Writing my first blog post in 2015, I wanted to choose a topic that would have broad appeal. I've written about technology/IP/M&A lawyer Richard Hsu several times. The first time was nearly three years ago when I first read his definition of strategy. I'm including it here, because every New Year should start out with the hope and opportunity associated with smart strategy.
...On the other hand, technology strategy is not technology. It is strategy. And strategy’s half-life is more like plutonium: what worked a thousand years ago works today, and will work in a thousand years.... Invest in understanding strategy now, and you will understand it just as well — probably even better [in the future.]
This is part of a larger discussion about technology strategy, but it applies to every administrative department, capital investment or area of law in the law firm.
Richard is my favorite lawyer blogger, which is saying a lot given the thousands of them who pen posts about late-breaking developments in the law. His "Hsu Tube" is also known as the "One Page Blog" - and therein lies part of its appeal. He has mastered concise, and the art of effective and differentiated communication through clever animated illustrations drawn by his daughter, Maya. He narrates legal topics, such as "Handling IP Assets in M&A Transactions," while Maya proves that the maxim, "a picture is worth a thousand words," is true. Her illustration style is similar to what you'd see in "Diary of a Wimpy Kid."
What you will also see on Hsu Tube, is Richard's latest offering, "Hsu Untied," a series of podcast interviews he conducts with lawyers about their burning passions and hobbies outside the office. If you have some time on your hands, listen to the 31 episodes - each podcast is 10-16+ minutes long.
Recent podcasts have included:
Drew Shoals*, the drummer for the Grammy Award winning band, Train. Drew had previously played with the lead singer of Train, Pat Monahan, prior to going to law school. Despite having a successful legal career at Shearman & Sterling, when he got the call to join the band, he couldn’t say no.
- Wayne Brown, Deputy General Counsel and Chief Intellectual Property Officer at Quest Diagnostics, who is a tournament chess player. Wayne has a chess rating of “Expert” (top 5-10% of all tournament players) and has played competitive chess his entire life – in fact, he cannot remember a time when he did not know how to move the chess pieces. Wayne discusses his lifelong passion for chess, including his favorite chess openings and how he started beating his dad when he was just in the 7th grade!
- Liz Stone, a former litigator and now legal recruiter with the Dubin Group, who is also a standup comedienne. Liz actually started doing “stand-up” after a couple of friends noticed her performing a wedding speech and after doing many “open mics,” she now performs at clubs like the San Francisco Punchline and Cobbs Comedy Club. Although she enjoys what she currently does, she admits there is nothing more exhilarating — or terrifying — than trying to make an audience laugh.
Richard shows us that successful lawyers are often well-rounded and interesting - and that they have a lot to talk about that doesn't relate specifically to the practice of law.
Let's get more of them talking.
Happy New Year! Thank you for reading my blog!