Thinking of Jim


Jim and I, October 2017

I'm thinking about and missing my friend Jim Gilliam today, on what would be his 43rd birthday. What an absolutely unique force he was. It's more obvious than ever that the reverberations of his impact and inspiration will continue long into the future. Like all of us, Jim was a 100% human—full of complexity, conflict and struggle. But he was also brilliant and unbelievably brave, recruited incredible people to work towards a noble and bold mission, and optimized every second maximizing progress towards that mission.

If you haven't seen his speech from the 2011 Personal Democracy Forum in NYC, you really should. I remember walking into the building that morning and receiving a text from Jim shortly before he took the stage: he was so nervous, he might puke. He continually pushed through discomfort and the world opened up. Confronting discomfort as a requirement to grow is a core lesson I think of often.