Jerry Rig

Jerry Rig or jury rig, is the practice of making due with what you have on hand to repair something or otherwise solve a problem. Making due, that’s a good life lesson.

Things don’t always go as we’d like; sometimes to get some result close to what we want, we have to make due, make the best of the situation as it is.

Opportunities arose for this practice all the time. It promotes compromise and resilience and fortitude.

Don’t be afraid to jerry rig something if need be to accomplish your goal. Be resourceful. Make it happen.

Oh yea, and if you want to learn more about the term and it’s history, see below.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_rigging

Compromise 2

The way forward.

Compromise.

“Not every disagreement on every issue requires a war; that’s not reasonable; that’s not responsible leadership.

We elect our leaders to govern; we expect our leaders to govern.

If you’re not protecting our people and moving our society forward, you’re not governing. You’re not doing your job.

The Gang of Six, 2018.

The Gang of Eight, 2013.

The Grand Bargain, 2007.

Consider the art, the duty, of compromise. I believe it’s a fundamental trait we humans possess, and must adhere to, to co-exist in the world. We are a social species, which means we are meant to live together.

To live together, in this world, in this country, in our community, in our family, we must hone the skill and willingness to compromise.

Compromise: the path forward.

Lists

I’ve been making lists for a long time. The practice likely parallels my efforts in school, work, and life to be more organized. It’s been a mixed bag of results.

But the lists go on!

I prescribe mostly to the idea that having one (or at least only a couple few) master list(s) is a good idea.

At least, better not to use the backs of envelopes, loose/scrap paper, post-it notes to keep track of things. White board at home? Ok.

I end up making a few lists: grocery; work (at least a couple, different places, tactical, strategic; personal, those tend to be the most stagnant.

But make ‘em all the same, chase ‘em too. Every day. Do so. Let’s GO~

House White Board

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.

#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.