Too many entrepreneurs think their valuation is the real economic price of their company. It's not. It's not a real economic price unless you are selling 100%.
Marriage equality is not an issue of politics: it is an issue of justice achieved by political means.
You don't think, when you start a company as the founding CEO, that if your venture actually works, you end up with three jobs: founder, CEO, and chair of the board. The first eight years at Bonobos, I have learned a lot about the tension between the first two. It didn't even occur to me that I had the third job until much later.
It's easy to be cynical about American politics. It's more important not to be.
There are five kinds of great apes: bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, and the one which people always think of last: Humans!
A protective self-narrative during conflict and duress sometimes obscures us from seeing the worst in ourselves. When the self-sustaining haze lifts after that conflict has subsided, we may recognize in ourselves the flaws the other saw in us at the time that we didn't have the emotional bandwidth to examine in the moment.
The youngest boy in an Indian family has a good life. Growing up in a matriarchal family where my Indian mom's culture was dominant, I experienced this first hand.
Maybe everyone lives forever. Or maybe, like in the animated movie 'Coco,' only those whose stories get told by the living definitely do. It takes a story worth telling.
What separates humans from other animals is our empathy. With the possible exception of bonobos, we are the most empathetic animal on the planet.
It's now arguably over-written about and over-discussed how hard it is to be an entrepreneur. Of course it's hard. So is being a parent. Let's stop over-congratulating ourselves and let's just do our work.
Lincoln was an American messiah, seemingly sent by God to save our country, our union, and our soul. He prioritized unity above all. Perhaps we should do the same.
Graduating business school, I had $150,000 of debt. An investment firm offered me a steady job, but it didn't feel right. It was 2007 in Silicon Valley, and I dreamed of starting an Internet company.
I'm not naive enough to believe it's in our nature to step outside our comfort zones.
Tolerance, diversity, and inclusion are not political opinions. They are non-negotiable human rights - hard fought and secured in America.
Taking risks and being focused, sometimes, are at odds. Both are required to build a great company.
The history of innovation is the story of ideas that seemed dumb at the time.
When it came to religion, I felt I belonged to no one. It saddened me, it angered me, it confused me, and it made me religiously ambivalent. So I chose my calling: Cubs baseball.
Culture is an output of a bunch of inputs that have to come together the right way. Specifically, it is the collision of people and their context, how they interact with each other in that context, and then how that context evolves based on those interactions as they multiply.
Tenacity is not about avoiding being overwhelmed but being indomitable in the face of the overwhelming odds of your venture's failure.
My own belief is all men should be feminists, and with enthusiasm.
We built Bonobos, with more than a few dozen customers and counting, and the industry we were disrupting didn't seem to care. Then we 'sold out' to Walmart. Abracadabra. The red carpet rolled open.
Business books are generally read and written by people who aren't good at business.
The only reason courage exists is because sometimes it is required.
Empathy is the bridge to understand those who you may be lucky to one day lead, and it is - in my opinion - the most under-appreciated human skill in business.
A good idea is not enough. It must be the fit of a particular idea for a particular entrepreneur and, ideally, unfair advantages in why said particular entrepreneur is going to address said particular idea.
'Hamilton' is not just the best musical I've ever seen. It may be the best thing I've ever seen.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) cannot be medicated. It is treatable only through therapy. The problem is therapy is rarely sought by the afflicted. It cannot be cured.
I have always loved the Day of the Dead - a chance to celebrate death rather than to treat it like that awful scene in the cemetery.
From Nike, we buy victory. From Under Armour, we buy protection. From Lululemon, we buy zen. From Patagonia, we buy conservation. From BMW, we buy performance.
I don't feel I'm better than any man out there or that I have anything to teach, and the more I learn about myself, the less comfortable I feel saying anything at all.
Not all Millennials think alike. A demographic is not a psychographic.
Entrepreneurs are not that special. If you are one, stop drinking the Kool Aid, and if you aren't, definitely don't drink it.
My own hope is that, as a human species, we are on a long journey of evolution toward increasingly more tolerant and nonviolent behavior.
A little narcissism is good. At least that's what I am telling myself.
The American lionization of the entrepreneur is to ignore its foibles - the narcissism, the workaholism, the neglect of family, the imbalance, the obsession. These are not universally good things, though they are frequently universal to building great companies.
Oddly, I believe that emotional proximity we feel to close loved ones makes it hard to be honest with them about feelings of depression.
Leadership is inspiring people. Management is keeping the trains running on time.
In a conversation with a male executive, he tells me that he doesn't hire women because 'it's not worth the trouble.' I mentally blacklist him.
Plenty of entrepreneurs can start a company. What is more rare is to evolve it and to scale with it over time.
My mom is a Sikh immigrant born in a refugee camp. My Irish-Swedish-Norwegian-Danish-English-American dad grew up Baptist.
We all have an entrepreneur in us; it's just whether we choose the tradeoffs to become one.
As a society, we must not allow human rights abuses to go unnoticed and undocumented; it is a vital mission to fight ignorance of these tragic events.
Perhaps America works like this: Presidencies swing, as reactions to each other, like a pendulum. My optimistic belief is it is how we keep our country in balance.
A founder plays a magical role at the company: they invented or, as in my case, co-invented it. If and when a founder walks out the door, there is something spiritual that walks out the door, too.