I read Ellen Pao’s book Reset on my trip.

I know a lot of the people in the book and I am not into taking sides or making judgments about what happened in the case.

But I would recommend that every male VC read this book.

A lot of what we do, how we do it, and why we do it is unconscious.

Reading this book and others like it will help us to avoid doing those things.

And that will be a very good thing for the VC world, for entrepreneurs, and for the tech sector more broadly.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    New2me and I’ll cue it up on the list.Being hyper conscious of myself throughout cycles is a personal quest of mine this year.51 days into Headspace now and astounded how tangible and demonstrable the changes are in my daily life and my awareness of my impact on other people by my attitudes.

    1. Chimpwithcans

      I’m on day 9….it’s a great app 🙂

    2. JamesHRH

      Can you unpack that a little more Arnold? You don’t seem to lack self-awareness.I always thought Headspace benefit was clarity / calmness.

      1. Erin

        Lol, no matter how many decades of work we do on ourselves, we still will always lack some self-awareness. Unless you’re the Buddha.

    3. William Mougayar

      “impact on other people by my attitudes”. wow…. that’s quite a statement. I tried headspace twice and couldn’t get past #4 or 5.Willing to try again. Do you recommend it as highly as natural wine? Because you know what happened to my addiction to natural wines.

      1. awaldstein

        :)Natural wine has changed my life over the last decade I’ve been writing about it and meeting new people because of the community and the joy of it. Thrilled that it has touched you.This is different to me and equally important in a completely different way.Finding the tools to plumb and work my inner space is quite astounding. I actually see its impact on how I address things and find the process positive and important no matter how difficult at times to commit.For me it is really a critical new tool in my compartmentalizing of my day and my focus.

      2. kevando

        Took me a few tries to get in a habit with Headspace. And that itself is pretty much the point.. ” Hmm, I cant sit still for 10 minutes every morning.. what does that say about my mind right now?”

  2. Serik Sharipov

    I am yet to read the book. However, from brief summaries I saw on Amazon, I feel like sides *should* be taken in this case. I’ll hold my judgment though until after I’ve personally read it.

  3. jason wright

    i’m waiting for Harvey Weinstein’s book.on an unrelated topic. i see Tezos is encountering legal difficulties. i wonder if its mainnet launch will be delayed?

  4. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:It is shameful it requires a book by Ellen Pao to require a reset. Everyone having a Mother, Sister, Aunt, Daughter, Niece, Wife, etc it should have already been set from the start.Just down right shameful!Let the Neanderthal excuses begin.Captain Obvious!P.S. Ellen Pao lost her civil claim against Kleiner Perkins and based upon women (wouldn’t accept it if it came from men) who worked with and for her she wasn’t the crusader for discrimination in the workplace verses her being disgruntled by not being provided an equal VC seat at the table.

    1. jason wright

      i’m reminded of that joke about economists. put ten economists in a room and out will come eleven points of view.this is not a science. this is a study in human behaviour, and it varies from one person to the next. one person’s perception and another person’s reality never quite add up.

  5. JamesHRH

    This post is too cryptic for me.Can you enumerate the changes?

    1. fredwilson

      Cryptic by design. Read the book. It’s a very quick read

  6. John Pasmore

    Interesting & positive to see VC awareness grow regarding sexism — wonder if there are other areas to shine a light?

  7. karen_e

    Related: the NYT article that came out this weekend on Susan Fowler (ex-Uber) is worth a read. It’s an interview by Maureen Dowd placed in the Styles section, but the power of the article belies such a humble spot in the publication.

    1. Twain Twain

      I loved this paragraph …After a movie, she pulled out her phone and opened up her Uber app to get them a car home.“No, no, no,” Mr. Rigetti told her. “I don’t use Uber.”“What?” Ms. Fowler replied, thinking he was joking. “But I work there.”“I only use Lyft,” he said. “Did you read that interview with the C.E.O., Travis, where he talked about how Uber helps him get girls? He’s a misogynist. I could never use his product.”NOW THAT IS WHAT WE CALL “A MAN” amongst all the bros.*…@fredwilson:disqus — Susan Fowler’s husband, Chad Rigetti’s company, has made the coolest piece of Quantum Computing hardware I’ve seen yet. It’s a WORK OF ART.

      1. LE

        I could never use his product.To my other point I simply don’t agree with this. A company like Uber or any company is full of people who not only aren’t involved in the CEO’s behavior they don’t know. They have no control. And even if they do know they have mortgages to pay and mouth’s to feed and so on. [1] Taking this position doesn’t recognize the impact on generally innocent bystanders. This is like people who don’t buy German products because of the Holocaust ‘blame the entire country’. (For those that haven’t read my comments I actually lost family in the camps, my dad survived one and we didn’t take this position at all.)Last night I started watching a Netflix season 2 (Gomorrah) which at the beginning had the Weinstein Company logo. Where are we at now? I am not supposed to watch that and/or Netflix should pull all of the excellent product that they have done? And if they don’t people should boycott Netflix? They had green-lighted good tv and movies. I will continue to watch anything with that logo. Others feel free to fight some battle thinking they are somehow doing good in the world.[1] So along those lines we might as well make a company certify the behavior of each and every employee. And only deal with companies that do so. Right? Sure you will do that (not you but ‘you’ I mean).

        1. Twain Twain

          I went to Lyft and Uber’s offices in SF for different tech talks. Lyft folks are friendlier and their space is more chill. I use Lyft but don’t know any of their engineers. I know 3 PhDs and a couple of engineers at Uber.I hear you on not punishing innocent employees who happen to have a toxic CEO and to be part of a toxic culture.As customers we have choices about which businesses we hand over money to according to our belief systems. That’s a good thing. https://uploads.disquscdn.chttps://uploads.disquscdn.c

    2. Anne Libby

      It often seems like anything that might be tagged “feminism” winds up in Styles.

    3. PhilipSugar

      Her story just dumbfounds me. I am sure it is true. I am sure she has those screenshots. Just dumbfounds me. How you don’t instantly fire that person? How? And that is for the first time, not for a repeat offender.I sometimes have to travel to Asia for two weeks. I don’t send my wife of 20 years texts or emails that somebody would read.I always tell this funny story. I accidentally texted a British colleague who was working in the U.S. this text instead of my wife:”Honey I was able to transfer my flight from tomorrow morning to late tonight at the Admirals Club, so I will be home. The truck did not fit in the garage, Love you”So I get to Kansas City and said sorry about the text. He said ok, what does “the truck not fit in the garage” mean? We have three vehicles and one is a lifted pickup truck. My Audi was in the shop, and I wanted to take my wife’s Denali. She said no. I said the truck would not fit in the PHL parking garage, she said it would. It did not.Still kind of awkward.

  8. lonnylot

    Do you read on kindle or paperback? I ask b/c I’m thinking of switching back to paperback as I’m having trouble concentrating on kindle (iPad app)

    1. fredwilson

      Kindle with a very large font so I can read the entire page in one glance

      1. Joe Marchese

        I have become incapable of reading on anything other than my Kindle eReader. My font is usually very small… thx for the tip about reading the page at a glance… gonna increase the font size and try that one.

