“At some point, this increasing bunker mentality of walling off users and their data will inevitably begin to impede real progress—the kind of exciting advancements that have made the web such a fascinating, growing and, yes, profitable space over the last decade. The question we have to ask ourselves is, are we sabotaging the real potential of the web in the name of short-term profits and a better user experience?”
“Always re-examine and reflect on where you are in your career at least every two years. Even if you’re perfectly happy with your job, the exercise forces you to check that you are actually enjoying your work and learning on the job rather than just being comfortable.”
Edmond Lau, who was an early engineer at Quora, offers advice that he received by way of a friend’s mento.
“…we’re born into thinking we constantly have to rearrange things. Trying to constantly create order is a source of suffering…A lot of the chaos of the band on the stage is my crusade to bust out of too much order. Perfectionism is a disease.”
“Whenever you’re making a consequential decision … just take a moment to think, write down what you expect to happen, why you expect it to happen and then actually, and this is optional, but probably a great idea, is write down how you feel about the situation, both physically and even emotionally.”
“Good mistakes are strong actions, bad results. Bad mistakes are sloppy or lazy efforts, bad results.”
“…stop associating self-promotion with Kim Kardashian. Self-promotion is an inescapable part of today’s creative process. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will.”
“We are ceasing to see. Using our eyes to appreciate beauty is no longer enough. It always has to be documented for some other time—often resulting in an abyss of recordings. My first thought at a pretty sunset—where’s my phone?”
“Success = doing things others are not willing to do … and dress like Barney Stinson.”
“He said, ‘…I have some information in the intelligence community. and it won’t be a waste of your time.’”
Activist filmmaker Laura Poitras quotes NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“If the folks at Yahoo really think Tumblr is going to make them cool again, they’re high. In fact, chances are good that users will leave Tumblr in droves.”
“Right now we’re hoping for the best and expecting the worst. That’s just the reality of the situation we’re in.”
Livestrong CEO Doug Ulman reacts to the news that Nike will no longer produce the Livestrong apparel line.
“… it’s better to work highly focused for short periods of time, with breaks in between, than to be partially focused for long periods of time. Think of it as a sprint, rather than a marathon. You can push yourself to your limits for short periods of time, so long as you have a clear stopping point. And after a rest, you can sprint again.”
A recent Girls in Tech/Facebook meetup about learning from your career mistakes was full of actionable pieces of advice, particularly on finding and keeping good mentors. Here are some of the best quotes of the night:
On the importance of having mentors:
"Build a network of women. You don’t have to be on your own." -AT&T’s Amanda Stent
"Do your homework in approaching a mentor - don’t ask someone just based on reputation" -Tweeted by @AmyVernon
"If you don’t feel comfortable with your mentor, maybe that person isn’t the right mentor. " -Bloomberg’s Catherine Hui
On being mentored:
"If you go to therapy, you don’t lie to your shrink. Same philosophy applies to mentors. Be honest with them." - Nikki Stevens (@drnikki)
Who are your mentors? How did you find them? How important is it to you to have a mentor?
(Photos by M. Cecelia Bittner and Jessica Hullinger)
"If there’s anything my mom taught me, it’s that there’s a big difference between being given something and knowing you’ve earned it yourself by working hard, one day at a time.”
Quote as GIF: “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” - Napoleon Hill