My Thinking On Various Topics

Reflecting On Four Years At Google

I recently resigned from my role at Google after four years (technically 20 days short of that) and so I wanted to take a moment to pause reflect on my time there. You can see previous updates for my 3rd year, 2nd year, 1st year and upon deciding to join. To start, I should be clear, that I’m >50% sure that I’ll work for Google again at some point in my career and I currently have a 7.5% chance assigned to me being the CEO at some point. Google is a great company and has many productive years ahead of it. My leaving Google is less about me leaving and more about me being lured away. I wasn’t looking to leave (in fact, I was setup for another few years of fast-paced growth) but a company reached out and made me an offer I wasn’t able to turn down (more

My Thinking On Various Topics

How I Do It

My work at Google is so mentally taxing that it turns my brain to unresponsive mush by the end of the day. I look forward to going home to see my kids, play with LEGO, wrestle, watch Disney movies and eventually fall asleep (sometimes before they do). My time spent with my with four kids, ages 4-8, so tries my patience. Answering ‘why?’, mediating conflicts, thinking about how to train them, consumes so much of my EQ that by the end I just want to be alone, in silence, running through the woods. Running for 4, 12, or 24 hours, covering up to 100 miles of mountainous trails is so physically demanding, the by the end I just want to sit in my desk chair and relax my body. Perhaps occupy my mind with a meeting or a few emails. Sometimes people ask me how I do everything. The answer

Physical Challenges

Challenge Report: 24 Hours of Le Mailbox – 2022

Twelve hours into my challenge, I reached the summit of Mailbox peak for the fourth time that day. I stood alone, next to the mailbox installed there as a monument, basking in the golden glow of sunset. Soft white flakes drifted down around me in my peripheral vision. Wait a second. It wasn’t snowing. It was June and far too warm. No, the drifting white flakes were only there for me. I was just getting a bit lightheaded. Maybe I should take it a bit easier for the next lap. On June 20th and 21st, 2022 I competed a 24 Hour footrace up and down Mailbox Peak. I propelled myself up 29,035 ft of elevation and 38 miles. Here is the race report. Goals Results New personal record for elevation covered in 24 hours – (Current Record = ~13k ft) – ACCOMPLISHED Complete a 24 hour footrace on Mailbox Peak

Yearly Focus

2022 Focus: Half Year Update

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that through focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me. With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention. I detailed my 2022 focus here (read that first if you want more context) & did a quarter year update as well.. Here is how I’m progressing. 2022 Theme: Forecasting I’m 2.5 books into this theme and really enjoying it. I’ve found forecasting and optimal decision making are very closely intertwined topics and so I might have to take up the latter topic soon in order to keep reading any of these I can’t finish this year. “Superforecasting:

My Thinking On Various Topics

Random Things I’m Thinking About in June 2022

Tree types that are nice to have in a yard Giant killing and why I feel so connected to the character of David in that story Whether there are laws of physics that make it so enterprise software has to be horrible. Or, if it possible to make beautiful enterprise software and what that would require High performance cars Why there isn’t an EV minivan yet Risk Koi ponds What the chances are that I will be the CEO of Alphabet some day. What that would require of my and why I might or might not want to do it. How to prepare for it. Decentralized trust. What it is and how we would model it in a programmatically accessible way Walking across the state of Washington on the PCT The creation process behind the Ninja Turtles and why those characters were such a phenomenon How to structure decision making

Yearly Focus

2022 Focus: Quarter Year Update

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that through focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me. With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention. I detailed my 2022 focus here (read that first if you want more context). Here is how I’m progressing. 2022 Theme: Forecasting I’ve gotten a good start to the year and have had a chance to make some solid progress here. I read Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and am now working on Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke. I’ve got a few more books lined up that were on my reading

Yearly Focus

My 2022 Training Plan for a 100 Mile Mountain Trail Run

This year my bucket list item is a repeat of last year’s item that I didn’t accomplish – running a 100 mile mountain trail race. Specifically, I want to finish the Cascade Crest 100. I would really love it if I could do so in under 24 hours, but I learned last year how hard that was and so I’m setting more moderate expectations (though, of course, I’ll try to overdeliver and get under 24 hours, because that is how I do things). Finishing the race at all is an accomplishment features over 20k ft of elevation gain (running up mountains), and is mostly on rocky, single-track trail. Last year I got COVID the week before the race and ended up dropping out after 35 miles, though later in the year I was able to run 100 miles in 24 hours on a flat course. Though I attribute most of

Product Reviews

My Ten Year Gear: 2021 Edition

The goal of this blog post is to celebrate possessions I’ve had in my service for at least ten years. I believe that reflecting on these items will help me learn a few things about reducing waste, being efficient with my money and designing good products. These are all valuable to me, thus this blog post. For something to last ten years in my service in needs to have a few important attributes. It needs to: be useful or beautiful – otherwise I would have gotten to a point where I didn’t need it and donated, sold or tossed it be durable and/or repairable – otherwise it would likely be broken and discarded (unless I didn’t use it, in which case, see above) I must have not outgrown it – the item would likely be passed on if I changed my preferences, body size, skill level, or hobbies away from

Yearly Focus

2022 Focus: Forecasting

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that through focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me. With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention. More details about the process are in this blog post and you can review the results from past years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). 2022 Theme: Forecasting This is the fifth year of my current sabbath cycle, a six year period where I am focused on preparing for my calling. When I selected that as the overarching vision, one of the things I talked about is how I might invest in key skills that I could leverage later.

Yearly Focus

2021 Focus: End Of Year Review

Better every year. That is my goal. I believe that through focused effort I can keep improving and ensure my best years are still in front of me. With that in mind, at the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. By being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split my attention. I detailed my 2021 focus here (read that first if you want more context). I’ve posted a few updates throughout the year (quarter year, half year update, and three quarter year update) and now is time for a final review. 2021 Theme: Together Self Grade: 5/10 At the beginning of 2021 I wrote “I want to think about what relationships are, what different types they can be and how I can nurture them. I want to think about