    2. Anne Libby

      Me too. I’m finding that I remember things differently when I read them on my iPad. I have to wonder whether the experience of holding a book and interacting with it creates a different experience, cognitively.

  9. andreaitis

    My daughter, a freshman in high school, was studying archetypes this weekend for her English class. The list included “Father-Son Conflict,” “Evil Stepmother,” and “Damsel in Distress,” just to name a few. My daughter rolled her eyes, pointing out the ingrained sexism and stating the archetypes could easily be Parent-Child Conflict, Evil Stepparent and Person in Distress. We need to poke and prod, ask questions and look with fresh eyes early on to break the patterns.

    1. JamesHRH

      Yes, except, on an 80-20 basis, men beat children to be cruel and women use emotional tools to be cruel.The idea that we are on some path to uni-gendered utopia is Millenial Woodstock horseshit. Check the stats in Scandinavia: when free of gender norm pressure, most women choose classically female roles……because stereotypes aren’t a fantasy, they are a reality…..about 80% of the time.How does everyone think they got created in the first place?I have a freshman in the house. I get a lot of eyerolls. They are 15, not everything they think makes sense.That being said: Damsel in distress is way past being retired.

  10. Sarah

    Definitely reading the book. The subtle words used with women vs men make a significant difference. Consider the impact of telling girls to “be nice” as thought it were a professional requirement. I am finding this theme in every demographic. Recently, my husband is complimented as a “shrewd negotiator” during a real estate deal whereas I was called “not very nice” for the exact same situation. It was a paper transaction with no conversation or tone – only difference was in how the realtor described each of us afterwards. After conversations with my daughter, I try to ask myself if I would the same approach/words with my son and vice versa. I often catch myself and go back to them with my own confession of bias. It is a struggle to self-monitor and it is a challenge we should all take up.

    1. PhilipSugar

      I think you are spot on, and it starts very young. Strangely I think part of it is due to physicality. It is not considered bad if boys push an shove each other, the same is not true for girls.I see this in interactions with my kids and their friends. The boys will occasionally tustle and I break it up, then all is well. The girls play some serious mind games, that end when I find somebody in a corner spiritually broken.But I agree if we send the same email, they would say Phil is a A… and Sarah is a B… The connotations of those words are very different.Everybody jokes the sun never sets on somebody that thinks I am an Ahole and we laugh. (Offices in DE, London, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, LA, MN) I don’t think the same would be true if I was a woman.That has to change. And we have to start it early. And I do.We have a Lego League team (third in the state last year and gunning for first) I have to make sure that the girls (who program better) don’t get stuck just doing the poster, and that is how they get pigeon holed (10 year olds).I am really pushing my daughter to explore engineering and business like me but she looks up to her Mom a Nurse Practioner. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be an NP but if I said who had the better mind for engineering and business I would say her versus my son who really wants to get into the M&T program at Penn (he better improve his grades)

        1. PhilipSugar

          Thank you for the links. I agree. I just want to make sure it’s her passion, not what she is expected to do. I have a business partner who’s daughter is totally into the performing arts. Ok, tough way to make a living but it is her passion. She has a really great mind for math (both of my parents were mathematicians) . My son has an incredible mind for history, and he can program (Lego) and has good mechanical abilities (my brother is a leading robotics professor)

          1. Anne Libby

            Idk, there’s a lot of talk about people’s passion, but it has been my observation/experience that many people find “passion” through a combination of doing, and by process of elimination.And in working with young people, it’s been my observation that the idea/permission to pursue their “passion” turns into a pressure to find it and pursue it!At any rate. Off to the rest of the day! I hope it’s a good one for you.

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Excellent point. Also, passions can be channeled so many different ways and often the young person is limited in awareness of the realm of possibilities for exercising that passion.

          3. Erin

            Yeah, channelling, but how do you channel? I went out for lunch yesterday with one of our former students who has her sights on being a mechanic with a grade 12 diploma, and she is so “passionate” about this, she stopped short of saying she’d drop out of high school in grade 10 to get started. She also wants to have 5 children, starting at age 20. As someone who sees the letters M, B, and A dancing over her head, but in a priveledged position of being a “cool” outsider with whom she feels more comfortable telling this to than her parents, I was simultaneously having a heart attack, biting my tongue, and trying to talk some sense into her while still trying to maintain my cool status. In the end, I gave her the figures that graduates at each level of education make, and I could barely do so before she ran off to Spanish class. I hope I’ve channelled something!

          4. PhilipSugar

            Really good auto mechanics make six figures. I know several. They pay you by the hourly rate that is in the book so if the book says it takes three hours to replace a starter and you do it in one you get paid for three.Shops are happy to do this. The bay is a big fixed cost and the more variable gross margin you push through it a week is all profit. Think about it, if you have a mechanic that is billing 80 hours a week you are making double the markup on the mechanics hourly rate that you charge and double the markup on parts versus the mechanic that only bills 40. They do have chargebacks for not doing it right.Now all that being said, I would strongly recommend she look into Arizona State University Polytechnics Robotics Program. It is very hands on and they built cool things like this jetpack that makes soldiers run 4 minute miles and these air legs shown on the Veteran’s Day Broadcast of CBS Morning and this Spiderman Robot Suit. Full disclosure: My brother runs the program. You will see him in all the videos.….

          5. Erin

            I’ll tell her about the good money to be made next time I see her. I don’t want to squelch her dreams.

          6. Erin

            And that’s part of the problem- she doesn’t want to do any higher education. Ill keep working on her.

          7. PhilipSugar

            Look I would say do both. Look at that guy Jason Kerestes that is in two of the videos. A welder, decided to go back to school at ASU my brother loves hands on people (as do I) got to the finals for the next host of the TV Show MythBusters. Higher education can be fun.

          8. PhilipSugar

            No don’t get me wrong, the biggest argument you can make is really any job you get in the trades while it can pay well: Plumbing, Electrician, Welder, Machinist, Mechanic will take a major toll on your body. I am friends with all of these people, but by the time you hit 50 you really are counting the days to retirement or getting a desk job because by the time you hit 40 every day you felt pain somewhere. If you are designing and building robots with a degree when you hit 50 you are the sage that is telling the young pups what to do. Finally, I would say unless you know the person you are marrying already (and I would say if you are in high school that is dumb) having your dreams depend on another person is not a good plan.

          9. Erin

            I’ll remember this next time I talk to her.

