Bad Startups, Part 2 (Good in Hindsight)

I’ve previously written about some objectively bad startups. This time, I want to highlight some startups whose models were unintuitive at best, and how they overcame status quo perceptions in their journey to success. Cam Boys Here’s the investor pitch: we’re going to create a 24/7 livestream of one of our founders, who’s not particularly … More Bad Startups, Part 2 (Good in Hindsight)

The Art of (Little) Acquisitions

Have you made a PowerPoint presentation recently, or perhaps opened up Google Maps to figure out how to get to a destination? Silicon Valley is rife with discussions about “acquihires”, overvalued purchases, and even allegations of anti-competitive “buy and kill” behavior: purchasing competitors before they can become a bigger threat. For all the negatives we … More The Art of (Little) Acquisitions

Welcome to the (Literal) Meme Economy

I’ve heard about NFTs. You’ve heard about NFTs. Maybe even your older family members are asking about them, too. So what’s the deal with NFTs? An NFT (or “non-fungible token”) is defined as a unique (“non-fungible”) unit of data (“token”) stored on a blockchain (kinda like a database or digital list, generally decentralized, where you … More Welcome to the (Literal) Meme Economy

Aloha Airlines: Memories of Chocolate Chip Cookies Past

There’s one memory of flying as a child that always stands out for me: returning from a family trip to Hawaii on Aloha Airlines, watching through the window as day faded into night, and the smell of chocolate chip cookies, freshly heated, served one-by-one down the aisle with a glass of cold milk. These days, … More Aloha Airlines: Memories of Chocolate Chip Cookies Past

The Good and Bad of Buy Now, Pay Later

Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) programs are nothing new, but the resurgence of installment-based programs in the early 2020s has generated interest not seen since the Great Depression. With retailers and third-party vendors alike getting into the BNPL business, it’s worth thinking through the ways these programs can benefit consumers, as well as the risks … More The Good and Bad of Buy Now, Pay Later

Lessons Learned from Management Consulting at ZS

I’ve passed the 2-year mark at ZS, and I’m thankful for getting to learn and grow from various colleagues and projects. At my work-from-home setup, in the offices and client sites, and on the top floor of the famous Skokie DoubleTree, I’ve have the opportunity to make things happen at the intersection of analytics and … More Lessons Learned from Management Consulting at ZS

Bad Startups

Since I arrived in Silicon Valley to start my freshman year of college, I’ve seen generations of startups grow from small teams with big ideas into billion-dollar behemoths creating large-scale change. Along the way, I’ve also seen startups on the opposite spectrum: fads, “first world problems” to the nth degree, and in some cases, dangerous … More Bad Startups