Brie Wolfson

Tinkerings of Robert Noyce

I cannot write a better intro than Tom Wolfe did for Esquire’s December edition in 1983 when he wrote, “America is today in the midst of a great technological revolution. With the advent of the silicon chip, information processing, communications, and the national economy have been strikingly altered. The new technology is changing how we live, how we work, how we think. The revolution didn't just happen; it was engineered by a small number of people, principally Middle Americans, whose horizons were as unlimited as the Iowa sky. collectively, they engineered Tomorrow. Foremost among them is Robert Noyce.”

The way “Bob” had his team work might seem familiar to us Silicon Valley operators now–flat org structures, open floor plans, meetings that anyone can speak up in, distributed decision-making–but in 1983 a new radical way of working was emerging at Fairchild Semiconductor. And I cannot imagine a better person to tell the tale than Tom Wolfe.

The Making of Burial’s Untrue

It wasn’t until a friend showed me this short YouTube profile that Burial’s Untrue went from some random dubstep song that used to get stuck in my head in 2007 to an abject work of art. If you want a stunning portrait of the creative process, an artist’s commitment to craft, and how tools (and their constraints) amplify creativity, in an unexpected place, this is it.

This Is For Katie

I’ve written something, somewhere, about nearly every formative life experience. The one that I find the hardest to write about is playing soccer. Nothing that comes out feels wholly true. But this letter from one Stanford Women’s Soccer player to another really hit home.

Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution

Ever wonder why things can’t actually stay cool for long? Once you read this, you won’t be able to unsee this phenomenon everywhere. This essay is one of the most astute commentaries on culture I’ve ever encountered. And it’s hilarious (and also sad) at the same time.

You and Your Research

I probably re-read this essay twice a year. A different passage captures my attention each time. But I always end the piece with an extra fire in the belly about the pursuit of great work.

Charles Bukowski’s Rules on Writing

I’ll share some just to wet the pallet: It’s ok to rely on magic. Be honest with your fellow writers. Rejection is good for the soul.

Taylor Swift (Acquired's Version)

This one blends two of my great passions in life–corporate histories and pop culture. It’s an homage to one of the savviest artists, community builders, and business women of our time, through the lens of two very savvy analysts (and excellent storytellers), and I just gobbled it right up.