This year I picked Warren Buffett as my exemplar – a person I think demonstrates the trait I am trying to learn about – for 2020, the theme is ‘action economy’ which is a fancy way to say efficiently using your time to achieve your goals. I write these reviews following a review template to help me get the most out of the process of having an exemplar. Below is my entry for Warren Buffett. What did Warren Buffett achieve? Warren Buffett is the most successful investor of all time. He founded an investment fund that achieved a yearly return that consistently beat the overall market for 50+ years. His ownership stake in that fund has made him one of the richest people in the world (in 2008 he took the top spot for one year, the only year where he has held it). Why did he care about that?
Every October, some Google employees host a walking competition for other employees called Walktober. The idea is to set a walking goal and see if you can hit it. It predates me by a decade or more and as of 2020, over twenty thousand Googlers participate. It is so popular, in fact that some of us joke that our CEO, Sundar, initiated the acquisition of Fitbit last October to try and get a leg up on other walkers in this competition. For most of the 20k Googlers that participate, it is a chance to try and get 10k or 20k steps per day. To achieve that goal that your fitbit or Apple Watch is always telling you to strive for. At some point, someone made a leaderboard though, so inevitably there are a handful of people that walk 10, 20 or 30 miles per day on average, logging 2 Million+
I recently finished my second year at Google and so I wanted to take a chance to reflect on what I’ve learned and see how I’m progressing along the goals I set for myself when I joined. Things I’ve Learned During Two Years at Google 1.By Year Two, You’re A Veteran It seems a bit crazy, but in only two years, I’ve now been at the company longer than most of the folks I interact with. I’m the expert in my domain. It seems like just yesterday I was starting out, looking at a list of names my manager sent me and scheduling meetings with these folks to basically say ‘hi, I’m new and I think we will work together’. Now on a weekly basis new folks join and I’m on their list of names. 2. Credibility Is Earned Much In the Same Way Everywhere I’ve spent my whole career
Our living spaces and how we do best when they exist in the space between indoors and outdoors How corporations learn and retain knowledge as employees come and go Salt water hot tubs Structuring incentives and limitations to get the right behavior Walking – there doesn’t seem to be a limit to how far we can walk aside from sleep and injury The qualities that make the best ice creams – low air content, lots of creme, natural rich flavors Hobby churn, the pros, cons and how that can be its own niche The pros and cons of being front-stage vs behind it – Buffett vs Munger
With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split that energy across many different goals. I detailed my 2020 focus here (read that first if you want more context) & did a quarter year and half year update as well.. Here is how I’m progressing. 2020 Theme: Action Economy 2020 Challenge: Develop a Strategy Evaluation Model I’ve started to get some ideas into a draft blog post but need to sit down for a few evenings to get it ready to publish. The themes that are emerging are the ones I wanted to think about: leverage, prioritization, compounding growth and delegation. 2020 Habit: Run 13 Projects & 52 Common Tasks Through the Model I haven’t made any progress
Over the past decade I’ve completed a handful of bucket-list-type challenges that I really enjoyed. This post is about the characteristics of those challenges that I believe made them so engaging. I hope that by documenting them I can continue to find great challenges for myself in the future, and hopefully you can benefit from my experience as well. Across a wide range of challenges, I’ve found that I have the most fun when they hit on most of these attributes: A binary goal that can clearly be marked completed or not Some amount of risk that I will fail, endure physical harm or need to be rescued Unknown unknowns, things I don’t yet know I don’t know about A new location to get to know The need to learn some new skills in order to complete it The need to train and get in some sort of peak shape
This week I’m departing on my longest challenge yet. Longer than the 140.6 Ironman (11 hours), longer than the 152 mile RAMROD (13 hours), and longer than the 98 mile Wonderland (48 hours). This will be a grueling, multi-sport test of my skills and endurance. But also, it will be a relaxing 150+ mile frolic through the backcountry. I’ve come a long way in the last year since my first ultramarathon – a self supported 98 mile run around Mt. Rainier. I was reading back on my pre-adventure post from last year and reflecting on how nervous I was about a lot of things that didn’t end up being that big of a deal, and how not-nervous I was about a few that did. Unlike last year where I had a specific route I wanted to finish, this year I’m just going to go have some fun in the wilderness.
With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split that energy across many different goals. I detailed my 2020 focus here (read that first if you want more context) & did a quarter year update as well.. Here is how I’m progressing. 2020 Theme: Action Economy What a strange second second quarter. My theme this year is action economy which is about achieving more in life while using fewer resources. I am relating to board games as a metaphor to think through this topic. I didn’t achieve much in life over the last few months, but I did play a lot of board games. That seems counterproductive to the goal, but in a funny way I think I’ll
With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split that energy across many different goals. I detailed my 2020 focus here (read that first if you want more context). Here is how I’m progressing. 2020 Theme: Action Economy This theme is all about accomplishing as much as possible with as few resources as possible. It is basic economics – scarcity & objectives. For me the limited resource, at this point in my life, tends to be time and so that is my focus for the year. I’m using ‘action economy’ a concept from boardgames as a paradigm to think through this theme. With that in mind, I’ve been playing a lot of board games over the first
A little over a year ago I finished our sabbath year and began the process of reentering normal life. After taking that sabbath year to rest and reflect, I had learned a few lessons which I documented in this blog post. Now, a year-ish later, I want to reflect on how those reflections have aged. The following line up with the decisions & changes I discussed in the aforementioned review post. 1. We decided that the next few years aren’t a period for taking on big risks or flirting with overcommitment. This has held true. It turns out the role I took at Google was a lot more involved than I had originally envisioned, but this is mostly in my control. I tend to dive into things head first and put myself in the center of the action, which I’ve done here. Despite that, our lives feel fairly maxed out,