- Friends first: Respect the friendship. Don't try to misuse any relationship for information, or put the person in an uncomfortable position, and be comfortable enough saying "Hey man, I can't say anything about that."
- Its stupid to ignore reality: The Internet industry has so many frenemy-esque relationships, its impossible not to recognize there's always a bit of a conflict brewing. Always have that at the back of your mind.
- Be genuinely appreciative: If a competitor does something impressive, be impressed... and happy. Learn from it, congratulate your friends at the company on it, challenge yourself to do something better, and don't waste time being envious or annoyed. If something made the world a better place, its a good thing.
- Its fine to talk shop, just not about your merchandise: I can't imagine not talking about the industries I think about or the companies that are part of it. You share the things you care about most with your friends, and with many of these relationships our passion for these spaces is what we hold most in common. These conversations have to be slightly more guarded, but don't stop having them. There's still a lot you learn even if both of you can't share a 100% of what you know.
I recommend listening to the podcast if you have the time, but here's the summary. Stephen Dubner describes the Cambridge Sommerville Youth Study. The impact of social intervention programs in general is hard to measure and so they seldom are. This was the first attempt at measuring the impact over a long period of time.
It's a great story and there are a few good take-aways, but here's the main one: troubled or at-risk youth that received mentoring (good mentoring!) had worse life outcomes across every dimension than the kids that were left alone. Despite the recipients saying that the mentoring was incredibl…