When I was little, my grandpa fondly used to call me khakhoran, ruffling my hair with his playfully cocked eyebrows and a grin. The rough translation from Hindi would be “constant questioner.”
He was the kind of person who collected facts and historical dates for fun. He loved answering questions as much as I loved asking them. But I thought of him as a rare exception to the adult world. Most adults, I quickly discovered, hated questions.
Everyone from my schoolteacher to my fourth cousin’s neighbor’s aunt rolled their eyes when I asked “why?” Eventually, I stopped asking.
Tell anyone in Silicon Valley that you’re stuck for startup ideas and they’ll probably shrug and say: “Just scratch your own itch.” In other words, if your foot is tingling, you don’t need to wait for Apple or Google to sharpen their nails. You can innovate by solving that problem yourself. If you do it well, chances are other people will find it helpful too.
The challenge is that there are endless itches in the world. How do you know when you’ve found the perfect one to innovate on?
I went to Heather Hiles for answers.
Hiles grew up as…
“Did you bake the cookies?” He asked her.
Deena Shakir was one of the few female partners at Google’s venture capital arm, GV, at the time. She was hosting a high-profile meeting that brought together various C-suite officers from major Fortune 500 companies, GV partners, and portfolio executives. She was shocked when she heard the question. One of the executives had asked it, and he was looking right at her.
Being the marginalized minority wasn’t new to her. Her parents had narrowly escaped persecution to come to the States, and she had grown up as a Muslim Iraqi-American in the…
Hamdi Ulukaya came to the U.S. and wrinkled his nose. This stuff is disgusting, he thought. It’s like eating water.
Ulukaya had grown up in Erzincan, a Turkish city enclosed by snowcapped mountains. He lived with his family on a dairy farm, where his mother would make yogurt fresh. When he came to the United States at 22, he could not fathom how horrible American yogurt was in comparison.
So, when he read about a rundown yogurt factory up for sale, he had to check it out.
“The factory was a sad place, sort of like a cemetery,” he later…
Let’s start with the word “underdog.”
In 43 AD, the Romans invaded Britain. Both sides brought gleaming swords, raging spirits, and fighting dogs to the battlefield. The war instilled a fascination for fighting dogs in the Romans. In the years that followed, large audiences would gather in the Roman Colosseum to watch gladiator dogs pitted against other animals, such as wild elephants.
If you’ve ever been in the market for an elephant, you’ll know a universal truth: elephants are expensive.
So, over time, people turned to dog-on-dog combat. It was then that the word underdog was created to define the…
It was 1955. A boy was born in San Francisco to a single mother. She requested an adoption for him soon after, and he was placed with a husband and wife in the area, neither of whom had a college education. The mother protested but the couple promised to pay for his college education. Grudgingly, she agreed.
The boy grew up in a world of orchards and change. He was often bullied at school for his obsession with mechanics and his tendency to be alone. …
In 1916, a man named Joe Gould came to New York City. He slept in doorways, hung out in diners, and took a shower every now and then. He always wore the same garments. If someone gave him new clothes, he would throw the old ones out. You wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at him, but he came from a long line of wealthy Harvard graduates.
Gould had been working on a book for many years, a book he called “An Oral History.” He told everyone he could about the project and how he had already written millions…
This one is for all the procrastinators out there. If you’re anything like me, you always wait until the last minute to find gifts. But you still want the gifts to come on time, be affordable, and support small businesses and creators.
My mom always says you can’t have everything, and I’ve always believed her. I usually 2-day-free-delivery my way through Secret Santa. But this year, I went searching through the 11th page of Google to find some gems that were bank account, small business, and time friendly. Grab your credit card and let’s go shopping!
If you’ve ever tried to reason with a screaming baby, you’ll know what most design thinkers know: some problems are plain wicked.
In design jargon, “Wicked Problems” (a term coined by theorist Horst Rittel) refers to problems that are multi-dimensional, hard to solve, and require collaboration.