I enjoy giving advice to companies and individuals who are trying to do big things that will be good for the world. Consider this an invitation to email me and ask for my input on such things.
Great things to ask me about: careers in tech, consumer product design, software engineering and programming languages, tech hiring & job seeking, culture & process & org design, business strategy for startups (especially Africa-based), rationality, self-improvement and habits.
Things to avoid
Don’t ask me to have a phone call/zoom meeting/etc. I don’t like talking on the phone 🙈 (and yet somehow my weekly work schedule involves 13+ hours of calls… I don’t want to add to that!)
Instead, the best way is to email me:
firstname.lastname@example.org. This cold email advice is good. Generally, as long as your email doesn’t get marked as spam, I will read it; if your question seems interesting or I think I can be helpful, I’ll do my best to respond.
I don’t respond to low quality emails, solicitations (whether clothed as requests for advice or otherwise), or emails written in languages besides English. I won’t have energy to open attachments or follow links.
What to write in your email
I don’t mind longer emails with several questions! The usual advice is to keep emails super short, which still applies; but I am a fast reader and so you can afford to cram a bit more in there than you would for most people.
Typically the best way to structure your email is to explain your goal in one sentence, then a few additional bullet points of context if necessary, then a few questions that you are trying to answer. Think like a journalist and write the most important stuff first. Below your main questions, if you want to share additional context or other info, feel free; but don’t put a lot of time into that as it’s less likely I will read it unless I find your ideas/questions particularly intriguing. Here’s a made-up example –
I’m starting XYZ company building software to do X for small businesses. We’d like your advice:
- We’ve learned that small businesses need our product because of X.
- We’re 2 people based out of City, Country and have raised $X0,000 so far.
Our biggest questions: 1) What strategy did Wave use to reach small businesses? 2) Do you have thoughts on what we should do to grow faster / hire better / deal with co-founder dispute / etc?
(More details can go here but they should not be essential to answering your questions.)
Looking forward to hearing from you!