          10. LE

            who’s daughter is totally into the performing arts. Ok, tough way to make a living but it is her passion.I am never going to think it’s not a mistake to simply tell and guide kids into professions that make economic sense. And just use force of will to make it happen. This entire ‘follow your passion’ when it involves something that has no reasonable possible good money outcome is simply bullshit. Unless you have a family that will support you or you are just so super talented. And guess what? You probably aren’t. And even if you are there is so much competition and not enough jobs.An example I will use is my Dad who when I was young told me not to be an airline pilot even though that is what I wanted to do. He said ‘become a lawyer or a doctor and you will make enough money and be able to buy an airplane and fly when you want’. That made sense to me.One of my daughters is having the time of her life now at her job in NYC and said she doesn’t miss college one bit. There is no way she would have been able to predict that she would like it so much back when she wasn’t in the working world. She is thankful for how I pushed her and told her that she better not graduate and end up waiting tables at a restaurant and pursuing some other ‘dream’ or passion.

          11. Rob Underwood

            Like a lot of things, I am a moderate on this. I think the whole “follow your passion” thing is often said by those who either were born into, or have since come/worked themselves into, a point of privilege. It’s easy to say “follow your passion” (or, alternatively “standardized testing is bad so opt out”, but I digress) when you have the economic means such that work is not your sole means of paying the rent and feeling you and your family. There is a whole “let them eat cake” element to it that feels disingenuous or, at a minimum, out of touch. And for those who were not born rich but have since become so, it’s easy to look in the rear view mirror and think that what made them rich was their passion all along and maybe forget a bit the times of grinding at stuff that wasn’t all that fun in the moment.Occasional VC community member @markcuban says “Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Effort” and this resonates for me. My thought, and the advice I’m given my own kids, is to cultivate several (as in 2-3, not many) interests and hobbies that you genuinely enjoy and enjoy putting effort into that also could translate to viable vocations in the future. That’s where you (they) should commit your (their) time. And as you get better at things, you’ll gain confidence, enjoy them more, and hopefully start at virtuous circle.

          12. JamesHRH

            Follow your passion is bad advice.It leads to paralysis.Very, very few of us can imagine what it would be like to be President or Tom Brady and then convince ourselves that it is our passion and nothing else will light our fire.Do something you like and make sure you achieve success.Success then attracts opportunity. Pick the best that come to you.Next thing you know, you are only doing things you love….your ‘passion’ has grown as your success has grown.

          13. Adam Sher

            You can have a financial rewarding job that is fulfilling but still have passions / hobbies that your job ultimately enables you to participate in. Would you be more fulfilled if you pursued your hobby as a vocation and earned the same amount that you do as a hobby (i.e. nil)?Maybe you love the process of mastering something, which does not have to be your hobby, and you learn to love your job (i.e. a labor of love).

      1. JLM

        .I forced My Perfect Daughter to play sports at an early age with boys. She and her best friend played basketball with a particularly vicious bunch of boys.When she went to HS, she won 11 varsity letters including starting on the girl’s varsity field hockey and basketball teams as a freshman.I will always remember when she discovered the concept of “fouls” in basketball when playing pickup with her older brother in the driveway.”OMG, Dad, you can’t knock people down when you play basketball. It’s a foul.”We have to raise our girls not to be victims.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Twain Twain

          I was Captain of hockey, netball, gymnastics, basketball, badminton and athletics. The first three sports were girls-only, the others mixed.So you learn about teamwork, good sportsmanship (winning+losing graciously), being competitive AND how to stand up for your team and yourself.One summer we were all my height: 5′ 2″. After summer break, some of the guys had shot up a foot and packed on muscle. When a 6′ guy is charging at you at full speed whilst dribbling, you can’t be scared.You use your most powerful weapon (your smarts) to work out how to break his flow — or at least impede him without fouling him (and falling over) — and get the ball from him.Obviously, you’ll never win any jump balls against a 6′. LOL!

        2. falicon

          She don’t win varsity letters, she earned them.

          1. JLM

            .Fair play to the Falcon. Earned.Her senior year, she scored the winning goal in field hockey — overtime match — against St Stephens arch rival St Andrews.It was a cross field banger which struck the goal post and caromed in for the score. I believe it was the finest moment in child sport in my lifetime.That was her last field hockey game. She could have played Div I field hockey on scholarship, but the coach at UNC (then national champs) said her girls could not belong to sororities.Her mother was a Chi Omega and that was not going to stand.A very expensive decision for My Perfect Daughter’s dad.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. falicon

            Youth sports are full of special moments and memories for all involved (although they can also be filled with some of the worst)…still, doesn’t get much better than that in my book!College sports becomes big-business quick…kind of takes a lot of the ‘fun’ out of it for everyone involved…and insane workload on the ‘students’ anyway.Besides, there’s always rec and ‘adult’ leagues if the passion and fun is still there…

          3. Adam Sher

            D-III sports are fun. The players are good yet far enough away from being professionals that you typically avoid the D-I type pressure (and corruption). You still have the same type of tournaments: ITA regionals, nationals, and competitive conference play. If you are a student-athlete in a conference such as UAA or NESCAC then you’re attending one of the top schools in the country. Your peers are smarty-pants.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            I looks like you were a good father to Perfect Daughter, and maybe you were, but, curious, careful minds wonder!!!!! Maybe your good work was picking her mother, and then the rest followed???? Could that have been the case????

          5. JLM

            .Absolutely. I contributed some on the edge, but my wife was the nurturer.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. sigmaalgebra

            > “nurturer”Right! How might I believe that? Hmm …. Well, we’re talking a US Army Ranger, i.e., a guy who can easily and routinely clean out a bar of 20 bums who insult the flag while holding a beer in his left hand without spilling a drop, a guy who says “Grab’m by their balls and their hearts and minds will follow.”, who in battle does the difficult right away and the impossible only a little longer …. So, maybe Perfect Daughter got her main nurturing from Perfect Mom?Maybe NOW I see a little: Whenever maybe a less than perfect boy showed up to take Perfect Daughter to a matinee movie, Perfect Dad met him at the door, in full uniform with medals, Ranger Tab, paratrooper boots, and a polished steel helmet, looked the boy in the eyes with no blinking and said, with a strong handshake, “WELCOME son. On the schedule, dinner’s at six. Have her back here by then. Son, I’ve got only one thing to tell you: If you ever make her cry, I’ll jam your nose into your brain, and you will die a miserable, horribly painful death while begging me to kill you sooner which I will refuse to do.”

          7. JLM

            .There was a time,Back in my primeA long, long time ago.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. Rob Underwood

        With the caveat that I’m presenting this because I think it’s interesting and thought provoking – and presenting this not as a form endorsement, this discussion between Camille Paglia and Jordan Peterson from earlier this month is worth checking out.About 30 minutes in they get in the discussion of gender. Forewarning: some of their views are not politically correct at all. But the discussion of the role of teasing and taunting among young boys vs. among young girls, and how this may impact young women and young men is interesting. As the father of both a girl and two boys, these topics are our general interest to me.Again, I’ll add the disclaimer I am presenting this video not as endorsement but as another set of perspectives given these complex discussions about gender and the workforce. There’s stuff in here I don’t agree with and I’ll forewarn that not all of this is line with what I interpret to be “politically correct.” So, and I mean this not jokingly, trigger warning on this as they say things that are controversial.

