Dream Big

Oftentimes, my favorite exchanges are with people who are naturally predisposed to think at truly massive scale and without limitations. When well reasoned, that kind of vision can be highly inspirational, change the way teams solve for a specific opportunity or challenge, and ultimately, transform the trajectory of a company. During this particular meeting, I ended up writing down two simple words to capture this quality: “Dream big,” with the intention of cascading the theme more broadly.

Get Sh*t Done

Almost immediately after seeing those words in writing, I realized the message was incomplete.The team leading the discussion that day may have been conservative in their approach to articulating what was possible, but they were also highly capable and credible — and had a proven track record of delivering results. Demanding excellence is an important value for us. It’s something I would never want taken for granted or crowded out by the singular objective of thinking at scale. Asking people to dream big without delivering on the vision was not only an incomplete sentiment, it could carry the unintended consequence of producing pie-in-the-sky thinking without anything to show for it.

If a goal is truly visionary, it’s going to be confronted by doubters, skeptics, and those threatened by its realization. As a result, there will always be walls put up on the way to achieving the objective. Some of the most capable people I’ve worked with know how to go over, around, or straight through those walls by virtue of their resourcefulness and sheer force of will. In other words, they just “get sh*t done.”

I added those three words to my notes, drew overlapping circles around “Get sh*t done” and “Dream big”, and thought about how invaluable it is to work with people at the intersection of the two.

Know How to Have Fun

It then occurred to me that I’ve known a number of people who embodied the ability to dream big and get sh*t done, but who also proved very difficult to work with. Perhaps shielded by the immense value they brought to their respective organizations, they never cultivated the ability to manage compassionately, or even cared to. Rather, they did things their way and expected everyone around them to adapt accordingly. More often than not, that’s exactly what people did.

While this has clearly proven to work at some now legendary companies, it’s not an easily scalable or reproducible model, it’s not necessary, and in my opinion, it’s not fun (I say in my opinion because there are those who will argue that winning is fun, regardless of the means employed).

I’ve reached a point in my career where I want to be surrounded by people who not only share a vision, but a genuine commitment to upholding their company’s culture and values. They are team players, don’t take themselves too seriously, and “know how to have fun.” And with that, I added a third circle to the Venn diagram.

At the nexus of these three circles are the people I most enjoy working with. I’m extraordinarily grateful to have the opportunity to do that every day.



9/11/2001 Changed my life

Peace and Justice
Peace and Justice

9/11/2001 changed my life.

It was the first time that I was questioned about my US citizenship as a “Muslim American”.

It was the first time in my life a black person came up to me and said in his exact words that I’ll never forget. “I feel sorry for you guys” because you are going to see how it feels to be discriminated for the color of your skin and who you are and where you came from.  Little did I know that moment that lasted 5 minutes will define my life.

It was the first time I ever heard of Osama Bin Laden and its group.  It was the first time that I had to go out of my way and say Im a 100% Muslim and 100% American. Simple as that but others would have you think otherwise because of their own agenda. (i.e. FOX NEWS and the other hate mongers)

9/11/2001 is a day that I’ll never forget, its the day that America stood and watched idle as terrorists flew into the World Trade, the Pentagon, and downing of flight 93.  God bless all those souls that died on that day except the terrorist.

9/11/2001 made me question who I am,  my beliefs, my culture, my IDENTITY was being questioned?  Prior to 9/11/2001, I was your average American fresh out of college eager to take on the world, landed a hot job at a start-up, things were going great and then BAM! My life took a turn for the worst to only get better.

Two months after 9/11/2001 I was laid off for no reason, I’m sure you can read between the lines.  After being laid off, got arrested for something lame such as lying  to a police officer.  Moral of the story, don’t lie, tell the truth.  And I was not exactly a perfect Muslim and I did party it up in my younger days and had my share of life. But 9/11/2001 threw my identity and religion into the spotlight.

I started to question why Islam is that evil? Why people would do these things? What is the motivation? Where did they get this idea that they are on the right path? Am I a bad Muslim and they are good? What’s going on? All these questions I had running in my head. It did sit dormant for a while but as the Afghan war dragged on, then Iraq, then Iran, then Palestine, then Israel, then Egypt and so on.  My heart started to really cry and hurt when I seen those pictures of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and pictures of Gaza.

