Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

The Best Healthy Holiday Recipes Collections

I realize I do this every year, start the weekend before Thanksgiving going through all my cook books, bringing them out, and going through to find what to make this season. Thanksgiving is one of our family’s long term traditions, and when I flew out west to work at Apple from New York 27 years ago, have hosted or jointly-hosted.

This is my favorite season, and love the light, colors, and crispness in the air. When I first moved to Silicon Valley, much of the valley was still fruit trees and farms. Given the green redwoods and rain in winter, and sun all year long, this is a short but beautiful season in the valley. Most of the farms are gone, but the earth is still the same, and you can feel the power of this land—specially at this time of the year.

This year, I started my weekend with my books, but started collecting recipes online and added them to my profile. Check them out:

The Best 20 Chef Holiday Recipes

Top Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes

Easy Thanksgiving Feast Recipes

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Foodie Top 100 Restaurants Worldwide



Delighted to have the final Foodie 100 Restaurants book available after 2 years of working with some of the most amazing food critics and editors.

Glam Media presents 100 of the world’s best restaurants selected by top food critics and Foodie editors—including publisher & editor Samir Arora, the CEO of Glam Media; former New York Times food critic Patricia Wells; former New York Magazine food critic Gael Greene; and Japan’s first food critic, Masuhiro Yamamoto. (See below for a complete list of critics and Foodie editors.)

Bringing food lovers the most reservation-worthy cuisine from four continents, the Foodie Top 100 Restaurants Worldwide guidebook is for foodies who don’t want anonymously compiled directories or crowd-sourced reviews. Detailed accounts of the most iconic and innovative menus, ambiance, and service are accompanied by inspiring color photographs and insider tips from our critics and editors — such as what to order, where to request seating, and when to go. We also include bonus lists of the top 100 restaurants in the United States; France; Japan; and Europe, the  United Kingdom and Asia.

The book, distributed by Chronicle Books, is now available on Amazon and other major retail outlets.


Food Critics and Foodie Editors: Patricia Wells (France), Gael Greene (USA) , Masuhiro Yamamoto (Japan), Ruth Reichl (USA), Jonathan Gold (USA), Bruno Verjus (France), Alexander Lobrano (France), Charles Campion(UK), Aun Koh (Asis), Vir Sanghvi (India), Sam Ohta (Japan), Kundo Koyama (Japan), Yuki Yamamura (Foodie) and Erika Lenkert (Foodie)


Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Goodbye Steve Jobs, Seriously

Follow your heart

Steve Jobs "Fearless Leaders" © Doug Menuez

Steve Jobs "Fearless Leaders" © Doug Menuez

Today, October 5th, 2011 I heard the news that my mentor Steve Jobs had passed away. All I could do is to leave my office, go down to my car and drive down 280 on this rainy evening in Silicon Valley. I felt the waves of emotion hit me as the images of the past flashed through my heart and trickled down like tiny rain drops from my moist eyes. Nothing can describe the feeling driving home tonight, with deep, dark clouds of the first winter rain parting far away with bright rays of sunshine lighting up the sky facing south towards Cupertino.

Words from the Lament in Evita came rushing up in me:

Remember, I was very young then…

The choice was mine, and mine completely
I could have any prize that I desired
I could burn with the splendor of the brightest fire
Or else, or else I could choose time

Remember I was very young then
And a year was forever and a day
So what use could fifty, sixty, seventy be?
I saw the lights, and I was on my way

And how I lived, how they shone
But how soon the lights were gone

I realized as I started to write this blog post that the last time I wrote was about my letter to Steve when he left Apple. There was so much to said, so much history, so many feelings since that moment to now.

Changing the world, one person at a time

Apple Quote, circa 1984

I know there will be thousands of people talking about him and what he did for computing, I feel all I can do is talk about how he changed my life. The only way to tell the story is to start at the last incidence that brought up how deeply he influenced my life.

I was passing through Kyoto, taking in the beauty and energy of it in last time, and through the knife maker “Aritsugu-san” whose family generations ago made samurai swords, discovered a wonderful Japanese hinoki and sugi wood craftsmen. After seeing his art, I asked if I could get a few items, to which he replied—please write down what you would like. he opened his book, all in Japanese with orders, and I started to order the items I had selected, only to see that the last entry was for Steve Jobs, with his Silicon Valley home address.

I guess your best teachers are the one that light up parts of you that you didn’t even know you didn’t know about.

Steve was like that for me.

My love for design, creative artists, technology, products, hardware, software, engineering, architecture, music, movies, innovation, and changing the industry would never have been actualized if it was not for Steve. Having a visionary that brought together these sides is not something you see in a leader or mentor in the US. I was always told growing up that I needed to choose- Science or Art. Sports or Nerds. Design or Engineering. Management or Finance. Innovating or Scaling. Media or Technology. Advertising or Consumers. Marketing or Evangelism. Products or Sales.

Steve showed that you don’t have to choose either/or, but can choose both. A products can be beautifully designed, but also advanced technically. There is no other person that has embodied that better than Steve.