        1. PhilipSugar

          This is a well reasoned and thought out discussion. You might not agree, but that is the whole point.I am 50 years old. The world has changed in my short lifetime.

          1. Rob Underwood

            Yup. There is stuff that resonates in the video, and a couple things (at least one in particular, by Dr. Peterson) that I had took particular issue with.I’m not above presenting (very) unpopular views myself about issues like this too, as evidenced last week. Interestingly, I got about a dozen emails and texts to the effect of “I’m so glad someone said this; I can’t/couldn’t” after I published this entire piece, including the last section:

      3. sigmaalgebra

        > That has to change.To quote Achilles from Troy, it will never change. That feminine behavior has clearly strong, essentially necessary, nearly sufficient reproductive advantage. For people who work hard for such a change, there’s a higher power with a veto — Darwin.I assumed that there could be such a change, made a big bet, and lost badly while Darwin won.I learned the lesson but paid “full tuition” (@JLM).People have no doubt been trying for such things for a very long time, e.g., to have a daughter be able to contribute to the family like a son would.Heck, Professor Higgins, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” had a tough time understanding, also. He took a while understanding. G. B. Shaw had some insight.Shaw was also a good entertainer: He had nearly all of the audience up on their hind legs screaming that Professor Higgins was a total doofus! The movie was My Fair Lady, and you’ve seen it, right? You DID understand it, right?You want to revise your> That has to change.Right?How long have people been trying to have a woman be more like a man? Well (A) girls of long Japanese descent and (B) girls of long Western European descent both act “nice,” just as being discussed here, in very similar ways. So, on such behavior, they are very close. But necessarily each of them is even closer to their most recent common ancestor which was about 40,000 years ago which means that they are both really, really close to that common ancestor and that that common ancestor was also really “nice”, maybe even nicer than the girls of today. We just learned something about the personality of girls 40,000 years ago. You should be impressed! You follow this little family tree argument, right?So, people have been trying to make that change for 40,000+ years. Why? Because often it would have helped a lot for a girl to be more like a boy; some families starved or froze to death because their daughters were not more like their sons. Or as we know too well, in poor societies boys are more highly valued than sons. Still, the girls remained as they were. Why? Because on the whole, having the girls remain just as girls had crucial, high reproductive advantage.Or, it’s like a car lover trying to argue over the price of a new Rolls Royce. The salesman finally said, “Sir, if you can’t afford the car, then you should shop somewhere else.”. Well, if a man can’t afford a wife with daughters, then the woman should look for another man; that is, the man should quit looking for a woman he can’t afford until he has more money and can afford her AND any of their daughters.But, as we easily see clearly now, the girls didn’t become more like boys. It didn’t happen. It never happened; or when it did, the woman was a weak, sick, or dead limb on the tree, and Darwin won again. Or, it happened lots of times, but those limbs on the tree aren’t our ancestors. It didn’t work. Total flop. Not even close. Just what is it about “didn’t work” too difficult to understand?So, of COURSE she is sensitive, connects well cooperatively with people, is overly emotional, vulnerable to anxiety, cute, sweet, meek, pretty, darling, adorable, precious, more intuitive than rational, small, to be cared about, cared for, taken care of, treasured, protected, supported, dependent, led, with poor upper body strength and a smooth body with a higher fraction of body fat, etc. She is in a word, a girl. That’s not the same as a boy. Write on the board 500 times: “Boys and girls are not the same.” Are we learning yet?You are out to hurt girls? What’d they ever do to you? You hurt kittens and puppies, too? You stomp on flowers?You hired a woman and expected her to “be more like a man”?That a daughter might be more like a son has been a very old story.Betting that you can get a change now just by some simple means in just one generation is just one more rock solid certain way to lose, one more really bad idea on the huge trash heap of bad ideas going back 40,000+ years.Tell you what: With a computer and some 3D printing, we’ll print out the whole DNA string as Lego blocks, and you can move them around looking for an arrangement that will enable your> That has to change.One pretty spring evening in a pretty part of a university campus, as a grad student with a ugrad girl four years younger, I told her I did want to get married; I wanted to get my Ph.D., get a good job, make and save some money, buy a house, make it attractive, comfortable, and efficient, good for raising a family, and then meet a nice girl, say, about 18, and right away get her married and pregnant, maybe not in this order, and have a nice, big, happy family. I was right, for the right reasons. I failed to understand just how right I was.She saw the challenge of money (essentially the same challenge of many families over the last 40,000+ years) and right away answered:Women don’t have just to be cared for. Women can do things, too. I want career. I remember every word, her tone of voice, her body language, have the picture still burned into my brain, exactly.Based on that we decided to get married, get two Ph.D. degrees, get two jobs, save for the house and family, and then have the family.I was wrong, badly, totally wrong. As in the Rolls Royce lesson above, until I had money enough to support a family, I should just work harder and smarter to make that money and not hope that a working wife would make up the difference.But, in school, I’d seen some girls do really well and believed that they could “be more like a man”. I was wrong.My mother was good at being a woman but not good at being “more like a man” — somehow I concluded that she was failing and that I should look for a girl who would do better. I was wrong. Mom was failing at being a man but not at being a woman.But that ugrad girl looked fully capable, way off the tops of the charts capable — genuinely brilliant. 5′ 3″ and 110 pounds but, really, with more endurance than a horse. Piano, clarinet, voice, prizes in cooking, sewing, chickens, worked gathering eggs, waiting tables, selling dresses, as an usher at a musical playhouse, Valedictorian, on the way to Summa Cum Laude, PBK, Woodrow Wilson, NSF, Ph.D., and she did all of those; nearly no one could have been more promising; but she and I were totally wrong and Darwin was 100% right: Turns out there’s a female age 22 thingy with a female anxiety thingy, debilitating, but with strong reproductive advantage. Darwin won. She and I lost, big time. I never had that family, and she died. It was fatal. It killed her. Did I mention, Darwin won? Darwin and Mother Nature won. Or, “It’s not nice to try to fool Mother Nature [queue up big lightening strike with loud thunder followed by Mount Pinatubo blowing its top off].” Trust me on this one: You don’t want to go there. I’ve been there, done that, have the T-shirt and scars to prove it, and am NOT going back.So, it was the same old story: If a woman could be more like a man, then it would be easier to support a family, e.g., save for a house. People have known that for 40,000+ years. My wife and I didn’t invent sex (@JLM) or that idea.Or, buy a smaller house, two bedrooms instead of three or four. In the kids’ bedroom, stack bunk beds and hang a curtain between the boys and the girls. Do well with discipline for the kids.Don’t try to have the wife “be more like a man”; don’t try to have her work to make up the gap in money. The people who did that are rarely our ancestors. It doesn’t work. Even for all the efforts for 40,000+ years, it didn’t work. It doesn’t work now. The whole effort is too much against reproductive advantage. So, for nearly certain and in any practical sense, it will never work. Darwin has been winning this game for 40,000+ years and is in 0 chance of losing now.You can understand now or you can understand later, but you can’t beat Darwin or prove me wrong.Be glad you learned this lesson here for free. I paid full tuition.Capisce?All this should be in my book Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys and, sadly, sometimes their fathers who, not learning from their wives, are slow learners! No, she’s NOT a bad wife; and her daughters are NOT bad girls; instead she’s NOT a man and is a successful wife and mother and, thus, a good women, and her daughters are NOT boys but are good GIRLS.

