Summary

I moved “mid career” into a product management role after spending time in management consulting, working on the business side in startups, getting an MBA, and working as a currency investor at a hedge fund. As a result, lots of folks reach out to ask me about what this transition is like and how to make it. I’m writing this so I have a well written version of my answer that I can share.

The main thrust of my advice:

  • As a PM your job is to build software to solve user problems. …


As I was finishing my MBA I argued that likely the best opportunity my classmates and I had for making a positive difference in the world was to give away a relatively small portion of our incomes to highly effective charities that help the world’s poorest people. In that piece, I outlined the pledge my wife and I had made to give about 10% of our income to charities that do just that. Now, about two years later I want to share my experience of trying to live out that argument in practice.

The catalyst for this reflection was a…


It is a significant strength of progressive politics that its practitioners are self reflective and self critical. We want to make the the world better, and so we ask (a lot) how we can make ourselves and our message better.

One anxiety that many of us seem to harbour is that we’re disconnected with the people whose votes really sway elections. That we’re members of a disconnected cosmopolitan global elite that is cut off from real people. These are not bad questions to ask sometimes, but there is a line.

Openly racist (or sexist, or homophobic) politicians, and the people…


When they’re not treating the plight of the asylum seekers Australia locks in island gulags as an input into the horse race, the commentariat ask despairingly what we can do to solve this intractable problem. The parties, the cry, are in lock step on this issue, deviating only to blame the other and reassert their ‘toughness’.

I have a modest proposal that I think would solve this problem remarkably quickly. It is tangible. And it is something every Australian can do in the coming months.

My proposal is this: at the election, vote only for parties that commit to closing…


In a few short weeks, the 900+ students of the Harvard Business School MBA Class of 2016 will graduate. There is no doubt that these remarkable people will do great things in the world. But most likely, few will become CEOs of Fortune 500 corporations. Fewer still will be wildly successful entrepreneurs. Chances are, their efforts will improve the world without having a truly remarkable marginal impact.

We should be measured on our marginal impact

The concept of marginal impact is critical. A CEO who creates jobs, protects the environment, pays the fair rate of tax and generates fair returns for shareholders does an enormous amount of good…


When we are asked to rate the work of people we encounter in the on demand economy – our Uber drivers, Handy cleaners or DoorDash deliverers – those of us with a soul can face a tough choice.

When faced with the ubiquitous 1–5 star rating system, most people give five stars. So many do this, in fact, that Uber will delist drivers in some cities if their average falls below 4.7. This’s stunning. It means that a driver who carries 10 passengers and earns 5 stars from nine and 1 star from one could be de-listed.

Uber’s argument, in…


This weekend I read this great ProPublica story about Carlyle Group founder David Rubenstein’s combination of ‘patriotic philanthropy’ and lobbying to keep the carried interest tax exemption that has made him rich.

For over twenty years, thanks to this tax loophole, Rubenstein has paid about 20 percentage points less tax on performance fees earned by his private equity firm. Today he is worth an estimated $2.6bn.

At the same time, he has made some significant philanthropic contributions like giving $15m to repair earthquake damage to the Washington Monument, or buying a 700 year old copy of Magna Carta for $22m…


Inside sales, we hear, is the future of sales, at least in B2B. But as a person who is on the receiving end of inside sales tactics roughly once a month, at least one of two things is true: it doesn’t really work on reasonably informed buyers, or its being practiced so badly so widely that the whole channel is at risk of collapsing.

I tend to think both of those things are true, and I’ll explain why. But first:

Inside sales

‘Inside’ sales refers to selling by staff who don’t leave the office, and who rely primarily on email…

Steve Hind

I love bringing people together to solve difficult problems and implement great solutions - across software, investing, and Effective Altruism.

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