And of course, for me it was even more personal—I came to the US to work for Apple because of Steve. That’s the whole reason I got to do everything I did and have lived the life I have.

How do you look back and say how one person changed your entire life?

Tonight, all I can say is:

Thank you. And Goodbye Steve, Seriously.


Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

My Letter to Steve Jobs at Apple when he was fired: What is the meaning of being a founder or The Invisble Hand

In 1985, less than 18 months after the launch of Macintosh, we all heard the stunning news inside Apple that sent shock waves throughout the company – Steve Jobs, the man behind the greatest personal computer ever built had in fact resigned from Apple in an apparent power struggle with the board. The person he had brought in – John Sculley, the marketing wiz from Pepsi was to be the new CEO.


How could this be? We all had just see the future last year didn’t we? In the grainy blue and gray tones depicting the dystopian future of the brilliant George Orwell’s 1984, directed by Ridley Scott right after the masterpiece The Blade Runner and conceived by the talented Steve Hayden at Chiat/Day said “On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984, won’t be like 1984.”

It’s interesting what we remember when things have a deep impact on us. I remember where I was. I remember the air. I remember the sounds of the people clicking away at their keyboards programming. All packaged together in what I would get to know later as shock.

Some facts here – I did not know Steve Jobs personally at all. I was very very young. Though I worked at Apple, I had never worked for him directly. I had not met him or spoken to him in 1985. Yet how could hearing the loss of this visionary have such a profound and emotional impact on me?

I would only exchange the first words directly with him 12 years later, on an Air France flight in the upper deck long after he left Apple, founded Pixar and NeXt and with some amazing karma, was back at Apple and was flying to his first keynote at Apple Expo in France as CEO of Apple again.

Steve asked me on the flight— “Do I know you? Did you work at Apple?”

To which I replied, “No you don’t, and yes I worked at Apple and stayed after you left. The company, the products and the culture you created changed my life completely. Thank you.”


Steve would then go on and transform the company he had helped found, build insanely great products again like iPod, iPhone and iPad. And change the way we interact with devices- touch versus type.

Susan Kare, who worked for Steve—the digital graphic designer who created the UI icons of the original Macintosh, would go with Steve to NeXt continued to work with me on projects such as NetObjects and would later be one of the first founders of Glam Media.

So what about Steve Jobs leaving Apple in 1985 shocked my so deeply?

I remember sitting down and writing a letter to Steve. A letter that was sent, but in the drama that unfolded at Apple in Cupertino, probably never to be received or read. Last year,when I heard that Steve was deeply ill. and was fighting for his life, the memories of his impact resurfaced and I decided to try to remember what I felt when he first left Apple. So I did. And here it is. My letter to Steve Jobs. Originally written in 1985, transcribed from distant memory because it’s always best to say thanks for things that deeply move you and change your life forever.

Dear Steve,

As a software designer and engineer working for Apple, I was recently informed that you are leaving the company you helped found. Waves of emotion hit me when I heard this that I spent the last few days working through and the feelings that came up inside me are best summed up as—The meaning of being a Founder or The Invisible Hand.

Passion. The fire in the belly of you the founder to drive people to create  something much bigger than ourselves. Every part of Apple felt your passion for creating something great and that added to the fire in our own belly the desire to given everything we had.

Love. It is not building a product but doing something out of deep love. We said Changing the world, one person at a time, now realizing that it came from you. Great things come from the heart, you taught us to listen to it.

Courage. Giving the courage to not follow the norm and think out of the box—going against it all. Without courage, Apple could not have done all the great things we did.

Drive. Working at Apple was not a job, it was everything. Like they say in Cha-do, the Japanese Way of Tea—Give 100% of you to making tea. We could feel you were consumed by Apple, that helped awaken the parts of us that wanted to give everything we had.

Energy. The spirit of you is felt in every hallway and cubical. This essence brought us all together and gave the power that a few people could take on the world, and win.

Today, I feel the sad loss of you leaving Apple. Like an invisible hand that was once there and has suddenly been removed. Its strength will help us keep building and creating for a while, but will eventually be felt. I don’t know what happened for this to be, but Apple will be never the same without you.

From my heart, I want to thank you for this life changing experience and being a part of your company that helped transform the world.

Samir Arora

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

The Discipline of Fearlessness or How to be free in your everyday life



No-fear, Fearlessness

Of all the human emotion that create pain for yourself and others, creates limitation and stops progress in businesses, fear is the hidden stopper that causes untold damage if not understood, looked at and let go. As the title of the book “State of Fear” spells out loud an clear, we certainly are in the midst of a fear cycle in the western world. What happened? After years of peace after the World War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the global rise of human rights, why has fear crept up so much that it effects are everyday lives so much.

What is fear? Where does it come from? How does it grow and how can it be released?

In my life there are two completely separate paths that have led to my understanding of fear as an emotion, about as opposite as paths can be.

