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The three things I learned in 2017


At the beginning of every year, I spend a good deal of time thinking about what I learned from the year just gone. The process of reflecting deeply about the things I learned and then writing them down helps crystallise and consolidate the learnings in a way that makes me a) more likely to remember them, and b) more likely to implement whatever changes I need to make to become a better CEO /...

Things I learned in 2017 | 3. Striving for consensus isn’t always the right way to go


At the beginning of last year, amongst other things I blogged about the importance of bringing senior people along with me in decisions that affect the trajectory of the company. I recognised that my directive, instinct-driven approach to decision-making was incompatible with the size of business we’d become and the fact that I was reliant on senior peoples’ buy-in to ensure decisions were...

Things I learned in 2017 | 2. Getting outside your comfort zone is critical


In 2017 I uprooted my young family and moved 3000 miles west from New York to San Francisco. There were some sound business reasons for doing it, which I covered in a blog at the time. And from a business perspective, the decision to move to San Francisco has proven to be a very good one. But the biggest benefit both to me and the company is intangible, unmeasurable and hard to define or describe...

Things I learned in 2017 | 1. Networking is actually amazing


When I first started out in the working world, I avoided networking opportunities like the plague. I hated the whole premise of attending events, exchanging business cards and muscling into conversations with the most influential people in the room. It always felt so insincere and artificial. I told myself that I could grow a company without being one of the scensters, pressing the flesh at every...

The Business Case For Generosity


The thing I’ve been most struck by since arriving in the Bay Area is the incredible generosity of the tech community – both individually and collectively. It feels like everyone I meet introduces me to another three relevant people and invites me to a bunch of interesting events and meetups. As a result, my network feels larger and more valuable after three months in San Francisco than...

One Month In: Six Initial Impressions Of San Francisco


A month ago, I uprooted my family and moved to San Francisco. I suspect some people in my personal and professional circles thought this was recklessly impulsive and spontaneous. The truth is I’ve been planning on making this move from day one of starting Clarity. We work with technology companies — typically young, VC-backed technology companies. There are more companies that fit our...

Why I’ve joined the Board of Restless Development USA


18 months ago, I was introduced to Restless Development by my great friend and long-term business advisor Andrew Wood. Andrew was recently retired, and had discovered a new outlet for his considerable energy and boundless enthusiasm: a UK-based charity called Restless Development that exists to empower young people to effect positive change in developing countries. Andrew told the story of how...

My framework for firing


  Over the course of the past 10 years I’ve probably hired close to 100 people. Of those 100 employees, I’ve had to fire six. I know it’s six because I remember every single firing as is if it were yesterday. I remember precisely how I felt, where I was, what the weather was like that day, the script I followed and the reaction of the individual on the receiving end of the bad news. I fully...

My six biggest mistakes of 2016


Like most of us, I fuck-up pretty regularly. Also like most of us, I don’t like admitting when I get something wrong. I’m learning to a) admit mistakes and errors of judgement to myself and those affected and b) do my utmost to learn from those mistakes to minimise the chances of me making them again. Reflecting on the past year, I made a lot of cock-ups. Some were borne of lack of experience...

Doing the simple things properly: our new benefits package


With the benefit of hindsight, we tried to run before we could walk. I had grand plans to rapidly instigate a massive step-change in our company culture. But we tried to do this without having laid the necessary foundations. I’ve learnt that when it comes to culture-building, before you start experimenting with the fun stuff, it’s critical that you have a great benefits packages in place first...

About Author

I'm Sami: founder & CEO of Clarity PR and occasional angel investor. I blog here about entrepreneurship, leadership, building great company cultures, angel investing, fatherhood and personal development.

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