#Blessed

To be alive right now.

To be the parent of these three amazing kids.

To have the family I have.

To have the friends I have.

To have seen the concerts I’ve see.

To have clothes on my back, shoes on my feed, a roof over my head, and food to eat in abundance and variety and quality.

To have the job I have right now, and the career up to this point prior.

To be inspired every day.

To come back to the same foundation every day:

LOVE.

“Pressure Is A Privilege“

This idea, timeless. Let’s remember, often times it is so. The pressure we feel is from the circumstance we’ve put ourselves, the opportunity to benefit, to shine.

And so this particular pressure is a privilege. Let us rise to the occasion. Let us rise each day and give it our best. The moment asks nothing less; and perhaps we have nothing less to give.

Let it be so.

The Campers In The Shadows

Down Garcia Drive, and South / East Bayshore Frontage Road in Mountain View, amongst the many buildings that house the likes of Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, there are campers after campers after campers.

A long row, on the east side, the industrial side.

In the shadows of so many tech companies. I sit writing this in the same shadows, watching, wondering. Not all the buildings are full; some seem empty. But I bet these campers aren’t empty.

Who lives here on the shadows?

Where do they go?

Where do they come from?

Here in the campers, here in the shadows…

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.

Skinned Knees: Hope Is A Salve

Skinned knees. Remember them before? Maybe recently?

Even if it’s been a while since you physically fell to the ground…maybe you’ve had a series of fails at work – it’s sort of the same.

It stings; it hurts; the wound lingers, there’s periodic pain, it doesn’t go away quickly.

What’s the answer, what’s the salve to ease the sting, ease that pain…?

Hope.

Struggle? Repeat Mistakes? Not sure how to proceed?

Recede.

To.

Hope.

Fall down, again and again? Skinned knee that won’t heal, from all the falls?

Don’t give up. Keep trying; keep going.

Hope.

Do the next right thing. Don’t lose hope.

HOPE.

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.

Remote, Yet Close

Strange times, pandemic times we’re in, we’re living, so much has changed on so many levels.

We’re restricted from each other for school, for work, for worship.

Fundamental to most faiths, the worship therein, we’re meant to come together, have a sense of the come together, can’t be together in-person just now. Screens and social distance are the necessary norm just now.

What does that do to faith? How do we exercise our faith? How do we teach our faith to our kids in these times? More effort needed, starting with an example, striving to draw near to the perfect example, is God near?

God is near…find God in every moment, draw near, God is close…

Now not my words, but good words for sure, have a listen, God is near,

“The design that God has for each one of us is always a design of love. And the greatest joy for every
believer is to respond to that call, offering one’s entire being to the service of God and the brothers and sisters.”

“In each act of service, in every work of #mercy we perform, God manifests Himself; God sets His gaze upon the world.”

“We are always on a journey in life. Let us choose the path of God! We will discover that there are no unexpected events, no uphill path, and no night that cannot be faced with Jesus.”

“A society is all the more human to the degree that it cares effectively for its most frail and suffering members, in a spirit of fraternal love.”

These from Francis, Jorge, and grateful, so very grateful for this voice, this humble insight. In these pandemic times, to find our way, how to find our way? This is the path.

God is near, God is with us, God is waiting for us to turn, let us turn, amen, AMEN.

Busy Brain

This little episode comes to from the middle of the night. Yep, awoken by my busy brain just before 1:00am, capturing the moment to share a few thoughts.

Mind you, I just went to bed three hours ago, intent on getting a good night’s rest to start the week. Hmm. Didn’t plan on this little situ.

But here we are. The kicker that got me writing instead of just rolling over? A middle of night “bio-break”, as we call it at work.

When ya gotta go, ya gotta go.

And now my mind is flooded with work thoughts, and parenting thoughts, and so on…it is a little sneaky overwhelming.

So figure I’d make some lemonade out of this lemon (and red-eye interlude) by jotting and sharing a few strategies I employ when Busy Brain hits. Not sure what the science says about how to battle this situ, but here’s what I do.

1/ Like I tell my kids all the time when they say they can’t got to sleep, “Clear your thought box.” In your mind’s eye, counter the Busy Brain directly by forcing out the thoughts. Push them out; take control of your mind. Be persistent and insistent; clear your mind, or otherwise, focus on what you want to, not whatever pops up.

2/ Count your breaths; and make them slow, deep and full. Start with ten. Then repeat. And repeat again.

3/ Do exactly what I’m not doing just now. Keep your eyes closed; don’t turn on any lights( no screens. 🙂

STAY IN SLEEP MODE. Insist on it. And stay relaxed; and cozy; and comfortable.

That’s what I’m going to do right now.

Busy Brain? Stay relaxed, stay in control, OUT.

Inspiration Everywhere: Nick Chubb, Running Back, Cleveland Browns Football Team

Baller. Grinder. Fun to watch. Brings it on every down. Inspired player.

Pretty quick, all these thoughts came rushing in when I watched the Cleveland Browns game Sunday night.

Nick Chubb was inspiring, the way he ran. And it came to mind, gotta share that simple thought: be inspired by the simplest of things.

I mean, I’m not a huge sports fan; and in football I’m really a San Francisco Forty Niners fan, having grown up and still living just down the road in San Jose.

But Chubb inspired, so I’m sharing it, it’s that simple. Allow yourself to be inspired.

Inspiration Everywhere: An Occasional Series

One of the main purposes of this blog is to further positive feelings, vibes, attitudes.

Through snippets, tales, stories, recaps, I look to show and share the good, even in situations that sometimes don’t seem so positive on the face of it.

When I was a kid I used to read the weekly magazine, Sports Illustrated. Maybe my favorite part of that magazine was the feature articles. I loved reading about the people featured — mostly athletes, but others too — their trials, tribulations, and triumphs.

So in that vane, I’m starting a new occasional series entitled, “Inspiration Everywhere.”

Over the years I’ve often posted song lyrics I find appealing, fun, inspired. This new series will be similar, with the main intent the same: to find more good and share it.

Thanks for your attention.