What to read this weekend

Photo by Clen Onojeghuo via Unslash https://unsplash.com/@clemono2

I might have been slow in re-starting my recommended reading list, but I promise you, these are worth reading over the weekend.

Tech needs Emotional Intelligence

I was recording a podcast with Matthew Panzarino, editor of TechCrunch yesterday and the conversation turned to current state of Silicon Valley, and the point I made was that as an industry we have been focused on a limited set of metrics – growth and intelligence, for example.

Sure, like any intellectually intensive industry needs high level of IQ, but as we become more embedded and enmeshed in mainstream socio-economic and cultural fabric, technology industry needs to have an equal and perhaps more focus on values and emotional impact of what we create. Technology is a lot more pervasive and embedded into our lives. It is not something that just impacts that operations of a company, an industry or a small subset of population. The digitization’s influence is far-reaching. I have written about need for empathy and understanding.

But in reality we need to start within our own industry — our own ecosystem of investors, startups and finding ways to be more inclusive. It is time to let go of dogmas that have corrupted how our system itself works. My partner at True Ventures Jon Callaghan have very eloquently written about this topic and if you get a chance, give it a read.

The Art of Stillness: Adventures in going nowhere

Pico Iyer is a philosopher who looks at the world from the lens of a travel writer. His books have a certain poetic quality to them. And I have been inspired by his work to travel to distant places. His latest book is not about going somewhere. Instead it is about the journey within.

The Art of Stillness is one of his shortest books — you can read it in less than an hour. It is ironic that I read this on a plane, going somewhere. The book is simple, devoid of pretense or pretentious prose. It makes you aware of the virtues of being still, going nowhere. Starting a few minutes a day, we can take this journey within. It is a way healthier addiction than that Xanax.

Or as Pico Iyer says

In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.
In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.
And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.

P.S. The book is worth buying in print — because the photos by Icelandic/Canadian photographer Eydís S. Luna Einarsdóttir are mesmerizing.

Silicon Valley: A Reality Check

If you are tired of the negative narrative around Silicon Valley ecosystem, then you might want to read this piece. It does what is missing in many of the news reports in technology — context and perspective. A lot of great things are happening in Silicon Valley — you just have to look.

The unique thing about Silicon Valley isn’t that it’s got overpriced status goods designed to separate rich people from their money. The unique thing about Silicon Valley is that it’s got anything else.

All Rise for Aaron Judge

As a fan of the Yankees, it has been a while since we have had a chance to cheer for a homegrown player. It is why I root for outfielder Aaron Judge, who is well known for hitting home runs (13 so far this year) like no one else can. Thank god, I have him on my Fantasy team — which isn’t doing so well these days, thanks to injuries to old guys.