An image of the Stanford team that wrote “Humor, Seriously,” Lecturer Naomi Bagdonas and Professor Jennifer Aaker
An image of the Stanford team that wrote “Humor, Seriously,” Lecturer Naomi Bagdonas and Professor Jennifer Aaker
Stanford Graduate School of Business Lecturer Naomi Bagdonas (left), Professor Jennifer Aaker (right) and friend.

Just in time for Americans to tackle 2021, two women have created something we all desperately need: An important book on the true power of humor. Your humor, in fact — this page-turner, crammed with data and celebrity anecdotes, is a user’s guide to how to wield levity and strengthen our bodies, careers, teams, families and love lives.

Meet Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Jennifer Aaker, pictured above right. A behavioral psychologist whose oeuvre focuses on purpose and meaning, Aaker has long generated teaching awards and wait-lists for classes on atypical MBA topics like purpose, story and well-being. …

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@LeslieBlodgett with her book, which became a WSJ bestseller in 2020.

Originally published April 8, 2020 on LinkedIn.

Leslie Blodgett’s revealing book, “Pretty Good Advice,” is like scoring a first-class airplane seat next to a badass who mixes your drink, makes over your shoes and shares true confessions that are amazing adulting lessons.

“The Queen of Beauty” is what The New York Times called Leslie in 2011, five years after she took bareMinerals public in one of the largest cosmetic IPOs of the decade, and the year after Shiseido acquired her company for $1.7 billion. But Leslie’s book is not here to talk about that, so don’t ask.

Wicked fun, while charmingly self-deprecating, “Pretty Good Advice” is the stuff big sister dreams are made of. This time, Leslie’s talking about LIFE — your life, hers too, and how to live it. Leslie presents her 97 pieces of advice as pratfalls behind the scenes, but her insights land with grace. There are some jawdropping moments, as she (repeatedly) battles with her mother, ruins her feet and kisses Oprah. …

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Shellye Archambeau’s book on tactics she developed as aCEO and BOD (Verizon, Nordstrom, Roper, Okta) was named a Bloomberg Best Book of 2020.

Originally published May 25, 2020 on LinkedIn.

Dear everyone who ever underestimated you: Shellye Archambeau has organized her life experience as a strategic battle plan to help you set and realize your goals. This memoir, intimate and candid, transforms her life into tactics, sharing the continual risks she took to break barriers and to create a gorgeous legacy of success — intellectual and romantic. It’s a helluva read.

Traveling with this CEO-to-be, from her mother’s sewing room to excruciating meetings with colleagues and managers (whom she shows us how to out-maneuver), while falling in love, experiencing racism, sexism and birthing both technologies and babies, “Unapologetically Ambitious” is designed to empower the rest of us to go get our lives.

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Bestselling Author Luvvie Ajayi Jones publishes “Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual,” on March 2, 2021.

What happens when one of pop culture’s most incisive observers mourns her grandmother, marries her beloved, and witnesses four years of hate under “Cheeto Satan”?

Luvvie Ajayi Jones, the #ProfessionalTroublemaker who wrote the world a slam bestseller on its bad behavior is back — and this time she’s turned that side-eye on her Self.

You’re invited.

If her first book, “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual,” was a cannonball leap into public discourse, with “Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual,” the author who goes by Luvvie wades into an ocean of introspection. It’s deep, y’all.

A Case Study In Inclusivity On Investor, Board and Executive Teams

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Investor Sonja Hoel Perkins, Co-founder/CEO Andy Ory and (not pictured) Co-founder/COO Patrick MeLampy have built and exited three start-ups together.

Juniper Networks has finalized its successful cash purchase of 128 Technology for $500 million in consideration — $450 million for investors and $50 million for employees — the second-largest acquisition of a startup in the steadily growing SD-WAN space in 2020. (See Notes 1, 2, 3)

128 Technology’s exit is one of ten or so SD-WAN exits this year, after COVID-19 scattered employees and spiked enterprise demand for remote workplace security and speed. …

Author’s note: I meet a surprising number of people leading consumer-oriented products and causes who don’t know these data, even though some reports are years old. So I’m writing this post as a resource for anyone making inclusivity and diversity a priority in marketing, leadership and customer relationship management. By inclusivity I mean everybody: Gender, people of color, LGBTQIA, religious, ethnic, socio-economic, ambulatory, age, neuro-diverse, and beyond. As I write, I’m wary of two things: Every kind of –splaining (I’m white, cis, straight), and the importance of marketing with a nuanced appreciation of user aspiration and technology. But this good news deserves a wider audience, so here goes. I hope you’ll consider adding comments and links to improve this resource as further proof that the wider we all cast our nets, the richer the insights we can collect and leverage to create great companies and jobs. …

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Lisa Stone, President Barack Obama, April 15, 2015. Source:

“So the way things get better is by that next generation taking ownership and being inspired, and seeing their mom working a tough shift and then going out there and still rabble-rousing. That’s what we want….You can remake this thing.“ ~ President Barack Obama, 4.15.15, Charlotte N.C

I loved being CEO and Co-founder of BlogHer — puffy-pink-heart-loved it— but my job was rarely glamorous. Take Friday, April 10, 2015, for instance: At lunchtime I was parked in a tiny rental car in Burbank, California, sweating through a conference call. …

“Some of the most consequential events of the Trump presidency will begin before Inauguration Day.”

~ Marci Harris, Co-founder and CEO, POPVOX

I know, it’s the first real Monday in January 2017, and we’re all hella busy. But given that President-elect Trump’s nominees for Attorney General, Homeland Security, and Secretary of State lead a list of NINE candidates in confirmation hearings this week, I invite you to put down your to-do list and press a button to tell your Senators what you think.

Here’s how: Nonpartisan helps us voters cut through political screaming, fake news and online trolling to connect directly to the elected officials we need to hold accountable. It’s easy. Took me 30 seconds. I literally pressed buttons on my smartphone to tell my Senators what I think of Presidential nominations. (And while I also can call 877–959–6082, enter my zip code and tell my Senators the same thing, this mobile-friendly site is faster, better, and makes it easier to act on every nomination.) …

I don’t need more data on the two dozen people I meet each week. I need more time. Or help preparing.

After trying dozens of services and apps — a few that helped me greatly but not daily (Zoom, Bufferapp, Dropbox) and many that wasted my time and all but bricked my phone (you know who you are because I deleted you) — I’ve found a service with an app that saves me time and makes me smarter, daily, in every meeting: The Accompany beta.

Accompany solves for LinkedIn like the driving app Waze solved for Google Maps in Silicon Valley (faster, easier commuting via a more helpful, better UI and audio). If forced to choose, I’d delete my LinkedIn and Twitter apps rather than give up Accompany’s killer app. …

What’s one sure way to find your next investment-worthy startup led by a woman? I recommend you go where she’ll go — in search of the three things women entrepreneurs need most:

1. Money. Dinero. Funding! (See ❤❤❤ below.)

2. Exposure in case the initial investors we meet don’t offer #1

3. Mentoring that may, in the long run, actually be worth more than gold.

On June 14, San Francisco will host a pitch competition for ten entrepreneurs that offers exactly this — funding, exposure and mentoring. The Women Startup Challenge, in partnership with Craig Newmark of craigslist and craigconnects, will award one winner $50,000. All ten competitors will receive hours of mentoring by industry insiders and investors. …



Investor, co-founder, c-level entrepreneur. #blacklivesmatter.

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