18 Months of Turtling: A Jiujitsu Retrospective

I came to the turtle position systematically. As a white belt, one year into training, I had a grand vision for learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: I would break the gentle art down into six-month chunks, and spend each chunk focused on a single position. I started with the half guard position back in early 2019. I …

Christopher Alexander and Go: The Phenomenon of Life (and Death)

Christopher Alexander is an author I’ve seen included several times on lists of interesting thinkers. His The Nature of Order series is made up of “big” books. I don’t mean only that they are oversize (they are). I mean that they are trying to explain nothing smaller than the nature of the universe. Alexander is …

From Brand New to Single Digit Kyu: Learning to Play Go

The below is for newcomers to Go. It is intended to illuminate some best practices for learning. Before I get into it, a bit about me: I started to learn Go in May 2020 as an alternative to chess. I was drawn to it for a few reasons: First, Go is a Chinese game. Since …

Growth Office Politics or How Growth Teams Piss Off Everyone in Your Company

This is a part of a series of posts written with my friend Greg Klausner who is currently Head of Growth at Juni Learning. The series is aimed at helping anyone who is considering adding a growth function within their organization. Turf Battles Between Product and Growth Because Growth teams sit in the ambiguous center …

How Leaders Define Reality for Organizations

“The role of the leader is to define reality and give hope.”––Napoleon “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.”––Max Depree I gave a presentation a few days ago to someone who may join our team. My presentation included organization KPIs, a SWOT analysis, a “map” of industry competitors, an org chart, a …

Brazilian Jiujitsu: Human Chess or Human Go?

One Brazilian jiujitsu cliché is that it is “human chess.” This self-indulgent essay argues that Go is better than chess as an analog for BJJ. It is written for BJJ practitioners with some understanding of chess but limited or no exposure to Go. It will be tough to understand for a reader without knowledge of …