Is that what America is?   Is that what the founding fathers envisioned? Is that what the preamble of US constitution says? “We the people of the “United States of America” must ensure justice and tranquility to form a more perfect Union”.  Where is the justice today? Where is the tranquility? Where is the harmony in the formation of a more perfect union? Where is it? Where?

Sometimes life throws a curve ball at you and you can either do one of two things, take the pitch and watch life past you by or swing the bat and take a shot at the home run.

I swung the bat and hit a home run and got down on my knee’s and prayed to Allah(god) and asked for forgiveness and help because god knows we all need help today. This world just throws so much at you, sometimes you just say “fuck it” and go for it.  And that’s why I did, I went for it and became a better person by starting slowly to practice my religion of Islam. And I finally learned that just because those evil bastards that flew into the trade towers did what they did, that’s not my identity.

Islam is my identity,  being an American born Minnesotan and raised San Francisco Bay Area all my life, that’s my identity. My identity is being a “Muslim” first and foremost because god comes first in all aspect of my life. And being an Arab, my parents are from Jerusalem suburb of Beit Haninah Palestine, that’s my identity!  And I’m also 100% pure American as apple pie. And that’s my identity!

My identity is not an either or approach, its the sum of my life from the beginning to the end. That’s my identity!

And so yes, I take 9/11 off from work and life to honor those who were taken per-maturely from us. Because 9/11/2001 should never ever happen again.

God bless America so it can become a just nation and fair and balanced with our policies that are not driven by greed!

God Bless all those who perished on 9/11/2001!

God Bless all those all the innocent millions of Iraq’s who died as result of the bombs that exceeded Hiroshima were dropped on them!

God Bless all those innocent Afghans!

God Bless the families that were raped and burned by US Military in Iraq and bring them to justice!

God help the USA shutdown GITMO!

How many years of injustice does this have to continue?

No trial!  No charges!  No Justice!

God protect us from all the evilness in this world!

God protect us from all the injustice in this world!

God protect the USA from Super “PAC’s” policies that are funded by evil intentions!

God protect the Jews from the extremist policies of Israel’s current government!

God protect the secularist Israelis from its own extremist government policies!

God protect the Palestinian people from the injustice of this world!

And that’s my identity!

I’m Muslim!

I’m Arab!

I’m Palestinian!

I’m American!


Nael Mohammad



The failed state of the world!

Wars, wars, wars, this is the path the world chooses to pursue. Never would there be peace on any terms.

Why should there be?

It’s bad for the arm’s business, its bad for the oil business, its bad for the news networks, its bad for the world markets to have peace. War is the force that is the invisible hand in dictating ideology and agenda’s.

War is nothing more than a fight over a sovereign nations resources over another because the later lacks it.

The oppressor is looked upon as the victim while the oppressed is looked at as the aggressor.  Sounds familiar I bet, well that’s a Malcom X quote from the 60’s that is true this very day.

In what world does Israel think it can continue to occupy an indigenous people and think they can just cast them away by stealing their land?

Its time for Israel to give the indigenous people full 100% citizenship and rights! You want to be a democracy and claim to be a role model for the world but the irony is Israel is far from being democratic.  Just ask any Ethiopian Jew that are locked up in the negev desert detention centers. Their only crime was not being a jew but being a BLACK jew that’s of African decent. That’s it. They are black and are considered inferior in Israel. Just ask any of the white jews.

And whats even more of an Irony is we have a black president that consider Israel a friend that supports and enforces apartheid policies in Israel and in the occupied territories.

Oh wait, the US is nothing more than a puppet for Israel because god knows that AIPAC wont fund any presidents or senators campaign if they stand up to Israel.

Its too bad the secularist of Israel don’t have a voice in their government that’s being run by extremism.  The whole Jewish diaspora “we will never be victims again” idea is long gone.  It has taking way too much space in your brains and its time to come down from your pedestal and become humble or be humbled.

I call for all countries of the world to enable a trade embargo, cease all aid to all nations in the middle east. Let me sort their own issues out.

We have money for wars, we have money for foreign aid,  we have money for wall street, we have money for bombs, we have money for drones, but I walked the streets of San Francisco and see nothing but homeless people. I see hard working people being squeezed out of their homes and end up living on the streets because their wages can’t keep with the cost of living.

But we do have money for WAR because war is big business, WAR is profitable to the corporations bottom line.  Go ask Halliburton on how they circumvent US tax laws and relocated their HQ to the middle east.

WAR is money and that’s why peace will not exist. Because WAR is that invisible hand that’s driven by greed.

Nael Mohammad







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