No Bread Today (a 9/11 story)

Rebecca didn’t bring her famous bread to Thanksgiving this year. Each year, her mom would greet her at the door, each time asking “Did you bring the bread?” even though her mom knew she’d always bring bread. “Yes mom,” she’d reply, holding up the loose paper bag, tented on top of a weathered and seasoned jelly roll pan. Her mom would squeak with joy, make awkward little fists with her thumbs sticking out, and punch them into the air…

The Latent, Graceful Assurance of Kinnekeet Village

595846a72100001400fc50c1
When the third police car sped by the small children’s playground at the head of Harbor Road, lights flashing, Bernadette turned to me and said calmly yet slyly, “that’s unusual,” Then an ambulance sped by. Bernadette turned away to watch its trajectory, her hand slowly running through her straight brown hair, pulling it between her shoulders, in slow motion, as if time had gotten stuck and that moment was progressing at half-speed. She then turned back, scanning the playground for her daughter as any watchful mother would do…

Complexity shapes the future. How will we prepare our kids?

2016-12-13-1481597435-9949469-warehouse_1.jpeg
Out of a former post office tucked away in an industrial section of Boulder, CO, startup Mod Robotics develops toys for children to help them learn and thrive in an increasingly complex world. Though the popular mantra of KISS (Keep it simple, stupid) rings true with many of today’s business professionals, Eric Schweikardt, Mod Robotics founder with a PhD in Computational Design, would argue that keeping it simple might actually cause future generations to become less capable of managing the realities of a highly technical world…

Karma Wins

2016-11-18-1479485614-7771628-techstarstop.jpg

Boulder Colorado is a micro-culture, a unique place where you can still find hippie communities going strong along pale dirt roads, abutted against hiking trails that disappear into the trees. I was in Boulder to meet with two of the partners at Techstars, David Brown (also a co-founder) and Ari Newman. Both share an electric vibrancy that buzzes in the intensity of their eyes and the stillness of their postures. They are deep listeners, with algorithmic-process brains. They are living in the future…the film canisters of their brains capture more frames-per-second than the average brain. They shared five core values for success, which is basically “Karma wins.”

1. Give first. This might seem obvious in the realm of Karma, but remember Techstars is a tech accelerator program for start-ups meant to create millions if not billions of dollars in return on investments. This would seem antithetical to building wealth, but it works for Techstars…

Is It Racism? Sexism? The Number Of African-Americans And Women Working In Tech Is Appalling

Wayne Sutton of Change Catalyst
I was sitting on the roof of a high-rise in the SoMa district of San Francisco, across 10th street from Twitter’s HQ. I was meeting with Wayne Sutton, the co-founder of Change Catalyst, an organization with a mission to increase diversity and inclusion within the tech profession. It was hot up there, much hotter than it was down on the street-level. I figured the temperature disparity must be a metaphor for something. From our vista we could see the hills and waterfronts of the bay area, and I imagined I was looking at the landscape through Trulia and all I could see was millions and millions of dollars all around us.,,

How to Lead and Succeed, Right Now. Advice from FLOTUS’s Former Comms Director


I waited for Maria Christina Gonzalez Noguera (who goes by “MC”) in the sunny lobby of an interactive agency in Union Square NYC. At the time, MC hadn’t yet started her new role as SVP of Global Affairs at Estee Lauder, and my office was in NJ, so meeting someplace central was ideal. As she exited the brushed-steel-door elevators whoever was in the perimeter slowed their step and turned their attention towards her. The cluster of hip-clad and smartly faced agency folks knew someone with clout had just entered their sphere. MC has a room-altering presence, a forceful combination of effortless grace, muted seriousness, and sparks of levity.

The Fire Had Long Stopped

The fire had long stopped. The trees stood pole thin. Black charcoal towers jutting slight from the ground and lancing the sky. They creaked, a faint echo of the torrid crackling fire that turned them from lush green plumes into these stilts. The ground was a powder of grey and black. I thought of the astronauts walking on the moon. I paced slowly between the trees, hoping not to drag my sleeves along their skins to become soiled with soot, but after five minutes I relinquished trying to avoid the trees and after fifteen minute I was indistinguishable from the charcoal trees…

Homayoon, on Friday night

I sat across the small round eat-in-kitchen table from him as I had been doing most Friday evenings during the years we lived in Indiana. We’d drive the kids over after work for dinner with my in-laws on the west side of Indianapolis. It was the closest feeling I had of living in a family compound with an extended family all around us. Most of the time a revolving set of cousins and family friends would join us for drinks, dinner and tea. Sometimes it was just us…

Three insights from seing Fran Lebowitz last night

I love what Fran Lebowitz has to say. I love the way she says it. Her story-wit brain is always on, ever-ready to pounce on a topic that strikes her. She’s a rock musician of anecdotes, she prefers a groove. She starts with a low grumble, smirking on the details of things. She builds on it with a sly widening lens because she knows where she’s leading us, then reaches her three-chord chorus of what it all means and shouts it out load to a welcoming roar from the crowd. I want to hear her talk and talk and talk…

Lew and His Abandoned House in Fountain Square

For the record, Lew is a great, great friend. We no longer live near each other and I miss our time together. He is existential, ruminative, and intellectual. Conversations with Lew run the gamut, but remain anchored to solving the mysteries of “the why.” Why does this happen, and why does this other thing happen too…