    2. LE

      Consider the impact of telling girls to “be nice” as thought it were a professional requirement.Both women and men should be nice. I have often raised a price or provided resistance solely when someone isn’t nice. Really. Just did that a few weeks ago. I should thank the buyer because they gave me the motivation to make an emotional reaction and turn it into money.Recently, my husband is complimented as a “shrewd negotiator” during a real estate deal whereas I was called “not very nice” for the exact same situation. It was a paper transaction with no conversation or tone – only difference was in how the realtor described each of us afterwards. I have been in thousands of business transactions over the years. One thing I have learned is that a salesman will describe you as ‘nice’ if you make their job easy for them and don’t give them resistance and give them what they want. Now that varies in degrees of course and not every situation is the same. I’ve also seen cases where both women and men try to be a ‘hard ass’ on purpose just for the sake of acting tough. That might actually work for some people. I think it depends on who the ‘actor’ is though. Not everyone can play every role and pull it off. Also I wouldn’t read to much into the ‘shrewd’ label. Could be the person who said it was simply shmucking or sucking up to your husband. Usually someones actions mean more than words they say.

      1. Sarah

        An excerpt from a comment I posted on Gotham Gal (where this theme is given a lot of space) “The “nice” theme has been a conversation in our house over the years. In my experience “nice” is the often used to undermine a female either who voicing concerns or in negotiations. For me, it is like saying “take a back seat, bring the snacks and let others make the decisions about your life”. Being polite is an absolute as is being kind. Empathy is well worth cultivating and vital to our humanity. Being professional is essential and a skill set to be developed. I would use those words with my son and daughter equally – at least I hope I do. However, I can not imagine a scenario where a group of boys would be advised that they distinguish themselves in a competitive field by being “nice”.Years ago, I was listening in on a similar conversation between professionals and a group of 12 yr old eager boys who were asking questions about how to make it in the big leagues. The message to the boys was “to remain focussed, train hard, be passionate and learn the business behind the scenes”. They also told the boys that even if they are not selected for a team, then they can take all the learned skills and put themselves in a position to make the decisions either in the sport or in another profession. I remember the moment (not just for the positive reaction from the audience) but because I realized that this was not a message I had ever heard delivered to a group of girls.”

        1. JLM

          .We have to put our girls in the position to receive that advice, to have those experiences.The whole “on the fields of Eton” meme is true. Little boys learn to play hard, teamwork, leadership, and camaraderie. It is real.I made My Perfect Daughter play basketball with the boys when she was ten years old. At first, it was not a popular move.Guess what?She learned to compete, play hard, teamwork, leadership, and camaraderie.Graduated HS with 11 varsity letters, more than all of her guy friends. Left with the same confidence and fight in her soul as the boys.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. JamesHRH

          You’ve never heard it because there is no business behind the scenes really, in female sports.Although, if your kids are young enough, that may become true.Important not to run off torqued about an injustice that is really just a reality of life at the moment, I think, which is how my post is intended….

          1. Sarah

            This situation was in a performing arts context and yes the message could easily have been “learn as much as you can about the business behind what we are doing, try choreography, open a dance studio, produce your own shows, make costumes, become a director, leverage what you have learned so far”, but none of this was said. They told the girls that to distinguish themselves in this field and pursue a career then they should “be nice”. I probed further and that really was all that was said. The parent who was telling me the story was mostly ticked because none of the female performers had come out for the post show Q&A. It was only the male performers who did this follow-up with the audience. Had I been there I would have asked questions along the lines … whether male and female performers are paid equally? I brought this conversation into our household during dinner and we all (son & daughter) considered what they would do and ask if they encounter a similar dynamic. My point is (not to get “torqued) that we should continue to be aware of biases – our own and others – and maintain a language/attitude that permits everyone to imagine a future where they can optimize the opportunities – regardless of gender.

          2. JamesHRH

            Sarah – thanks for filling in the missing details and the rest of your excellent post.People like you drive the ROI on my AVC time investment through the roof!Fun arts anecdote – my wife leads 1000’s of people @ work and a dance company director story is one of her favourites:- company director walks into studio- everyone is just standing around- director flips out ‘ DO SOMETHING!!!! HOW CAN I HELP YOU BE BETTER IF YOU ARE JUST STANDING THERE DOING NOTHING ‘Have a great day!

          3. Sarah

            Thank you and also for the prompt to add more context. I was trying to be brief and did more edits than the anecdote justified. I too get the ROI from AVC comments (and Gotham Gal) which is why I keep coming back and learning from the contributions. There are many perspectives that I would not have access to in my daily interactions. Much appreciated.Another key reason I stay tuned is that I like Fred’s tone – and others- especially respectful comments about their wives. I value people who speak highly of their spouses especially when the other may not have the same “Star Power” – not sure that is the right phrase/descriptor) largely because they held the line at home while the other parent focussed on career/making the income. Yes, I am implying traditional gender stereotypes here. I am very interested in the “recalibration dynamic” and how couples successfully achieve the new balance as the vortex of kids needs slows. A theme for another blog post.

          4. JamesHRH

            Of all people, Gloria Steinem said something that resonates with my life: ‘ You can not have it all if you have to do it all. ‘She then recommended tax deductions for homeware expenses (what would that do to the ‘illegal’ / cash based home help industry?) which is something my wife have discussed for over a decade.Both of those things apply to our lives. ( I am not a big Steinem fan, FWIW).It is an indicative example of liberals being Identity based, conservatives being libertarians and the DEM / GOP parties being self serving mush that something that simple cannot come to be.If someone ever figures out how to be individualistic in their policy orientation while systemic in their policy application, they will be in power for 40 years (I am available for consulting on this issue, at exorbitant rates).As a non-Trump supporter, CDN in TX who can’t vote, who has only lived here 3 months, I can already see the source of the ‘ burn DC to the ground and start over ‘ mindset.

  11. William Mougayar

    I hope one day that this will be a boring topic, and business as usual.I’m going out of my way to achieve a 50/50 diversity ratio in an initiative I’m leading. It is a requirement I have.

    1. JLM

      .This is just another form of discrimination. It is discrimination, propelled by guilt, masking itself as being enlightened.Hire the best people. Period.A good number of them will be from pools of candidates you may have overlooked in the past.Putting your thumb on any scale is not “fair.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Chimpwithcans

        Sometimes fairness is not the point. Sometimes redistribution is the point. So says South African BBBEE legislation. I’m torn on the approach as a way of righting past wrongs. One thing is for sure, it is not fair by design. To argue about that is to miss the train as it rolls by.

