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    Taking Inventory of 2020

    It’s the day before Thanksgiving, which is traditionally when I start to work on my annual reflection and goal setting process. New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday, because it is on of the few that encourages introspection completely devoid of religion or other dogma. We make it meaningful in our own personal ways, and for me the punctuation gives a much needed sense of time passing to a life that rarely unfolds linearly. Over the years, I’ve refined my annual process while also letting it take up more time of the year. This let’s me do my tasks at a more lazy and luxurious pace. I also take a…

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    How Switching to Remote Work Can Double a Worker’s Effective Hourly Rate

    I’ve been re-reading financial independence classic “Your Money or Your Life” and it struck me that the exercise where you calculate you “effective hourly wage” after including all work-related expenses (commute, clothes, etc.) is probably one that many people could benefit from doing during this pandemic. I say this because many people during COVID-19, who have been fortunate enough to keep their jobs, have been forced into remote work situations. As a result they’re not commuting each day, eating lunch out of the house, dressing up in work appropriate attire, or doing many of the other things that would normally be required. In order to do this analysis I’ve created…

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    Personal Projects I’m Enjoying

    Despite living in an unpredictable world filled with death during the COVID pandemic, I’ve been finding a lot of joy lately in my personal projects. On the public facing side of things, I have: Led a team of volunteer software engineers to help Clinica Colorado launch CovidLine, a Twilio-based IVR and call routing solution that provides multi-lingual symptom screening and free telehealth doctor visits for the uninsured and undocumented in Colorado. Started a public equity investing newsletter where I publicly share my decision-making process, which includes a mission to evaluate every company underlying the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) one company at a time. Started a free online…

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    Your $15 Lunch Habit Could Be Costing You $400K of Retirement Savings

    The average 60-something today has ~$195K in their 401(k) retirement account. What if you could make one lifestyle change, which would cost you about 2 hours of meal prep every 40 days (~18 hours per year), and would in turn bring your $15/lunch* habit into < $2 per meal? If you invested the savings each year for 32 years (assuming you’re 35 like me, and retirement age is 67) at an average return of 5% compounding each year, you’d have ~$400,000 in additional retirement money at the end of that time. See the math in this spreadsheet I realize this isn’t the only reason to do meal prep, but it’s…

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    Results of Sam Altman’s 2015 “Bubble Talk” Bet

    In 2015, Sam Altman wrote a post titled “Bubble Talk” which lamented the “boring reading” of ongoing press coverage of a bubble in tech valuations, and laid out 3 scenarios he believed would be true by January 1, 2020. To win, Sam has to be right on all three propositions laid out in the post and reviewed in detail below. Sam also invited a VC to take the other side of the bet and Michael de la Maza obliged. The loser will donate $100,000 to a charity of the winner’s choice. Proposition 1: On January 1st, 2020, the top 6 US companies at http://fortune.com/2015/01/22/the-age-of-unicorns/ (Uber, Palantir, Airbnb, Dropbox, Pinterest, and…

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    Post-Startup Life: Reflecting on My First 18 Months Living in Denver

    In December 2017 my husband, myself, and the remaining cadre of Mattermarkers who remained moved to Denver as renters and “short-timers”. Given how we started out, I didn’t put odds on staying long. We started out fresh from California in the middle of winter, as part of an acquisition capping off a long M&A process that had left me pretty burned out. We hadn’t planned to move, but it was what we needed to do to close the deal so we did it. Alighting on a new city in the midst of the holiday season, we didn’t have our support network built up over the past 10 years (basically my…

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    Building Your Life is the Creative Thing You’re Doing Right Now

    I caught up with a long-time friend this week, someone who has known me since I was 19, since before I was “in tech”, since before I had my first job worthy of going on my LinkedIn profile. He’s a writer and a filmmaker now, and I love to talk to him about ideas I have for stories and hear about his parallel world to software — he’s creating movies, commercials, storyboards, and other artifacts while I’m creating software, specs, spreadsheets, and so on. But this week, I described my writing as “not real writing” because I’m not publishing much of it. In fact, I’m slowly and regularly erasing my…

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    I Will Be Mentoring at TechStars Denver This Summer

    Super excited to share that I will be a mentor for the @techstars Sustainability Program in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (@nature_org) in Denver this summer! Excited to work with Managing Director Zach Nies (former CTO of Rally Software) and Program Director @Hannah Davis. I am deeply interested in water rights, and looking forward to using this opportunity to learning about other categories of conservancy as a business through my involvement in the program.

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    Deciding to Be Child Free

    This post was originally a tweetstorm from June 20th, 2019. I delete and archive my tweets older than 7 days (using an app called Jumbo), and want to retain thoughts shared below. These tweets have sparked a widespread discussion, with more than 1.8K likes, hundreds of retweets and comments, and about 400K total impressions. It has been lightly edited for spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I finally decided to be child free, after nearly 12 years of marriage. Would it help anyone out there for me to share my long and thoughtful process? A few people said yes, so I guess I’ll just share here. For starters, I got married at…

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    564 Pacific Ave.

    Whenever I go back to San Francisco, I like to walk by all the old startup office spaces I’ve worked in. Pier 38, 501 Folsom St, 425 1st St, 425 Folsom, 3130 20th St, etc. All these spaces have the energy (and sometimes even the curtains) we left behind, combined with the energy of many other startups before and after. But nothing is quite like visiting the space where we spent the most time, where we held our most important meetings. Walking Emo this morning, I noticed the lyrics of this sound by MUNA really captures what it’s like letting go of Mattermark. The idea in these lyrics that it’s…