Learning by Shipping

Collected writings on software, technology, and management by Steven Sinofsky

My name is Steven Sinofsky. I worked at Microsoft for more than two decades and had the good fortune to work on all the major businesses of the company through a period of rapid growth of not just Microsoft, but the entire PC industry. I've learned many lessons along the way and hope to share them in the writing I've done over the years.


I've been writing on public blogs for more than 20 years, 35 years if you include all my USENET comp.lang.c++ debates with our good friends at Borland. This site brings together all the places I've written so you can easily find them and get to know what is available where. I like writing and often say Writing Is Thinking.


Today I am mostly in Silicon Valley (and also Seattle) where I work with many startups and big companies, sharing lessons whenever I can, but also investing, advising, and serving on boards. I'm fortunate to have a great connection with Andreessen Horowitz, where I have been a Board Partner since 2013, and worked on investments ranging from Product Hunt to Tanium to Everlaw. 


My LinkedIn profile is mostly up to date. There's a Wikipedia page about me that I find amusing. 


I'm a big fan of Zoom these days.


A formal bio follows:

Steven Sinofsky

A respected technologist and business leader, Steven Sinofsky is an investor, adviser, teacher, and writer. He began his career at Microsoft in 1989. Sinofsky joined Microsoft fresh out of graduate school as a software engineer when only one in ten U. S. households had a PC, almost no one had email, and the internet as we know it had not yet been conceived. Starting in Development Tools, Sinofsky worked on the first version of the new programming language C++ for the nascent Windows platform. He was Bill Gates’ Technical Assistant during the development of Windows 95 and Windows NT, and the rise of Internet as we know it today. He then joined the newly formed Office Product Unit and for twelve years and six releases, rose to senior vice president leading all of Office product development. Sinofsky was tapped to bring order, and innovation, to the Windows division as president. He served as President of the Windows division through 2012, delivering two major releases of Windows, Windows 7 and Windows 8, as well as the creation of Microsoft Surface, and online services such as Outlook.com and OneDrive.


After Microsoft, Sinofsky has been serving as a Board Partner at the premier Silicon Valley investment firm Andreessen Horowitz (co-founded by Marc Andreessen, creator of the web browser and the internet as we know it today) where he sources investments and serves on boards of those investments, which have included Tanium (7th on the Forbes list of Top 100 Private Companies In Cloud Computing for 2019, Product Hunt (acquired by Angel List), Everlaw (leader in legal software), Local Motion (acquired by Avis.) He serves on corporate boards, as a mentor to employees from founder and CEO to recent graduates, and advisor to a broad range of companies from seed stage to public.


Sinofsky frequently comments on products, development and management at his Learning by Shipping Medium, as a LinkedIn Influencer, and on Twitter @stevesi.


Sinofsky was a visiting scholar at Harvard Business School. He lived in China working for Microsoft. He traveled extensively through Asia and Africa learning about society and technology in poor and rural areas.


He earned a Bachelor of Arts in both computer science and chemistry from Cornell and a Master of Science degree in computer science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 


His most recent book is currently being serialized on Substack, Hardcore Software: Inside the Rise and Fall of the PC Revolution, a first-person account of his time starting at Microsoft as he grew with the company working on many of leading products of the era.


With Marco Iansiti, the David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Sinofsky co-authored his first book One Strategy: Organization, Planning, and Decision Making (Wiley, 2009), a compendium of blog posts authored internally at Microsoft during the creation of Windows 7 combined with context and analysis by Iansiti.