        1. JLM

          .I agree with you. There are some times when “fairness” is not the objective. Affirmative action in the US, which I supported at the time and still support in many ways, was a “catch up” thing.I am fine with that, but think we should put the correct label on it.There was a famous Texas Law School case wherein an affirmative action beneficiary with inferior credentials was admitted while a infinitely better white candidate was denied admission.There is a cost to that action. As I said, there are times I would grit my teeth and call it what it is — affirmative action.Let’s just not pretend, in that instant circumstance, we are trying to be non-discriminatory and fair. We are not. We are engineering a desired result, so the reason and justification better be good.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. William Mougayar

        In this case, the best people include 2 women I’d like to work with, so I’m working on that.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      “going out of my way” — and this is unfortunately exactly what it takes.Even as a woman, I find this to be challenging. Not as much when recruiting for certain disciplines on the business side (although sometimes a challenge), but some recent searches on the tech side turned up very, very few female prospects, and none among the people who went on to become candidates. Since this is not my normal realm (although probably will see more of this type of work) I was unprepared in spite of hearing about this for years.I will be better prepared next time because in many instances it requires being proactive in order to move away from the status quo.Knowing you, I imagine that you are committed to hiring the best person for the job, but you are also a strategist who probably understands that building the best *team* may require different decisions than when viewing each hire individually.I also know that sometimes it takes a commitment to doing a certain thing in order to become aware of blocks in our thinking/behavior and to become more aware as well as more self-aware. The discipline eventually becomes part of our normal behavior even if it felt contrived at first.Anyway, bravo William!

      1. William Mougayar

        i’m trying . thx.

    3. PhilipSugar

      Going out of your way and having a requirement are very different. I can tell you firsthand the great company Dupont was brought down by having “requirements”. Brought to it’s knees. Crushed by Koch and Dow which did not have such “requirements” because the other side of the coin of requiring is excluding. They go hand in hand, you can’t do one without the other.Your employees choose you not the other way around. If I knew I was going to be excluded and I was good, I would leave which is exactly what the talent did, which means you get left with subpar talent on the class of people that are excluded (that can’t find other jobs or really don’t care about their job) and subpar talent on the class of people that you required to get hired.The result? You get crushed. Parted out and sold at the junkyard.

      1. William Mougayar

        To clarify, I am making sure that I have a 50/50 ratio based on the best competencies, and they exist equally in this case, in both sexes. I just need to recruit them.

    4. JamesHRH

      You don’t need to hear this, but all you need to do is look at the diversity hires in the CDN federal cabinet……competent diversity is what you want and competence is always the hardest thing to find.Best of luck.

  12. iggyfanlo

    I haven’t read the book, but I’d have to say it much more than VCs that need to read this book or learn the lessons. I’ve only come to realize through the lens of others and even more from my daughter and wife just how ingrained and subconscious gender (and I guess most inequity) really is. II have a long way to go, but I feel like my eyes are finally open.

  13. JLM

    .I followed the Ellen Pao v KIeiner case from the beginning. I was fascinated by it. I thought she would win in a knockout.She lost because Kleiner outlawyered her. The Kleiner lawyer, a woman, was an assassin. Her trial strategy was brilliant. She had her witnesses coached up so perfectly and Pao’s lawyer was terrible on cross-examination.The Kleiner lawyer put Pao on trial, rather than Kleiner. It was brilliant. The woman has, supposedly, never lost a case at trial.When the book came out, I read it immediately. It is a very easy read.If one is a gentleman, it is not necessary to read this book. If not, both men and women should read it. It is particularly important for leaders to read it.For some reason, our nation has simultaneously lost our sense of manliness and the definition of a gentleman. I wonder if it is a regional affliction with the center of bad behavior in SV (other regions may take their ownership as desired). Feels unfair the second I finished typing that.It is not hard to take sides and if one struggles to discern the good and not so good folks, then that says something about them. That is not a beef with Fred; he is saying something different.This epidemic of unmanly, ungentlemanly behavior is found in VC, SV, business in general, Hollywood, politics, the military, and anywhere there is a hierarchical distribution of power.It is about the weight of power sitting uncomfortably on the shoulders of immature and grasping men and their inability to learn how to use it with grace. Once this toxin is distributed within an organization, it is virtually impossible to eliminate it. This is why it is so important for leaders to set the tone. [Uber, I am talking to y’all.]Harvey Weinstein did not invent the casting coach. What a butt ugly piece of protoplasm, no?We all need to go back and understand the basic concept of manliness. That is where the problem originates. If you want your daughters to be treated better, raise you sons to be men.I was opining about this some time ago and it is more pointed today.http://themusingsofthebigre…It all starts with a simple premise — Do YOU want to be a man? Or a weasel?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Tom Labus

      So where do you put trump, man or weasel?

      1. JLM

        .We are all part weasel. The proportion of weasel fluctuates. If you make a commitment to be a man, your manliness drowns your weasleness. But, the weasel tendencies are still there.There are times he is incredibly manly and, at others, he is a weasel pack alpha male leader.He had an enviable record of employing women in his organization. It took Fred Wilson 30 years to do what Donald J Trump did naturally. High marks for DJT.Still, he engaged in ungentlemanly and weaselly behavior on a regular basis. Hopefully, he repents and is clear of those immature tendencies.So, yes, Pres Trump is a weasel.Trump — bad. << trying to save you some typing, Tommy.JLMwww.themustingsofthebigredc…

        1. Tom Labus

          And are you just as generous with Bill Clinton?

          1. JLM

            .Don’t recognize the name, Tommy, guy who used an unpaid intern as a humidor? In the Oval Office? That guy?I find the way the lefties have lionized Billy Boy and gone ugly on an ape on Harvey Weinstein to be one of the funniest things ever.Same bolt of cloth, but different patterns.I love listening to people try to explain that.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. JLM

            .”Pres Trump is a weasel.” <<< reading comp problem?Pres Clinton was/is a weasel.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. JamesHRH

            Name a manly act in the Clinton Canon.He hires weasels, he is a weasel, he serves himself but not transparently. Everyone around him would abandon him if it didn’t harm their future, including HRC.Trump can be a shameless lout and he took a huge risk in lighting the race tinderbox in order to win the election, but that may actually lead to race issues being resolved.He can also be incredibly graceless when he needs to accomplish something: G7 push, Billy Bush tape, etc. or he is following his Dad’s ‘always get the last word / never take an insult with giving it back worse’ mantra.But shit, he’s 50 levels above Clinton.

