Marty Hu

The light shines in the darkness

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“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

3 Lies and 3 Truths

Three Lies:

  1. I am what others think of me.
  2. When I avoid pain, I feel better.
  3. What happened is not my fault.

Three Truths:

  1. All leaders face criticism and grow from it.
  2. When I honor pain, I heal faster.
  3. What happened is my responsibility.

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Reflections on Community

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on the nature of community as well as the role that we have to play within it. A lot of these reflections stem from my own feelings being burned out of community and trying to process those feelings.

My first observation is that we need a community. It’s not good to be alone. This has been a difficult thing for me to understand because it doesn’t always feel this way. People can be a lot of trouble.

Some time a few weeks ago, I was sharing how I felt about the communities with a friend of mine. At that exact moment, I was helping to host a Christmas party in my office but felt so burned out that I had abandoned everyone doing White Elephant to sit alone downstairs. I had so many negative feelings at that time that I told her I just wanted to be a hermit. I was about ready to leave my church group, leave my...

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Who am I?

I see two identities in myself right now, one is a man of faith and the other is an entrepreneur. Whether directly or indirectly, I feel that these two identities are in opposition to each other. I find that as I lean into one of these identities, I naturally fall away from the other. This post is my own attempt to try and understand.

For the first part of my life, I leaned into being an entrepreneur. I must have known that I was going to be an entrepreneur since I was 8. I remember reading job descriptions and taking personality tests and every time I did so I would score “entrepreneur”. Growing up, for as long as I can remember I’ve been very ambitious and powerfully motivated to improve myself. I remember going to Borders and sitting in the self-help section and reading book after book. I would come up with all of these themes for ways in which to live your life and then...

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Man in the Ocean

Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook
or tie down its tongue with a rope?
Can you put a cord through its nose
or pierce its jaw with a hook?
Will it keep begging you for mercy?
Will it speak to you with gentle words?
Will it make an agreement with you
for you to take it as your slave for life?
Can you make a pet of it like a bird
or put it on a leash for the young women in your house?
Will traders barter for it?
Will they divide it up among the merchants?
Can you fill its hide with harpoons
or its head with fishing spears?
If you lay a hand on it,
you will remember the struggle and never do it again!

  • Job 41:1-8 (NIV)

I had a good talk with a spiritual mentor of mine recently. I was confessing that I sometimes feel crushed by the amount of leadership that I have. These feelings of inadequacy make me feel that work is not fun and that everything is...

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It’s Not About You

When I moved up to San Francisco, the city started opening up my eyes in ways that it had never done before. There is just such a shocking disparity of fortune here that you cannot help but come to terms with. I was uncomfortable with it when I moved up here and I still am.

Well, a few months after moving to San Francisco I was walking home and on the way ran into a homeless guy who asked me for a dollar.
After forking over the money, I asked him - what are you going to spend it on?

He then asked me, if I wouldn’t mind - could I give him some more money so that he could buy himself some food?

“Actually I’d love to buy you some food. Mind if I join you? Maybe we can go and eat it together?

I hadn’t eaten dinner yet at this point, so I ended up sharing my meal with this homeless guy and his friend.

Here I was, sitting down at a dinner with two humans and thinking...

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What do you live for?

I recently got dinner with one of my good friends from college. He’s a very sharp guy and successful business owner. Right now he’s travelling the world and running his business remotely. In the past three years, he’s been to something like 50 countries. It turns out that travelling everywhere in the world can be much cheaper than paying rent in San Francisco.

We chatted about life goals and he mentioned that he would probably stop travelling within the next five years of his life and settle down to start his next business at that point. By then, he will have experienced the best parts of the world in his youth and will start his next company as a more cultured, open minded human. I admire that. We read everywhere about and fundamentally recognize the importance of travelling while young, and he is actually doing it. Most of us dream about seeing the world but never do it.

What hit me...

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A Startup’s Guide to Time Hacking

When we first started our company, we slept in a garage, ate nothing but IKEA meatballs, and worked all of the time. Despite our effort, we did not manage our time very well and really had no idea what we were doing. We worked too long and didn’t accomplish nearly enough.

Over the last few years I’ve been working in this company, I’ve had to revisit and consciously break down many of my misconceptions regarding time and readapt them to fit my life inside of a start-up.

My goal in this post is to discuss my mental model for thinking about time at a startup today. I hope that this post can serve as a useful reference to the early stage startup that is looking to get more out of their working day - to start time hacking.

 Time hacking: the big picture approach

Much of the literature you can find on time management involves turning yourself into some sort of robot. If you follow what you...

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Nonfiction Reading List

I’m trying to open-source content that inspires me, and thought that a book list might be a good place to start.

So here’s a book list for people who like non-fiction. It’s by no means exhaustive, but I definitely liked everything on here. Cheers!

Nonfiction Reading List

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Skip the Basics

My younger brother recently left for his sophomore year at MIT. While he was still here, we got together several times and had several lengthy discussions about college life had been for him over the past year. One interesting point he mentioned is how placement works at MIT:

When my brother matriculated at MIT, he had already taken honors multivariable calculus at Stanford (receiving an A). However, MIT refused to accept the Stanford course as credit for it’s own (non-honors) multi-variable calculus course [1]. Instead, he would have to take a placement exam along with all of the other freshmen hoping to place out of multi-variable calculus. No problem, I figured. As I saw it, his preparation should have been more than enough.

Well, here’s my paraphrase of my brother’s story:

Ten minutes before his multivariable calculus exam, I walked to the exam room and noticed a girl sitting...

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