Entries by matt

Meaning at work, cancel culture, and the employment crisis of perfection

Almost seven years ago, I gave a TEDx talk that would prove to be prophetic.  The focus was on trying to resolve two seemingly irreconcilable facts: that many new college graduates were unemployed and yet there were abundant job openings for college graduates with no experience.  My explanation was one of expectations: that because college […]

Team design, TMNT-style

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Spice Girls.  Cowboy Bebop.  Epic squads make for great storytelling.  But the reason they’re compelling is essentially the same: optimum distinctiveness. When we think about identity, everyone is trying to find a balance between uniqueness and belonging.  Good squad-based narratives play on this by balancing a central uniting theme that differentiates […]

What to ask a company during your interview

(I’m vocal in my support of the work First Round Capital has done to help the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem and the First Round Review is a big part of that. When they asked me for thoughts about what candidates should be asking in their interviews, I sent the below; the finished article, with tips from […]

My college admissions essay: Swarthmore, ’05

(I was talking with a mentee about her sister’s admissions essay for college and she asked if I would share mine. And so I’m doing that publicly, because the world is better with transparency; as a first-gen student, I didn’t have access to examples and might have done better if I did. For context, this […]

The Peculiar Psychology Of #MediocreWhiteMen

In a tweet that spawned a million tote bags, Sarah Hagi said “God give me the confidence of a mediocre white dude”.  And I love the meme in that special way I love anything that is both funny and scientifically valid.  A plethora of studies about the confidence gap between white men and both women […]

Answering Bing’s search suggestions for “Matt Wallaert”

Recently, Maia Bittner tweeted about the top three things people want to know about you, using Google’s search suggestions. This inspired me to check what came up for “Matt Wallaert” and then be subsequently horrified that my marital status is apparently more important than my work on behavioral science. Bing, on the other hand, doesn’t […]

Answering Google’s search suggestions for “Matt Wallaert”

Recently, Maia Bittner tweeted about the top three things people want to know about you, using Google’s search suggestions. This inspired me to check what came up for “Matt Wallaert” and then be subsequently horrified that my marital status is apparently more important than my work on behavioral science. After some contemplation, however, I decided […]

#WhyMenAttend gender-focused events

A few weeks ago, I got into a discussion on Twitter about why more men did not attend gender-focused events. In the world we want to live in, men recognize that they benefit from privilege and actively address it. In the world we do live in, change has been slow and male involvement low, which […]

The gap between insight and intervention

I have discovered, over the years, that I’m a spectrum thinker. On white boards and bar tables and with wild air gestures, I always seem to be explaining how there are two opposing endpoints and why I’m only interested in this or that part of the area between them. So it is perhaps unsurprisingly that […]