The Last Shall Be First

Observations: a web log

The Last Shall Be First

ed tom  2

Back in the 90s, when he was just out of school, Ed Tom worked as an associate buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue. Now he runs one of the most innovative high schools in the country, sending his unlikely South Bronx graduates on their way to Dartmouth, Penn, and Bryn Mawr. The son of Chinese immigrants [...]

Believe and Research Both


Now and then I hear from readers, often friends I’ve known for many years who finally read something I’ve written, yet this email was one of the most gratifying. It struck me as exactly what I wanted to achieve by writing The Constant Choice, to reach people like this, a young man I met in [...]

New and Improved Church


Last year, my lunch with Michael Lindvall, turned out to be a remarkable encounter. Lindvall is pastor of Brick Presbyterian Church, our family’s church in New York City. He was thrilled to share with me a recent sermon I had not heard in person. As a marketing professional, I would have special interest in this one, he [...]

A Long Path to Perfection

Douglas King

We don’t make much of a fuss about saints in America. We talk more about movie stars, rock gods, media darlings, and YouTube celebrities. Heroes are another matter. We do believe in heroes. Saints? Not so much. I wonder if it’s partly because our game is often about elevating someone only to pull them down [...]

Soros Fellow’s Sisterhood

sejal hathi

At 21, Sejal Hathi still has the voice of a teenager, but she’s as articulate and confident as a seasoned entrepreneur — which is exactly what she is. When she was only 15, she founded Girls Helping Girls, as a pen pal organization linking teenage girls in the San Francisco Bay area, where she grew up, with [...]