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The Real Reasons Adults Love To Give Kids Sugar

The world rains sugar on my children.The bus driver offers my child bubble gum.The teachers offer a cupcake for every birthday party.The school vending machine is full of junk food; so is the one at the Y.At camp, the counselors offer candy and a freeze pop at the end of the day..and [...continue reading]

Startup Grind Interview (with Vertical Pushup)

Last month I did an on-stage interview with Peter Crysdale of Startup Grind. You can read a summary at AlleyWatch. For fun, I did an on-stage vertical pushup at the end of the interview (skip to 44:00). [...continue reading]

SXSW Charity Push-up Competition, Sunday 1-2pm, Austin TX

Michael Gold challenged Jeff Pulver and me to a pushup contest for charity on stage at SXSW.  This rapidly escalated to a full-fledged Indiegogo campaign. So: Come challenge Ryan Armbrust, me, and some other team members Sunday 1-2pm at the ff MASSIVE pavilion,  Empire Control Room & Garage [...continue reading]

Meet People At SXSW … While Working Out And Losing Weight

Can you go to SXSW and stay in shape? South by Southwest (SXSW) is famous for a jam-packed schedule, infinite free food & drink, minimal sleep, and radical overstimulation.  It's not well known as a place to stay in shape. So before attending for my first time (finally!), I had to find a [...continue reading]

Bicycle Parkour

I get a lot of personal training ideas from videos, but Danny MacAskill's Imaginate (below) is useless for that purpose.  Just training to do some of the tricks in this video will almost certainly kill you.Danny takes BMX biking to the next level and does what I would call bike parkour.  This [...continue reading]

How to Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs (Who Don’t Take Orders)

I spoke at Womensphere a few weeks ago, a conference centered around empowering women and girls. I discussed my family’s approach to raising entrepreneurial kids, and some parallels to ffVC’s approach to supporting our portfolio entrepreneurs.One of the issues I talked about was our track record [...continue reading]

How to Keep the People Attending Your Conference Alive

Do you organize events?  Do you like your attendees alive? Conference organizers like their attendees to be energetic, enthusiastic, and preferably, alive.  However, I see a lot of conference organizers who are doing the opposite: degrading the health of their attendees. Joe Reilly organized 50 [...continue reading]

How To Add Powerful (and Legal) Stock Photos To Your Presentations

What do you remember better? Pictures or words?The evidence is clear: people have better recall for images than text.  Including attractive images that dramatize your speaking points will significantly increase your efficacy as a speaker.Based on my experience in investment banking and [...continue reading]

Wheelchair Gymnastics (Really)

I now primarily do calisthenics and body weight exercises for my workout, but I have the great advantage of having four working limbs.  This video shows a wheelchair user, Joshua Rucker, doing calisthenics most able-bodied people couldn’t do.  Really, really impressive, and [...continue reading]

How To Present So People will Hear

You probably have to make presentations, but does the audience hear what you’re saying?  And do they believe it?Based on my experience in investment banking and strategy consulting, I've put together a 3-part series on how to prepare memos and presentations that people will read and believe. [...continue reading]

How to Think Like a Hacker, Even if You Can’t Code

What do Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Larry Page all have in common?Yes, they’ve founded multi-billion dollar businesses with virtually no formal business training, with combined revenues of over $80 billion. But they are also former software engineers and hackers, an experience that [...continue reading]

How to Write a Memo That People Will Actually Read

I spent many late nights as an investment banker and strategy consultant early in my career.  My #1 learning from that experience (besides financial modeling) was how to communicate in an effective way, particularly with senior executives.  As  training now for my team at ff Venture Capital, I’ve [...continue reading]

How to Hire a New Employee and Make Sure You Don’t End Up Firing Them

(also posted in Forbes.)You just hired a new employee for $100K; congratulations!Recruiting is expensive.  You probably spent 30-50% of her compensation recruiting her (her recruiting cost ratio), and if she leaves early you’ll lose another 30-50% of her compensation recruiting her [...continue reading]

How To Start Your New Job And Not Get Fired

Congratulations on your new job!  Now, how do you make sure that you keep it?46% of newly-hired employees will fail within 18 months, while only 19% will achieve unequivocal success, according to a study by Leadership IQ. Of those that fail, only 11% lacked the necessary technical skills. The [...continue reading]