Friday, November 25, 2016

The Fallen of WWII

This is a powerful video that puts a quantitative perspective on the immense loss of life during World War II.

The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Learning from Google ... and the Marine Corps

In 1998, while still serving on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, I co-founded what later became a speech recognition web development company. The following year, I completed my military service, moved to Silicon Valley to join my three partners on a full-time basis, and unwittingly launched myself onto a personal and professional path centered on entrepreneurship and innovation.

You would think that the transition from military life to a high-growth startup at the epicenter of the "Internet Boom" would have been jarring. Ironically, it was not. It took me a while to realize that the Marine Corps and High-Growth Tech Startups share a common culture, and so my military training actually helped to prepare me for the crazy hectic life of a startup leader.

In Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines, author David Freedman seemed to agree with my assessment. His research indicated that Marines are uniquely trained to handle quick decision-making in uncertain situations with limited information. Perhaps more important--and contrary to popular misconceptions about Marines--the Marine Corps fosters a culture of de-centralized decision-making that empowers even the most junior enlisted Marines to make significant critical decisions, often with life-and-death consequences or even international policy ramifications.

Years later, former Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg wrote How Google Works to provide some valuable lessons on how to foster an "Internet Century" culture in a corporate environment. As you can see from their slide presentation below, they focus on the "smart creatives" that are so essential for modern business success.

The environment that enables companies to recruit such talent and allow them to thrive is in many ways the exact same environment that the Marine Corps has been pushing religiously for over two centuries. In this way, perhaps business executives seeking new ideas for how to turn their companies into innovative growth engines should look to both Google and the Corps for some valuable lessons?

Semper fidelis!

Sunday, October 23, 2016


A friend of mine shared this video with me a while back, and it continues to draw me in. I am certain it speaks to many people ... and it is also just a well-produced video. Enjoy:

Wanderers - a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 16, 2016


When the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb, Little Boy, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945, it inflicted a huge number of casualties (~100,000 deaths) and completely leveled large portions of the city.

However, in the big scheme of nuclear warfare, this bomb and its cousin, Fat Man, which was detonated a few days later over Nagasaki, were relatively tame. Their explosive yield (15kt and 20kt, respectively) are a small fraction of the capability of the current American, Russian, or Chinese arsenals.

Fat Man

To give us all a sobering perspective on this, Alex Wellerstein created an interactive web site called NUKEMAP. Simply place the marker on your home (or any other location of your choosing), select a yield (or a specific bomb from the drop-down menu), and see the various damaging effects. Very interesting ...

Monday, October 10, 2016

Star Trek "Enterprise" - The Building

And ... following up from my earlier post about Star Trek Continues ... check out this building designed to look like the USS Enterprise!