyle and Lopp talking about important things.Enjoy it now or download for later. Here’s a handy feed or subscribe via Overcast or iTunes.https://traffic.libsyn.com/rands/theimportantthing0044.mp3The...

Fear is a Liar

He says things so sweetly. He knows all your failures. He remembers your emotional scars. He sounds like you. And he craves your attention. The Thursday after the election, I woke up, grabbed my phone next to the bed, and scanned the latest news. We were still two days from announcing the winner of the election, but there was good news. Some media...

The One about Bingeworthy Shows

In our 43rd episode, we recommend shows you just gotta binge this holiday season during our end times. (Recorded November 2020)Enjoy it now or download for later. Here’s a handy feed or subscribe via Overcast or iTunes.https://traffic.libsyn.com/rands/theimportantthing0043.mp3

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