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The End of Ordinary Time

In the Catholic liturgical calendar there are four seasons Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time accounts for most of the year. In the secular world, ordinary time is becoming increasingly rare. Once upon a time people were available in...

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Namaste Mr. Investment Banker

It definitely took me awhile to warm up to dressing down at work. It makes me sound dated, but I liked judging a person’s status by the price of their suit. But those days are long gone, and since I work from home, the whole concept is kind of moot. The cats don’t...

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Bubble Trouble

I work with the life sciences industry, and for those of us who have defended the potential of the chronically loss-making sector for decades, the last few years have been heady times. Not only has the sector been attracting capital at record rates, it has respectable...

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Terse but True

I’ve spent the vast majority of my career marketing the life sciences practices of professional services firms. I can’t split a gene and I have rarely been in a lab, but I know enough to be dangerous. And I know how to explain technical issues to a lay audience. So...

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Great Expectations

There’s been an ad running on TV for a painting contractor (yes, I still watch some broadcast TV). This pretty young mom is extolling the virtues of the contractor enthusing that they asked “How can we make painting an extraordinary experience for you?” Really? I’ve...

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Google and Me

Google and Me

A while back I learned that Google and I arrived in Mountain View at the same time. I think it’s fair to say Google had a bigger impact on the city than I have. Mountain View was no stranger to large employers. It was the birthplace of the semiconductor and many of...

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Relative Value

When I left my corporate job, I didn’t mind surrendering my Blackberry or my PC laptop. I didn’t even mind returning my corporate Amex. What I really, really regretted was that I was going to lose my 1K status with United. It had taken me years to earn the right to...

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Still Waiting for My Flying Car

Living in the heart of the Silicon Valley I am constantly reminded how technology is changing our lives. Google’s self-driving cars cruising up Shoreline Blvd., the addictive power of sleek new smart phones, and even the Tesla next door are all harbingers of a new age...

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Cargo Pants or Sweats?

I recently met up with a former colleague for coffee on a weekday afternoon. We both showed up in olive green cargo pants. He said his meetings are divided up into those that require cargo pants and those where he can wear sweats. I was never a fan of business casual,...

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What is it You Do Again?

Every Thanksgiving it was always the same: turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie and some baffled relative trying to translate my job title into some actual tasks they could understand. First and foremost among my confused kin was my mother. My first ‘real’ job was as a...

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I Swear…Growing Old is a B*#ch

The emergence of the FCKH8 video has made me think about my habitual use of curses to gain attention and credibility professionally. If you haven’t seen it, the video is a 2:35 minute public service announcement that uses the shock value of little girls dropping...

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Standing in the ‘hood with a pile of small bills

As a friend recently put it, I get a little impatient with life’s hiccoughs. And sometimes my extra human efforts to smooth out the bumps in the road actually make them worse. Which explains how I ended up in a parking lot in East Palo Alto with $2,500 in small bills...

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How I conspired to undermine a fruit-based currency

How I conspired to undermine a fruit-based currency

At Silicon Valley tech companies, a free lunch is a given. It is even passé – unless it is vegan, gluten-free and Halal. But whenever I hear about the latest in cruelty-free chicken entrees on offer near the Googleplex, I am reminded of a cautionary tale of corporate...

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