Up and Down

Up and down things go, every hour, every day. Moods, fortunes, progress, or lack there of.

Sometimes, maybe frequently, the best we can do is keep going. Sometimes the best we can do is take the step forward.

Let’s do that today. Up or down, when things settle, go forward. Let’s go forward together.

On Bended Knee

I’m on bended knee, looking at the weekend…

Two days like any other, yet expectations so high…

Hoping for a break, a little rest, a different pace…

Somewhat so, somewhat so, some otherwise more the same, by choice really…

Same pressures, same pause, same joy, all really there,

if only we make room…in our minds, hearts, both, tied up and twisted and searching for calm, understanding, inspiration, something more…

On bended knee, on bended knee.

Another Voice for Change

After MLK Jr. Day, after all the many situations and examples and tragedies that have been freshly brought to light of late around racial inequality, and the many things we need to do to change things for the better…

I came across these two posts from one of my more favorite voices on social media. Fred Wilson.

He’s a business guy, a big money guy, but he’s also got one of the best perspectives and voices and balance to social and economic and cultural topics I am aware of. He’s no B.S., and he’s worth listening to.

And so though I have a couple hundred followers on WordPress, and six hundred some followers on Twitter, and Fred Wilson has more than six hundred thousand followers on Twitter – point being he’s got plenty of social media reach -?I’m going to share these two posts anyway. Because I agree with his remarks and I want to elevate them.

This is a guy whose making a difference on a lot of levels, including racial / social justice in these United States of America. Thanks, Fred ~

He wrote:

JAN 18, 2021

Six Months Later

In early June, I wrote this post explaining that I and we need to do more to reduce the inequality issues for Black people in tech, venture capital, and startups.

I think MLK day is a good time to talk about what has happened since that post.

We have identified a number of areas where we must do better:

  • Increase the number of Black founders we back
  • Increase the number of Black team members at USV
  • Increase the number of Black VCs we work with and support
  • Increase the number of Black board members in our portfolio
  • Increase the number of Black leaders in our portfolio
  • Increase the number of Black employees in our portfolio
  • Increase the number of Black engineers in our portfolio
  • Increase the number of Black investors in our funds
  • Increase the number of Black college graduates going into tech, venture capital, and startups
  • Create pathways for Black students to study STEM and find their way into careers in tech, venture capital, and startups

We have ongoing projects, workstreams, investments, and efforts in each and every one of these areas and we have made tangible progress in almost all of them.

I believe that the inequity issues are so severe and deeply rooted that it will take a concerted effort over a number of years to truly erase them.

But we are making progress and if we keep at it, across many dimensions, we can get where we need to go. Roughly 15% of Americans are Black. Until we can look around the room and see at least one Black person for every six in the meeting, we haven’t done enough. Today is a good day to remind ourselves of that and recommit to the work that needs to happen.

Jeff Interlude: And before that one, he wrote this one:

JUN 4, 2020

Black Lives Matter

I believe that Black lives matter.

I understand that the phrase Black lives matter speaks to a movement to stop the murders of Black people at the hands of the police. I also understand that it speaks to a broader protest movement seeking to reduce the unchecked power of the police. I support these efforts and am sympathetic to them.

But the words Black lives matter mean even more to me.

They mean that a Black person’s life matters as much as any other person’s life.

They mean that the living situation of a Black person matters as much as anyone’s living situation.

They mean that the food a Black person eats matters as much as the food anyone eats.

They mean that the health care that a Black person has matters as much as the health care anyone has.

They mean that the education a Black person has matters as much as anyone’s education.

And they mean that the economic opportunity that a Black person has matters as much as anyone’s economic opportunity.

My record and that of the USV is poor on that last measure.

We have spent much of the last week at USV talking about that and we talked about it publicly on our blog and Twitter yesterday.

When the collective minds at USV focus on something we have always met our goals.

While we are late to put our collective minds on this opportunity, we are not too late. And we have already started our work on it.

We will do this the way we do everything at USV. We will stick to our thesis of access to capital, knowledge, and well-being. We will back teams that are working on these problems in ways we think are impactful. And we will be engaged, honest, and present in the work.

Earlier Is Better

My grandpa was the first one I knew who got up early. He rose around 5am most mornings. I never understood, as a kid.

I LOVE to sleep.

But now I have little kids. Plenty of early mornings on that front; at least used to be.

And now with work (mostly), it’s up earlier and earlier, working to get more done before other people start up, muddling my activities, my priorities, my focus.

Earlier is better for that sorta work. Catching up, or getting ahead.

Earlier is better for “Me Time.”

Earlier is better to start the day on your terms.

5am used to be early. Still is on weekends. But when there’s work to do, earlier is better.

Maybe even earlier than 5am.

Earlier is better.

Good Start

Access for All

This catch-phrase might seem pie-in-the-sky. Surely not everyone can be on the same footing, have the same access to resources.

Maybe not.

But part of the American (global?) society I believe in and strive to move forward is in basic areas, there should be access for all.

Clean water. Sanitation. Healthy food sources. Basic education.

And in these COVID Times, basic education has been harder to deliver.

Here’s one way we can make it a little easier.

Thanks, Fred Wilson, for the voice.

Sufficient, affordable internet technology for more people, more access, access for all.

Chase

All day long, day after day, sometimes that’s how it feels: chase.

Long lists made longer by hundreds of email, how can that be? Feels like more to do every moment: chase.

Dishes and laundry and honey-do: chase.

Dream of a race, gun goes off, I can’t run fast enough, slow off the line, sloth-like: chase.

When it’s like that, here’s the answer:

One thing at a time. KEEP GOING.

Work Spaces

Early Arrival or Late Departure?

Where do you work? When do you get there? When do you leave?

One space

What does your work space look like? How does it make you feel?

Another space

Does it reflect who you are? Or is it neutral? What does it do for you?

And another space

Is it a place you enjoy? Do you like being there?

And yet another space

My two cents? Be content to work wherever you can, where ever you can find space. But given the opportunity, make it your own, however humble, leave a bit of yourself there, welcoming to you, to all.

Easy Does It

Got some work to do this weekend. Easy does it.

None too happy about going into work on a Saturday, but that’s just how things are right now: short-handed; several challenges across the business. Easy does it.

Once I decided and accepted I was going to work for a few hours over the weekend, well, everything felt a little lighter.

Do what you can. Keep going forward. Easy does it.

Nighttime? Nope, Early Morning

The Pace

The pace, the race, what does it all mean? What’s the intent, the destination, when does it end?

Put ourselves into these conditions, circumstances, situations, often chosen, sometimes not.

The very reason, purpose, to move forward, go forward, live, be, do. We only get one go, make the most, mostly in, ready. But times not, and then what? The angst, the pit, it uncertainty, certainly difficult at times.

The pace sometimes a bit too quick, unexpected; or maybe it’s the anticipated, what’s expected, that’s the cause. Don’t fear the pace, it has its place.

And so, Live, Be, Do, how about you? Why are you in, here? It’s the very purpose, intent, be intentional, much we can do, so let’s do.

Captain Napkin

Thank Goodness for Daughter Number Two, a.k.a., “Captain Napkin”…!

Last night she disappeared into a bedroom and emerged a few minutes later saying, “I was helping Mom fold the napkins. I just love doing that.” I think she also said it helps her relax(!).

And so I got to thinking, “Do what you can; do a bit, here and there, chip away, even if the list is long and getting longer.

Do what you can. Like Captain Napkin.

#halffullallgood #parenting #dadlife #dadslife #gratitude