January 2, 2018 John Tough

Over the holiday I wrapped up a number of books that had been piling up on my bedside table. Hit Refresh was one of those books and I am glad I read it. The main reason I enjoyed the book was the underlying sense of optimism and progress that Satya implies through his vision of the future workforce and broader society. I similarly enjoyed his open willingness to revisit core principles and identify which foundations (people, culture, products) to support to enable the next chapter at Microsoft. Here are some quotes from the book that I highlighted… On leadership &…

July 27, 2017 John Tough

I like to joke that if I could, I might just go back to a younger “me” and punch him in the face. I had a dream job as an associate at Kleiner Perkins. I was working at a storied firm, had access to world class mentors and investors, and had premier investment opportunities literally walking through the door. One of the main problems I faced? Saying no. Saying no in venture capital is hard. I saw hopeful, brilliant and dedicated individuals dedicating their lives efforts to potentially transformative ideas. And as a VC, you have to say no to…

April 28, 2017 John Tough

When I lived in London growing up I was immersed between locals, a host of ex-pats, and many African and Asian students that flocked to UK schooling to advance their education. The diversity of backgrounds was significant and it was arguably one of the most transformative and curious four years of my life. In any given week I would learn an Ethiopian tradition, how the local British kids has different curriculum expectations and then how many ex-pats from all over the US viewed different ongoing social events. I loved the difference every day brought and yet I took it all…