My Interview in Fast Company

Fast Company just put up an interview with me done by Kermit Pattison, and I’m really, really happy with it. It covers a lot of topics, including how I think about leadership & management (they’re not the same!), some lessons I’ve learned about how to be more extroverted, some things I’ve only recently started to really understand about some of the very important lessons I’ve learned along the way. Kermit did a really good job in capturing the essence of how I think about this stuff. Would love to read any impressions, reactions, arguments or otherwise that you have. đŸ™‚


  1. I always used to freak out when you told me that the buttons needed to be more orange. đŸ™‚

    Giving feedback when you’re “the boss” is a hard balance; I experienced the same sort of thing when I started to lead first the UX team, then the Firefox team, at Mozilla. I’m actually not sure if it’s ever really possible to be able to give collaborative feedback or guidance and have it taken at the same level as a colleague … after all, you’re “the boss.”

    Having been someone who benefited from your approach of consistent storytelling and teacher-like approach and guidance, I can say that it felt incredibly human and comforting. It made me a little more willing to try things, trust other people, and reminded me that we all were really looking to accomplish the same things at the end of the day.

  2. I’m glad Kermit captured your thoughts so well, because your thoughts really resonated with me.

    From feeling the impulse to stare at my shoes to adopting the mindset that I need to think about teaching my staff instead of stressing about the growing task list, I could identify with many of the experiences you shared. I’ve also been consciously working to change my behavior to be more interpersonal and understand how to lead since sophomore year at Stanford. Some days I almost feel an urge to sit in front of a terminal and work with straightforward logic rather than perplexing people.

    Anyways, really enjoyed the interview. I’d love to chat with you more about this sometime.

  3. stephen roulac

    The tension between inside(mind, enterprise) and outside roles is cogently captured here. Many leaders of companies start them to do work they really wish to do, to fill a need demanding to be met, to create something important that does not exist. This imperative internal drive must be balanced with the need to ben externally oriented within and outside the organization, which often requires an inherently introverted individual to train himself/herself to be more extroverted.

    The balance between the one person’s perspective and the authority of the ceo is elegantly conveyed. This balance is a continual evolving process for those ceos sincerely concerned about encouraging initiative and creativity while asserting strong directive leadership, when and as needed. Certainly, this tension is something I continually find informing and educating.

    Overall, most illuminating interview.