    2. LE

      Harvey Weinstein did not invent the casting coach. What a butt ugly piece of protoplasm, no?I have to in all honestly take issue where your thoughts on his looks. (Second time you mentioned this particular point.).You implied last time that he couldn’t get a woman (or something like that) if not for the power that he had. But by the same token he didn’t exactly get to the point of being able to allegedly abuse women if he didn’t have something going in his personality and intelligence that got him there in the first place. His dad was not Joe Kennedy and he didn’t buy the election for him, right? I think it’s natural to assume and it’s ok that the halo of success makes you look more attractive as a man to women. And to men also. It’s not all ‘tall dark and handsome’. [1] You don’t think that some of the famous generals you and I admire got that admiration (with men) because of the way they looked as well? What about Churchill? Would you say the same about him? Looks matter and you can’t pull that out of the ‘man’ equation. I also think it’s the same with men on men. And how men view other men. Douglas MacArthur with the pipe! Wish my Dad looked like that! So attractiveness is not all physical and can be enhanced greatly by many many other factors. And surpassed as well.So why do his looks (as you see it) even matter as far as being a man? And perhaps he got to the point of being able to be an alleged abuser because of his looks and the fact that women rejected him previously? So he was spurned to be rich and powerful and to get respect and attention, no?

      1. Sarah

        Nicely put and also remember that “being attractive” is not a prerequisite for being sexually harassed.

      2. JLM

        .Let’s get real — there were, obviously, a lot of women who not only complied with his wishes, but who today have not objected indicating they benefited from his “mentorship.” There is no doubt he delivered on his side of the deal.Using the Jabba the Hutt standard, there are some guys who are so ugly as to chase the rising sun back down.Beer goggles and success goggles are made by the same factory. It takes some outside force to change the vision.I stand on the assessment that both Harvey Weinstein and Jabba the Hutt are ugly as an ape. Repulsively, neck-gravy ugly.Military leadership is a little different. The soldiers in the Pacific did not like MacArthur. They thought him too quick to shed Marine blood in the island hopping campaigns. For years after WWII, the casualties of some of the Pacific landings were classified because of the enormity of the losses.There is an element of fear which drives successful military operations. It is not love. It is a begrudging respect for the kind of men who can fight and win.Grant in the Civil War v Robt E Lee is a perfect example. From the moment Lincoln appointed Grant, who was willing to take enormous casualties, the Union began to bleed the South dry.From a male perspective, what a guy looks like is held up to a different lens. The bravest combat commander I ever saw was a short little runt who was totally unafraid. The best looking man I ever served under, who rose to 3-stars, was a dandy, unwilling to get any dirt under his fingernails.I think what makes a man remarkable to other men in those situations is their physical vitality and energy, their competence, plus their positive attitude and willingness to give undebatable orders. The best commanders lead from the front.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          There is no doubt he delivered on his side of the deal.I think there is also a disjuncture between what those who benefited felt they were entitled to and what they were entitled to.They wanted to feel as if it was their talent that would get them to the right place and would allow them to win. But it’s not sports and it’s not even primarily about talent. I think that is the truth as hard as it is to hear. Sure it’s prostitution when you break it down. But the payoff is much larger. No surprise people make that choice. Doesn’t make it right and I don’t condone it but that’s the reality.Remember the movie with Redford, Demi Moore and Woody Harelson? In that movie Incedent Proposal [1] the premise was ‘the money will last a lifetime the night will come and go’. So for $1,000,000 you have sex with the male lead (Redford) and you get money which lasts a lifetime. Very similar to the Weinstein proposition.[1]

          1. JLM

            .Who knew it was non-fiction, eh?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. sigmaalgebra

            G. B. Shaw was at a high end dinner party and seated next to a beautiful, buxom, young woman.At one point during the conversation he asked her, just as a hypothetical,”Would you spend the night with me for $1,000,000?”She hesitated, smiled, thought, and answered, also just as a hypothetical:”Well, I would be financially fixed for life.”Then Shaw asked her:”Would you spend the night with me for $1?”Right away she changed from a smile to a frown, was outraged, angry, and responded:”What do you think I am, a common whore?”Also right away, Shaw answered:”Madam, we have already established that. Now we are just haggling over price.”

    3. JamesHRH

      Simple answer – asshole male behaviour is mostly prevalent in workplaces where abstraction is the core capability: finance, tech, media.Abstraction causes you to stop thinking of people as people, which is something that people who are gifted at abstracting to begin with……struggle with already.Take your Uber example – they killed the taxi industry without ever meeting a cabbie.SV would be an easy asshole male capital of the world if Wall St didn’t exist. Co-founder of The Athletic took his turn today, just being an asshole (not a sexist asshole, just the basic kind).Law skips this ugly list, as there ratios are now tipping to women being the majority, but if you dug a little……..Less prevalent in direct to consumer businesses or businesses where you get your hand dirty ( or taken off ).

      1. PhilipSugar

        Interesting thought, but how do you explain the construction industry?As for the taxi industry, if there ever was a industry that needed killing it would be them, and why would you want to meet a surly, smelling cabbie that keeps the back of their cab so filthy I feel like I need a change of clothes and a shower after sitting on a seat that hasn’t been cleaned once in over a decade.I think Lawyers are just as bad.The real thing is the power. When you have tons of power the asshole behavior goes from being offensive to really bad.

        1. JamesHRH

          Power absolutely is the fulcrum.As @JLM:disqus puts it, so many of these people crave it and then handle it so poorly.The cliche about poor athletes and money has a brother in weak people and power.

    4. PhilipSugar

      Could not agree more. We do not need to lose our manliness we need to be gentleman.I think a big reason Ellen Pao lost as well was because if you are in front of a jury of normal people telling those people I felt slighted on the corporate jet is a hard sell. I’m not saying what the outcome should have been or what happened. I am just saying it’s hard sell to tell people that can barely scrape together enough money for a Southwest flight that you were uncomfortable on a corporate jet and get any sympathy.

  14. Richard

    My gf has had several issues of this BS while in medical school, as a student, as a resident, and as a fellow. This year I got proactive and found a women’s self defense class and put together a women’s action guide for pushing back against workplace harassment. When punks like harvey Weinstein know we will break their wallet and their thumbs, things will change.

    1. JLM

      .You GF could have taken this approach. Very reasonable pricing.http://themusingsofthebigre… just received seed funding and will launch in the next month. JKJLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Richard

        Looks interesting. If you are involved with this startup, make sure they understand that different industries (healthcare, academia, govt, tech etc.) require different approaches. And no doubt the there is no substitute for the self defense class. This should be part of every highschool program.

        1. JLM

          .As a former Ranger, I am just trying to hustle a side gig. It is a joke, but maybe not. I should self-fund it. Hell, I know a lot of Rangers.Rangers speak a universal language which bridges all cultures and industries. When you have your targets by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  15. Angelo Castello NYspinewellnes

    Thank you Fred for once again for sharing your pithy comment about what affects us all.Regarding sexism, something vitally important for all of us to be aware of is that there are men who relate to women in an exclusively physical way. Their words, body language and actions speak volumes as to how they see women. It is terribly sad that sometimes women are not seen as whole persons with hearts and minds.

