1- I am the son of an immigrant. My mother came to the US from Bolivia when she was 18. She put herself through college, …

2- … she learned a new language, and she created a better life for herself. That’s entrepreneurship, a foundational part of what makes America great.

3- Topics like immigration are not binary. The world is not binary. It’s nuanced. Using a hammer to fix it only creates unnecessary pain.

4- I am shocked & appalled by the sweeping actions being taken regarding immigration. We are creating more problems than solving them.

5- Complex issues need to be tackled with a long term mindset, otherwise we get caught in impulse driven short term actions.

6- There is instant gratification (for some) but it doesn’t solve the underlying issue. Leadership is having the courage to think long term.

7- America is a nation of immigrants. We can (and must) be able to have security while staying true to our core values of freedom and equal rights.

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When Tomer, Edward, and I founded Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll) in 2011, one of our inspirations was seeing how transactional the existing “back-office” systems were. There are terms like “human capital management” and “Human Resources”. People are NOT capital. They are not resources, and they are not just ID numbers. They are human beings and they deserve to be treated as such. The idea that people are the foundation of every business wasn’t a debate we had. It made sense to us and we started building Gusto in order to bring that philosophy to an industry that is more focused on Automated Data Processing.

We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress over the past few years, but we have much more work to do. This includes adding to the service we offer today, but also engaging in these discussions around the meaning of work, and how people can find purpose and fulfillment in how they spend a huge part of their day.

These topics are at the very core of how a capitalist society operates where work, jobs, companies, compensation, currency, are key building blocks.

We don’t agree with how this industry functions today. We don’t believe it puts the employer or the employee first, and we’re working hard to change it.

‪#‎ItsAMarathonNotASprint‬ ‪#‎OnAMission‬

One of my favorite poems of all time.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

BY ROBERT FROST

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Steve Jobs gave the commencement speech at my graduation from Stanford in 2005 and I’ve strived to embody those words he spoke he spoke on that sunny day in my life since then. He was an inspiring and amazing person. Someone who knew what he stood for, what he cared about, what his passion was and didn’t let anything else distract him. The words below from Apple’s Think Different campaign have been an inspiration to me since the first time I read them. They’re just as impactful reading them now.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

The Curse of Perpetual Nowness …

In our constant quest for the hottest, newest, trendiest, sexiest, we suffer from a collective cultural amnesia about what happened five minutes ago.

via Om Malik

I’ve been thinking about this topic for some time now. Much of the promise of technology is to make us faster, more efficient, more productive so we have time to do the things we don’t have time for but in reality, I’ve found that I end up using the time I’m gaining to do more of what I was already doing. Often times, it can be things that seem productive (reading news, checking email) but in reality it’s filling time and preventing me from fully digesting the experiences, meetings and conversations I have throughout the day. I’ve found it really useful to contemplate my day and be introspective about what well, what didn’t go well. This requires time though and reading the news or checking email on my smartphone has served to fill these time gaps over the past few years. My phone broke recently and it’s been refreshing to have more time for free thought. I hope I don’t forget this lesson once I get my new smartphone.

Amazing speech by Steven Chu at the Harvard 2009 Commencement. I love the quote by William Faulkner at the end.

“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.”

Chu’s parting message:

Graduates, you have an extraordinary role to play in our future. As you pursue your private passions, I hope you will also develop a passion and a voice to help the world in ways both large and small. Nothing will give you greater satisfaction.

And Chu brings up an interesting point about generational responsibility. Increasingly we find ourselves focused on the present. Short-term actions and impacts drive our decision making more and more and this is seen in politics (influenced by 24×7 cable news), business (influenced by the stock market) and even in our daily lives with the information we have at our finger tips because of technology. Being able to think long term is crucial to solving many problems in the world, even if there is short-term pain.

Here is the dilemma. How much are we willing to invest, as a world society, to mitigate the consequences of climate change that will not be realized for at least 100 years? Deeply rooted in all cultures, is the notion of generational responsibility. Parents work hard so that their children will have a better life. Climate change will affect the entire world, but our natural focus is on the welfare of our immediate families. Can we, as a world society, meet our responsibility to future generations?

Read the full transcript of the speech by Steven Chu

One of the most honest, thought provoking and inspiring speeches I’ve ever witnessed. Just as impactful years later as it was when I saw it live.

“Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

~Steve Jobs

Transcript source | Video