The first is in the postures and cycle I see in markets that effects business. At a level the 7 year cycle- of which we are at the end of the bottom part of the recession as I write this, is an up abnd down cycle that repeats itself over and over again. I look at my life and even though in general I’ve worked hard throughout, I seem to always do well in the first part of the up cycle. This by itself was an amazing discovery- that the sea level has more to do with the outcome, than just the effort you do. Over time, I am beginning to see these not only as business or financial cycles, but as large emotional cycles.

Consider the adage in a up market the bears say:

This can’t last,” while the bulls say, “no, this time it’s different.”

And in a down market the bulls say:

This can’t last” while the the bears say, “No, this time it’s different.”

What are the forces that drive us to feed off the negative energies of others and in a down cycle feel fear? Yet being realistic at the same time and understanding that life will be different and business will be harder and slower in those times. How can one see the fear, feel the fear, but not allow yourself to be brought down and controlled by it? Or simply, how can one feel the emotion, let it exist, yet keep our minds separate from what is going on.

One of the best examples of trying to avoid this was when the down cycle started at Glam last year. There was the famous email in Silicon Valley that said, “fire 50% of your employees and prepare to not survive.” This created a massive reaction, with employees being fired, people changing their plans, and an overall deep recession. The interesting thing is that many of the companies actually did not have business models, and this created the start of many companies shutting down. Everyone was affected by this and the mood was very very negative.

Given the number of times me and my team that been through these cycles, we decided to take a different approach. We changed our plan in anticipation of the slow down, trying to be as realistic as we could, however, we wanted to listen to the actual market to see what the opportunity really was absent our fears. This led to a plan that believed that we would grow, although at a slower rate than the earlier years, in an environment that everyone assumed, planned for and thus manifested huge losses and lower revenue.

The important thing here was that we listened to the environment and created a plan based on that, not on the raw emotion that was running through the valley. If the reality would have told us that the markets will be down considerably, for example in real estate, we would have acted differently. This grounding in being open, yet not falling in the trap of fear allowed us to buck all the major trends, delivering 40-50% growth is the toughest part of the recession. This also could have been applied to the top part of the market, where the emotions of hyper growth forever were, in fact, not consistent with the realities of the market and a more conservative approach would have helped many companies.

The learning here was to learn about fear and what creates and grows it, and the ability to understand it and finally use it in our lives. The market cycles are at some level, the sum of the emotional states of the people, so to understand this, we do need to understand what creates growth and what leads to fear in people and markets.


Fear as a personal emotion.

This is a much more personal subject. Fear is one of he lowest of the emotional tone specially when not expressed or deeply repressed.

Starting as a baby, one of the first reaction “built-in” is taking the fetal position in dropped suddenly. We come pre-wired with this reaction as a saving ourselves from the force of gravity. This reaction uses many of our flexor muscles and we create a pattern of using our body to support and keep fear in this way from then on. This remarkable discovery was first talked about by Moshe Feldenkrais, and remains one of the deep principles that have helped understand emotions.

From this starts our fear pattern, anytime we feel danger of any kind, we repeat these patterns, creating over time the “red light” posture as Thomas Hanna describes it.

I have never met a person in deep fear that does not also have the matching fear posture. Repressed fear leads to grief. Repressed grief leads to feeling depressed that leads to more serious apathy.


One of the examples Dub Leigh always used was watch a game on TV at the end with the sound turned off. You’ll always know who won by the people that have their hands up in the air and their postures tall and open, and the ones that lost would be crouched down and low.

This is our way of dealing with fear, unfortunately, we pull it in ourselves.

So how do we develop a sense of fear without pulling it deep within us. One of the easiest ways to get mislead is the concept of not feeling fear- specially wrapped up in the messages boys receive- don’t cry, don’t feel fear, etc. There is possibly nothing more damaging than any message that tells us not to feel what we are actually feeling. This alienates our self and creates a whole new set of issues that leads to many many hours spent with our therapists to undo. This is also a trap I see many students of the eastern ways fall into, don’t feel angry does nothing but the opposite of getting you closer to happiness. Many young people who read Ayn Rand fall into another related trap, being for the individual and rational does not mean not listening to your emotions. There is nowhere that Ayn actually said this, but it became enough of an issue that she had to try to explain it in her later years.

There is actually no way to stop feeling what you are in the moment. You can only change what you feel after the moment you felt it has passed.

Fear, like any other emotion, first needs to be allowed space to exist. All emotions are a door. And fear is a door that says there is something that may harm us. Being able to stop and breathe and see the emotion changes its grip on us. We can them have the possibility of looking at the situation and seeing what harm is actually possible or imagined. This is what it is all about.

What about the fears that are now deep within all of us? What so you do with your past?


The work is to look at them- by whatever modality that works for you where you are now. Looking, seeing, understanding, exploring and releasing fears is the only way we can get past them. Anything we don’t get past is brought to the present with us and effects our now and future. The only way to be fearless, is to start by relasing old fears. As Nietzsche said, “if you are not afraid to die, you are strangely free to live.”

What tools can you use to learn the practice of fearlessness? That to come in future posts…