Vincent Williams has been in the fried chicken business for almost 40 years. In his tenure as a business owner, he’s been through it all: his Culver City restaurant Honey’s Kettle has survived lack of funding, a devastating fire, the Great Recession, and most recently, the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, he’s been a witness to decades of social change and racial tension in his native Los Angeles. Below, he reflects on what’s he’s seen, heard, and lived through. –As told to Lindsay Blakely.
I was born in 1955 and moved to a perfectly integrated neighborhood in Pasadena in 1960. When the riots in L.A. happened in 1965, we were as frightened as anyone else–there was a scary level of lawlessness and fire and police in the streets.
I’m Kurdish, and I’m from Turkey. I grew up on sheep farms, and in the mountains. What got respected most was a person’s values. It wasn’t money, it wasn’t how many sheep a person had. It wasn’t how tall the person was. A person’s actions would earn them the respect they deserved. The community would grow to trust that the person would always be there. That the person would lead the way. That the person would bring solutions. I watched my father live this. I watched my mother live this in a massive way. They were clearly leaders in the community.
When I started, I had five factory workers. I couldn’t promise them big things. I couldn’t promise security, even–that would have been misleading. But I could stand up and paint the walls with them. That’s the way I know. Action was my No. 1 thing: Walk the factory floor. Shake hands. Sit down, have lunch, joke, show vulnerabilities, show strength. Recognize people. I’m always there, shoulder to shoulder, on the frontlines.
Chase Feiger didn’t attend a single class during his first year of medical school in 2012, a sure recipe for disaster for most aspiring doctors. It wasn’t because he was lazy; in fact, quite the opposite. Requiring just four hours of sleep a night, Feiger typically has energy to burn. So while most of his classmates were grinding through their studies at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, he’d wake up at 4 a.m., listen at double speed to the recorded lectures he’d missed, then go to work at First Round Capital, where he moonlighted as a portfolio consultant.
The lives of Bahman Irvani and his daughter, Sara Irvani, have followed the same trajectory. Both were born to successful entrepreneurs and worked, as children, in their parents’ shoe companies. Both attended boarding school in England and studied finance at Cambridge. Both intended to take over their family businesses.
But Bahman never succeeded his father. The 1979 Iranian Revolution swept away the family’s footwear company–a multinational enterprise with 60 factories–15 months after he joined full-time. Sara’s succession looks more propitious. Last year she became CEO of Okabashi, a plastic sandal and flip-flop manufacturer founded by Bahman in 1984. In March she unveiled a fresh direction for the business with a new line of eco-friendly shoes under the name Third Oak.
Like so many entrepreneurs, Angela Sutherland didn’t know that she wanted to start a business until a problem was staring her in the face. Sutherland was working in private equity when she got pregnant with her first child. She soon found herself looking for information about the best baby food options — but kept running into conflicting information about the healthiest brands and seeing products that were high in sugar.
After reading about how vital nutrition is during the first 1,000 days of life, Sutherland, who had been looking for a career change, took on the challenge to make it easier for other parents to provide healthy food to their babies. With her friend Evelyn Rusli, the two cofounders launched Yumi, an early childhood meal delivery service.
For many of Mode’s employees, this is their first job at an analytics company. Those team members often assume that Mode’s internal analytics processes mirror the way analysis is commonly conducted within other organizations. In some ways, that assumption holds true. As CEO Derek Steer puts it, “I wish I had a more mind-blowing story for how we do internal reporting… But mostly, it’s funnel analysis.” That said, we approach analysis from some uncommon angles.
Frequently, we begin an analysis with a one-off report, rather than setting out to build a big dashboard. Many of our most technically proficient internal users, who produce some of our best analysis, are on the Customer Success team. And reports that are built with one purpose often find extended lifespans as reusable tools. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the uncommon analytics practices internally at Mode.
Today, Tim Chen is CEO and co-founder of personal finance website NerdWallet, which sees 10 million monthly visitors and is valued at more than $500 million.
But in 2008, like so many others during the financial crisis, Chen found himself unemployed.
After spending four years working at hedge funds like Perry Capital and JAT Capital Management, he found out “basically on Christmas Day,” that he was being laid off, Chen tells CNBC Make It.
Like most other American high school students, Garret Morgan had it drummed into him constantly: Go to college. Get a bachelor’s degree.
“All through my life it was, ‘if you don’t go to college you’re going to end up on the streets,’ ” Morgan said. “Everybody’s so gung-ho about going to college.”
So he tried it for a while. Then he quit and started training as an ironworker, which is what he is doing on a weekday morning in a nondescript high-ceilinged building with a concrete floor in an industrial park near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Why People Dislike Really Smart Leaders
Those with an IQ above 120 are perceived as less effective, regardless of actual performance.
Intelligence makes for better leaders—from undergraduates to executives to presidents—according to multiple studies. It certainly makes sense that handling a market shift or legislative logjam requires cognitive oomph. But new research on leadership suggests that, at a certain point, having a higher IQ stops helping and starts hurting.
You could say I had an unconventional upbringing – but it served me well and was the catalyst for my sense of determination, level of conviction and desire to succeed. I am truly a product of my own making.
My parents divorced when I was 12 years old. My mother moved far from our home in Michigan and I spent my early teen years living with my father. But, at the young age of 16, I moved to Florida to live with my mother. My presence was not well-received by my step-father. Before I could even graduate high school, I found myself homeless, broke and completely on my own.