Showing by category: Personal Thoughts

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due – How I Fell in Love with Technology
If you have been loyal reader of my blog, you know who I give credit to for my iron business ethics standards and love for growing businesses - my father, Apolinaras Sinkevicius II - diplomat, journalist, TV executive, and entrepreneur (yes, I am honored to be the 3rd). For those of you who may have missed it, here are the top two posts I would love you to read: 12 Rules of Business I Learned From My Father Leadership Lessons I Learned at My Father’s Funeral However in this article, I would like to finally give credit to the person who is long overdue for recognition - my mom. We men just don't give enough credit to women in technology. Maybe more women would be more likely to ente[more]
How I Became a Business Hacker
Last week, I had dinner with my friend who has a talent for branding and summarizing complex ideas into very simple terms. I was talking with him about my ongoing problem having difficulty explaining my multifaceted experience and work I do in terms people not familiar with my craft can understand. People who know me call me "the operations guy", but this term does not mean much to the general public. This is a marketing problem so I turned to my friend to help me solve it. In a stroke of his usual genius he exclaimed: "Apollo, you are a business hacker! You are the unholy union of a chief of staff and Mr. Wolf." Since I am not a big of a fan of politics, I would replace chief of staff wi[more]
Beware of Lemmings – Inside Enemies of Your Emerging Company
I originally wrote this post in October of 2008 after spending bit of time in probably most costly entrepreneurial ventures I have invested in. Even after 3 years this post still rings true to me, so I am updating it a bit and re-posting it. I was reading "Failure as an event" post on Seth Godin's blog. After self-deprecating himself talking about 20+ large entrepreneurial failures he was part of, Seth shared some of the lessons he has learned. The biggest one that caught my eye was: "Being the dumbest partner in a room of smart people is exactly where you want to be." This sounded very much like a personal belief I have for myself. In any environment I choose to surround myself with extr[more]
Beware of “Normal” People in Startups and High-growth Companies
I needed a little hiatus from my blog, but lately too many people have been asking when the heck I am going to get back to it. Point taken – time to reorganize my priority list. Since I usually recruit talent for my teams, I often hear from acquaintances how they know someone “just so perfect, so well-rounded, so capable, so lacking of faults” that would be perfect for our startup world. These fantasy referrals often come from 1.) those who either worked for many big companies and are now “expats” from that world or 2.) from startuper/SMBers in denial about what it takes to survive in our world. So, let me share with you the core things I have learned during 14 years in startups[more]
Defining the Difference Between (Business) Operations and Technology Operations
NOTE: please see an updated article "What do operations people do" outlining differences between business, technology, people, sales, and marketing operations. I feel like I correct perceptions about what operations professionals are and are not at least 2-3 times per week. Most folks, especially from organizations in technology-heavy industries, automatically assume “operations” is purely systems management.  While an operations person may really just be a senior network administrator in some organizations, the true responsibilities of a (business) operations manager/leader are much broader. Unless one specifies they are referring to technology operations, people should always a[more]
7 Commandments for Women in Technology and Other Male-dominated Fields
I’m sure most of you have read my article “Time to end the frat house culture! We need more women in our midst.” I want to see more women in leadership roles and the ranks of techies, scientists, and entrepreneurs. This not only benefits society, but is also great for business (see my previous article for the data). This article was inspired by several months of conversations with successful female professionals about the subject. I also had the pleasure attending a great event organized by MITX and Girls in Tech called “Lessons Learned: Women’s Careers in Review”. Here are 7 “commandments” that summarize everything I’ve learned so far: “Don’t ever use being a [more]
Business Lessons from Auto Racing?
Ever since childhood I have been an avid "car guy”. Back in 2007 I started competing in autocross (included a video below of what it is like). I never thought I would be learning business and leadership lessons while burning some rubber. When I started in Chicago, I did very well for a novice. But once I have moved to Boston, I have encountered much more skilled competition and it has taken me awhile to move up the competitive ladder. So as I was pondering my strategy and goals for the new year, I realized that some of the rules of racing are also very useful analogies for the world of leading companies. Here is a sampling of several things I have learned in racing that directly apply [more]
Career Mission and Value
About a year ago I was readin Jeremiah Owyang's excellent article  "What’s Your Career Mission?" . It inspired me to write down my Career Mission and the Value I bring to the table. My career mission is to use my business operations, talent management, and technology background to build and maintain the backbones of sustainable growth companies. So what puzzle pieces comprise my Career Mission and Value? 1. It all starts with people.  Build the right environment, bring in high-potential talent, and retain your team by ensuring they are treated fairly and helping them grow. 2. Without customers we are nothing.  Act as a conduit between all levels of the company so everyone h[more]
12 Rules of Business I Learned from My Father
It has been almost a decade since I lost my father to cancer, but the lessons I learned watching him run large companies, creating new businesses, and turning around languishing businesses are still fresh in my mind. I credit him for my business ethics, “workaholism”, leadership style, and pragmatic yet optimistic outlook. He was a man of few words, but when he opened his mouth, everyone listened. In this post I will share some of the rules of business he taught me. Run from those who think they are smarter than everyone else and those thinking that all of their ideas are “hot”. The best relationships are those built in bad times. There is no age limit for having a ment[more]
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