    1. JLM

      .I argue that it is a symptom of the fractional existence of men — their incompleteness and immaturity — rather than not seeing women as whole persons.We need to hold the mirror in the direction it belongs.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Angelo Castello NYspinewellnes

        That has been pointed out to me before and I agree.Men, too often see themselves within the narrow band of their physical selves and neglecting the development of their emotional, mental and dare I say, spiritual aspects.

        1. JLM

          .I have hired thousands of people in my life. I find a sad void in people who are unable to navigate within the spiritual environment of life.If I had one characteristic — and only one — with which to divide a group of men into two halves, it would be whether they embrace, practice a religion. I don’t care what religion it is.[No, Texas football is not a religion. It is a cult.]I find it truly sad when someone contends they are “spiritual” or “religious” but decry “organized” religion.If you have never tasted BBQ, how do you know whether it is for you or not?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Angelo Castello NYspinewellnes

            The key is “practice”.Please no preaching.Practice is not just for Sunday and includes everyday, everywhere and with everyone.

  16. Adam Parish

    I placed this book on hold at my local library. Looking forward to reading it.

  17. sigmaalgebra

    Ellen Pao? Maybe she is right. Maybe she was wronged.BUT!!!!!! I can’t deal with Ellen Pao. I have no chance. I don’t know how to handle plutonium, either, and I’m not going to try.All I can do with Ellen Pao is the same as with plutonium — stay far away. I’m not afraid of plutonium because I have no idea where I might encounter any. But for what Ellen Pao is concerned about, I’m afraid as if there were baseball sized balls of plutonium scattered all over, yards, sidewalks, streets, shopping centers, offices, etc. Still, I know no more what the heck to do about Ellen Pao issues than with plutonium.E.g., I understand that plutonium is one of the most toxic substances known since just some dust of it in the lungs will just sit there and radiate and cause cancer. To me, Ellen Pao is about as dangerous.Here’s why I can’t deal with Ellen Pao:(1) She a female, and I’m a male, and that is a big difference with a big gap in talents, values, motivations, interests, and communications. Big. Especially for work in the business of information technology. I’m not good at crossing that gap, and it looks like she isn’t either.(2) I suspect that she’s a feminist. I have no hope communicating effectively or productively with a feminist. I tried for 20+ years, got a grade of flat F, and will NOT try to take that course again.(3) She looks like a very hard worker, the kind that can go fine on 4 hours of sleep, write and type perfect, 100 page, humanities, A+ term papers, on an old mechanical typewriter without any means of correction, any night between dinner and dawn. I’ve known some feminists who could do that. I’ve never been able to do that. Maybe outside of research math and some of computing and machines, no matter what we’d be doing, she could work me under the table, onto the floor, and six feet under. I don’t need that. No thanks.(4) Obviously she’s emotional, wildly emotional, from being a female, a feminist, and more, is all wound up about some things, hyper sensitive, more unstable than nitroglycerin, and always, instantly ready to fight, especially with angry lawyers. I wouldn’t be able to go even five minutes with her before she’d be as angry and dangerous as a 600 pound tiger burned with boiling oil. I’d have more luck trying to reason with a 150 pound rabid dog.(5) She’s Asian, and that to me means inscrutable; I’d have no chance of understanding her. I can’t even understand how to make Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce, and I can’t learn how from the stack of books I have on Chinese cooking. I can and did learn fine from math books by J. von Neumann, W. Rudin, P. Halmos, J. Neveu, J. Tukey, and many more, but I can’t learn from books on Chinese cooking! To me, Asia is inscrutable.I can’t know everything; I can’t understand all the cultures of the world. I have a shot at understanding people of English descent in the English speaking countries and people of European descent from the Pyrenees east through the Baltics and from the boot of Italy north to the Arctic. For the rest of Europe and western Russia, not so much. For the rest of the world, nearly hopeless. So, I can’t understand the Hispanic cultures, the Balkans, Africa, the Arabians, the Greeks, the Persians, India, South Asia, South East Asia, China, central and eastern Russia, Japan, etc. To me, George Lucas got it well in parts of his Star Wars when he showed parts of Asian culture as inscrutable — it is to me. More was in the first Indiana Jones movie where he was in some Arab marketplace, and a guy was waving around some strange sword trying to look difficult to understand and threatening. So Jones just pulled his revolver trigger once, and that was the end of that difficult to understand material. I assume that the people in those cultures understand their cultures just fine, but I know that I have no way to understand their cultures. And I should expect that they don’t understand US culture. And I don’t apologize since understanding a culture well is usually nearly a lifetime job. I’m still learning about US culture so have no chance or hope with Asian culture. None.Maybe if someone is all wound up about globalism, they would conclude that understanding other cultures, e.g., even Asian cultures, was worthwhile, wise, and even necessary. Well, I’m impressed with US culture, much less impressed with other cultures, and regard understanding other cultures as different as Asian cultures as not worthwhile, wise, or necessary.My guess is that the sudden high interest now in other cultures and globalism was from Obama, that Obama deeply, profoundly, hated and despised the US and was out to do all he could get away with reducing the strength and respect of the US and its role in the world. ISIS, Iran, North Korea, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Russia, all the Muslims — Obama was on their side. The US, England, Israel — he hated them. In the US, he hated Whitey, the police, the military, Christmas, the US national anthem, etc.Well, Obama is out of office. Trump sees much of globalism, e.g., from Obama, as bad for the US, and I agree. If there is an ETF for globalism, then short it.The old situation remains: At times Asia is good at copying the West but not good at improving on it.

  18. Donna Brewington White

    MBA Mondays FTW!

  19. Tim

    Great read. People carry around so much unconscious bias that it’s always a good idea to remind ourselves to check it. It’s not only morally right – on a personal, professional level for all on the team as well as helpful socially and for culture – it’s also great for anyone in the business of anticipating people needs.The better someone can be at changing perspectives, at real empathy, the better they’ll be in all of their interpersonal relationships. It’s just a fundamental skill. But also, they’ll be much better at understanding their own products and markets. So, it’s good for business.A bit of a cold, selfish angle to see this from? Yes, I agree it is. And it’s not one I’d say should lead someone’s actions. But I’m also coming at this from the perspective of someone out there who perhaps just doesn’t see such benefit in ‘avoiding’ doing anything outside of whatever they need to do keep themselves out of trouble – or, unless it might benefit them and their business somehow.So, maybe that framing helps sells them on the need to be an emotional intelligent, aware and compassionate human being.

  20. awaldstein

    As long as you have something that works, nothing else matters.I will take a look but have decided to stick with the current, increasing the length of the block for 365 days.It works for me.

  21. Maroonblazer

    I’ve not read Chopra but Headspace – and mindfulness meditation generally – is not about achieving tranquility, but rather developing the ability to be more aware of your moment-to-moment experience. This, in turn, can help you respond, rather than react, to the thoughts and feelings that pervade everyday life.

  22. Maroonblazer

    Tolle lifted all of that from Buddhism. 🙂