In 2009, after five years as a product manager at Google, I quit my job to become a novelist. I loved my time at Google, but I just felt like I wasn’t on my own path. So I went off in pursuit of finding it.
I spent six years writing fiction. It was hard, vulnerable work—work that I then had to beg publishers to read. I never became a best-selling author, but I gained deep insight into the book industry, and empathy for the writers who are being squeezed between two giant forces: disruptive technology and the traditional publishing industry. I started dreaming up ways to improve the space, including an idea for a startup that would let authors share their works in progress and get early feedback from readers. I started shopping it around to investors.
Because of my history at Google, I was able to get a lot of investor meetings, which gave me a false sense of confidence. My first was with Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious firms, which was an indicator that I had no idea what I was doing. Sequoia is not anyone’s warmup conversation. The meeting was lovely and encouraging, which only fed my naivete.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Stop Working, Start Automating
Why waste your energy on tedious tasks when an app can do them instead?
START YOUR YOUTH MOVEMENT
Young franchisees keep brands relevant with millennial and Gen Z customers, and with decades of career growth ahead of them, they can help bring long-term growth and continuity to franchise companies. So why don’t we spend more time courting them?
A Bank That Keeps Things Simple
It’s not nuts – The 18-year-old coin bank on Casilimas’ desk.
High Hopes For CBD Franchising
Plagued by misinformation and poor regulation, the CBD industry is banking on brick-and-mortar franchise shops to build confidence with cannabis-curious customers.
This Year Will Be Great. Really
After months of forced closures and record-high unemployment, the U.S. is ready for an economic recovery—and the franchise industry is uniquely positioned to lead the charge.
How to Take Down Goliath
The biggest companies can still be taken down by the smallest startups. Here are four strategies disruptors use to fight their way up.
Your Secret Weapon: Great Expectations
The year 2021 may feel uncertain, but set your expectations high anyway. Doing so will become your guiding force.
The Beauty of Being Rejected
I thought my idea to shake up the book industry was brilliant. Investors didn’t. That ended up being my greatest asset.
Can There Be Two Tinders for Clothes?
She was a first-time founder with a fresh idea. Then a $30 million competitor arrived.
Getting More from Less
Everyone has been forced to cut back in some way—but limitations can lead us to even greater growth. We asked six entrepreneurs: What unexpected benefits have you gotten from change?
How to Troubleshoot Your Internet Connection
Do you have a full house of social distancers working, gaming, streaming, and news binging, all at the same time? Before you schedule a service call with your cable company, check out our tips for troubleshooting your internet connection.
How to Make Your Android Phone Less Annoying
It’s hard to unplug these days. PCs, tablets, smartphones—even a large selection of home appliances—can wirelessly connect to the internet at the push of a button. Devices buzz with emails, notifications, and status updates at all hours of the day, making it hard to concentrate. Your Android phone is no exception—but there are ways to make it less annoying.
FACEBOOK SAYS IT WILL PAY $1B OVER 3 YEARS TO NEWS INDUSTRY
Facebook, following in Google’s footsteps, says it plans to invest $1 billion to “support the news industry” over the next three years.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
Hey Siri, why don’t digital assistants understand people who don’t sound like white Americans?
GOOGLE FIRES AI MANAGER WHO PROTESTED HER PEER'S DEPARTURE
Google has fired a leader of its artificial intelligence ethics team in the fallout from the recent departure of another former employee involved in the same field.
MAJOR AUSTRALIAN MEDIA COMPANY STRIKES GOOGLE NEWS PAY DEAL
Seven West Media has become the largest Australian news media business to strike a deal with Google to pay for journalism in a partnership announced this week before the nation’s Parliament considers draft laws to force digital giants to pay for news.
IN SURPRISE MOVE, FACEBOOK BLOCKS NEWS ACCESS IN AUSTRALIA
In a surprise retaliatory move Thursday, Facebook blocked Australians from sharing news stories, escalating a fight with the government over whether powerful tech companies should have to pay news organizations for content.
APPLE MAPS: A NEW DIRECTION WITH CROWD COLLABORATION
Apple is taking a leaf out of Waze’s book with its iOS 14.5 update, bringing a plethora of new features to its Maps software including accident reporting, speed checks, and hazards.
How to Transfer Your Facebook Photos and Videos to Another Service
TIPS & HOW TOS / APPS
NEW USES FOR YOUR APPLE GEAR
Got some old Apple devices lying around gathering dust? Don’t just throw them away! These creative ideas will breathe new life into them