My Thinking On Various Topics

My Thinking On Various Topics

Why Google?

Last October I accepted a role at Google. I wanted to write about why I made that decision, mostly for me to look back on and hold myself accountable to, but perhaps it will also help anyone else going through a similar decision. On the surface working at Google might seem like a no brainer. The company has been ranked first on Fortunes top 100 places to work eight of the past 12 years. The perks are legendary, the company has made some of the most used and impactful products in the world (Google search, Google Maps, Gmail, Chrome, Android, Youtube, etc.) and teams of Googlers are working on some of the coolest projects of the future (self driving cars, food delivery drones, cancer detection, etc.). Google known for fun offices and giving employees freedom to tackle big problems in innovative ways, of which there is a long history of

My Thinking On Various Topics

What Is Outside?

In 2017 I set a goal to spend 7 hour a week outside with at least one other member of my family. As I’ve tracked this throughout the year, most things have been pretty straightforward, but on many occasions I’ve run into a situations of ambiguity. Am I Inside or Outside Right Now? For example: Reading in our living room? Easy. Inside. Throwing rocks into the water at the beach? Again, easy. Outside. Sleeping in a tent in a National Park? We’re sort of ‘in the great outdoors’ but we are inside of the tent. Does that thin sheet of nylon make us inside? Sitting on the porch eating? What if the porch is covered? What if it is also screened in? At what point do we cross over from inside to outside? Is being deep in the woods more outside than sitting on top of a 100 square foot

My Thinking On Various Topics

Collecting Data I Do Not Yet Know How To Use

If we ask questions – as Socrates warns us we must – eventually our ability to answer them becomes limited by the data we have available. If we wait until we have the question to start collecting data, it will take us some amount of time to get baseline data and then even more to measure change during experiments. We won’t have our answer for some time – weeks, months or even decades. We might never get an accurate answer. This is why we must record data that we do not yet know how we will use. Some day we will have a question that these data can answer. This is why we must bear the burden of recording and storing information. Some day an important question will be quickly answered because of the hard work we put in now. Here is a story to highlight one recent, though not all

My Thinking On Various Topics

The Dread of Collecting Data

The thing I dread the third most is collecting data. Usually by manually logging it in some spreadsheet. It isn’t uncommon for me to log things in three to five different systems on a given day. The period when I’m experimenting on myself and have to track things is always such a chore and I am so relieved when an experiment ends. The thing I dread the second most is having to analyze the data. I usually get into flow once I start, but these days, with windows of time to focus being limited, a file of raw data brings more dread than joy. The thing I dread the most, however, is not having data when I make important decisions. Without data, not only will you be inaccurate more often, but you will not know how inaccurate you are. Data helps us be more accurate and also helps keep our gut in check

My Thinking On Various Topics

Reflections On Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today, after reading through “Letter from Birmingham Jail“, I sit reflecting on what it looks like to be an “extremist for love”. Throughout history great people that have fought for some noble good have also had a knack for ending up poor, in prison or meeting an untimely death. Sometimes all three. Am I at risk for any of those? What does that say about my priorities?

My Thinking On Various Topics

Three Day Per Week Marathon Training Plan

After the birth of my third child, I realized my previous six day per week marathon training plan would no longer be possible. We simply had too much going on to spare that kind of time for running. I decided that all hope was not lost though, I would change my plan and see if I could get more efficient and take another shot at running a 2:37 marathon. Below are the changes I made to adjusted my previous plan – if you haven’t read that plan yet – you might want to start there: here is the link. Things That Stayed The Same Season Schedule My season would progress the same way it always had – see the previous plan for details. I want to note however this is one piece I have fully tested since I only implemented this plan for the eight weeks of September and October, between

My Thinking On Various Topics

Steps I’m Taking To Get Sick Less

In 2016 I set a new record – the worst kind – I got sick more than I ever had before in a year. A total of six instances that averaged about a week each. 40 days in which I was ill enough to skip running, some of which I was bad enough to call in sick to work or at least work a partial day. This was an outlier year – my typical year involves one cold that knocks me out for about a week. Though I usually try to fight off colds without intervention from a doctor, this year I gave in a number of times and got on meds. On the third trip I asked my doctor what was up and he calmly explained that the combination of kids, an open office and public transportation and marathon training were doing me in. So armed with that information, and since

My Thinking On Various Topics

Today We Worship Our God(s)

On any given day, you will see people worship their god(s) – but none quite so obvious as today – Christmas day. I’ve read that the easiest way to find out what god or idol a person cherishes the most is to look at what, when lost or at risk, causes them to turn to prayer. Is it their own life, like a foxhole Christians, their family, their job, or is it something else? A second, and perhaps more externally obvious method, might be to look at how they spend December 25th. Regardless of which god(s) a person worships – and all people worship some god – today is a day that seems to highlight it. Perhaps it is the freedom that comes with a national holiday. A day in which most people may decide how to spend it. Christians will worship Christ. Those that are familiar, will commune before a familiar

My Thinking On Various Topics

Chapters

I have begun looking at life in terms of chapters – each separate from the others, full of its own unique advantages and opportunities. This view is freeing in a number of ways. With positive things, it encourages me to savor the best parts of this chapter. It is not guaranteed that future chapters will be the same. I am so glad I surfed as much as I did when I was young, single and living two blocks from a legendary beach. I took advantage of what was possible then but hasn’t been possible to the same degree since then. With negative things, it assures me that they will not persist forever. I can suffer through many things if I know there is an end and there will ultimately be a benefit for getting through the hardship. When I bike to work in Seattle on days in the 30’s, I remind myself that this

My Thinking On Various Topics

Problems And Profits

There are those people that care most about solving a problem that is important to them and there are those that care most about making a profit. Whichever one you are, if you are to go far, eventually you will find need of the other. You will learn to speak in their language. Those that seek profits will put words to a big problem they can solve: to help people, to provide jobs, to create beautiful products that people love, to connect the world or to create equality. Those that seek to solve a problem will find ways to demonstrate the potential of a profit to investors; market potential, owning the data, upsell potential or the leverage of first mover advantage. Those lines will blur in time. You might lose track of whether the profits you make justify the energy you put into solving your important problem or whether solving that problem is how you