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Jonathan Rosenberg
Jonathan Rosenberg - Google
Jonathan Rosenberg - Google

Jonathan Rosenberg's posts

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In an epic fail reminiscent of the "Heidi Game" Fox passes the torch to KTVU in overtime of the FA Cup Final. After 104 minutes during a tie game we get the announcement of the switch (white writing at bottom). Sadly, this is a picture from my Tivo recording which isn't smart enough to switch. ‪#‎ktvu‬ and ‪#‎foxsports‬ fail! I didn't see the end of the game but Fox did have an informercial about a chicken fryer.

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Coach Bill would have told me: "Jonathan don't post stuff about me".
To this I can only reply: "Bill, I learned so much from you and you always gave me your advice and then told me to ignore your advice if I disagreed with you and to proceed and not F*** it up."

If burnishing Coach Bill's legacy is a violation of the Campbell playbook I missed that last lesson and will forever go on breaking the rule.

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[Excerpt from How Google Works, Rosenberg Eagle and Schmidt, page 170]

The World’s Best Athletes Need Coaches, and You Don’t?

In the summer of 2002, when Eric had been on the job as Google CEO for about a year, he wrote a self- review of his performance and shared it with his team. The document included highlights (“developed proper business processes”), objectives for the next year (“run the clock faster without compromising the future”), and areas where he could have performed better. The last category included several points, but one self-critique stands out as the most important: Bill Campbell has been very helpful in coaching all of us. In hindsight, his role was needed from the beginning. I should have encouraged this structure sooner, ideally the moment I started at Google.

This was a 180- degree turnaround from a year earlier: When Eric started at Google, board member John Doerr suggested that he work with Bill as his coach. Eric’s reply? “I don’t need a coach. I know what I’m doing.” Whenever you watch a world-class athlete perform, you can be sure that there is a great coach behind her success. It’s not that the coach is better at playing the sport than the player, in fact that is almost never the case. But the coaches have a different skill: They can observe players in action and tell them how to be better. So why is it that in the business world coaches are so unusual? Are we all like Eric when he started at Google, so confident of ourselves that we can’t imagine someone helping us to be better? If so, this is a fallacy.

As a business leader, you need a coach. The first ingredient of a successful coaching relationship is a student who is willing to listen and learn. Just like there are hard-to-coach athletes, there are hard-to-coach executives. But once they get past that initial reticence, they find there are always things to learn. Business coaches, like all coaches, are at heart teachers, and Bill Campbell, the best coach around, tells us he believes that management is a skill that is completely learnable.

For Jonathan, class began right around the time when Larry Page was calling the regimented product plan that he created “stupid.” The following week, Jonathan was sitting in Coach Campbell’s office, wondering why he had ever joined this chaotic start-up and contemplating quitting. Don’t quit, Bill implored him. Stick it out. Maybe you’ll even learn something. For that, and everything else you have done for us, thank you, Coach.

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Bill was the last person to interview me prior to my joining Google in February of 2002. Here's how it started:
Campbell: Jonathan, I have spoken to a lot of people about you and I really only have one question for you. "Are you coachable?"
Jonathan: That depends. Are you a good coach?
Campbell: Smart alecks are simply NOT coachable!!!
Jonathan: Clearly you know a lot about coaching! I was just joking. Er. Uhm, Er...Sir, people with a sense of humor are coachable aren't they sir? I am just here to listen.... coach.
At that point, I got my first Bill Campbell hug. For the next 14 years Bill gave me his time, his mentorship, his friendship and his deep wisdom. Today I do a lot of coaching and I can work as hard, care as much and advise and hug freely but I can barely begin to live up to Bill's great legacy.
If the Google management team were a band, Bill was it's leader and maestro: "My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man". We will all miss the man.
Bill Campbell, our very close friend, died this morning.  A man with a huge heart, who hugged everyone he met with, was more than a mentor.  He helped us build Google and in countless ways made our success possible.  We started with him as an external coach but he quickly became the internal management expert.  He attended our staff meetings, met with management, and spent countless hours with our leadership.  He helped build our Board of Directors, and helped build our culture.  He worked very very closely with our Founders in every possible way.

His contribution to the success of Google and now Alphabet is incalculable.  His legacy is the smile that he created on everyones face, and the great leaders of the valley whom he coached.  Bill was a truly gifted man, and the world lost a great leader this morning.

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TensorFlow 0.8 was released today, and had a number of nice improvements. It also takes the earlier changes for distributed models and packages them up so that they're easier to use. The blog post also has some scalability numbers for the distributed implementation for training a convolutional image recognition model.

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A nice visual display of quantitative information. If you are not good at reading charts and want to skip to the conclusion, I'll boil the three thousand words of pictures into one: "Vaccinate"

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Nice quote from How Google Works today #HowGoogleWorks in Forbes in an article that covers the remarkable fact that the leading presidential candidates of both parties rail against free trade. Remarkable because most mainstream economists agree international trade agreements are desirable.

The article rightly suggests "Railing against international trade agreements isn’t going to solve the problem. Nor does it lie in constructing more elaborate economic models. It lies in rethinking how business is being conducted. A good starting point is Albert Einstein’s insight: “The significant problems that we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”

The quote from HGW is:

“Traditional, MBA-style thinking,” as +Eric Schmidt and +Jonathan Rosenberg write in their book, How Google Works, “dictates that you build up a sustainable competitive advantage over rivals and then close the fortress and defend it with boiling oil and flaming arrows.” That doesn’t work anymore, because competitive advantages are less and less sustainable. The firm has to go on innovating, in order to be continuously successful.

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Calculus Is So Last Century

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