I gate-crashed the Airbnb Open this weekend, mostly by walking up confidently and saying I knew Chip Conley (which I do, but anybody could have said that). It was a very well-thrown event that covered how to be a better host, and offered an opportunity for user feedback as the company moves forward. I was struck by the fact that the average age of the attendees was 44 – makes sense given that most property owners are a bit older.
James Altucher’s interview with Tony Robbins on his new book made me respect the self-help guru, despite all his new-agey-ness. The man knows what he’s doing – and he really does want to help. Check out his story about doubling the Army’s pistol training success rate in half the training time, too.
- ‘Generalizing other people is an easy way to avoid truly looking at yourself’
- ‘People can take away what we have, but not what we have become’
- ‘The system is not ever on your side – it’s always on the side of the entrenched power brokers. But you can learn the system and take advantage of it as well’
Keval Desai and Johnathan Rosenberg have compiled a huge document covering all aspects of the current tech landscape – while some of this info dates back to 2012, it’s all still very relevant. Take Wealthfront’s 2013 Silicon Valley Career Guide, for instance, which advocates working for a midsize startup with momentum as a new grad in order to build credibility, rather like Andrew Chen told me. They even have a handy tool helping you figure out how much equity to ask for. Or you could follow in the footsteps of this guy, who got an SV Product Management job in 5 weeks despite never having lived there. Or TechCrunch’s Lessons Learned from Billion Dollar companies – most are consumer tech, and the average founders’ age is 34. But there’s so much more! Check it out.
Cool Startup of the Week goes to Superfish, which finds similar items for sale based off of you taking pictures of stuff IRL. Kind of like what Google Goggles promised to be, but better – it may not always know that you just snapped a cat, for instance, but it can locate 7 cats just like it up for adoption nearby. Computer Vision for the win! Clover gets a runner-up award for letting you ‘order a date like a burrito’ – in other words, you say you’re available in the next two hours and ask some strangers for a drink. I don’t think it’l solve the New Friends Online problem, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Greg Mulholland has a great definition of hustle: the willingness and ability to identify problems, work with people (or appropriately ignore them), creatively approach these challenges, and deliver solutions without much guidance or many resources. And it’s way more important than IQ or EQ.
On Linkedin, the former Director of Online Marketing for Airbnb talks about why he left the rocket ship to focus on raising his daughter, in a poignant example of work life balancing. And Shane Parrish offers up a list of books with the most page for page wisdom - add my vote to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Lastly, Noah Kagan offers up another killer guide on how to get more traffic for every post – this guy has the Midas Touch.