Star Wars, Role Models + Making Choices

Few things are more satisfying to geeky parents than watching Star Wars with their child(ren) for the first time and noticing which character they take to. I was 5 years old when I saw it, my first movie. It wasn’t just a movie. It was a drive-in movie. It wasn’t just a drive-in movie. It was Star Wars.

Trust vs. Control: Empowering vs. Limiting

We technologists are partially to blame for the death of Cyber Security. We are largely responsible for the havoc of Cyber Crime that’s impacted our privacy and overall ability to use the internet safely. It’s not too late to fix it.

Stepdadding: verb.

Stepdadding (sp?) is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging things I have ever taken on in my life. Here’s a part of my stepdad story. An off-the-top-of-my-head inventory of past experiences I draw insights from almost every day in my quest to be a solid stepdad? The list includes experiences like this: Designing…

Trends, once, again.

Change is a big theme this time of year, the only time we seem to be collectively on board with change is now, at the changing of the calendar.  Oh, funny life. In any case, we all enjoy taking a look back, and a look forward, at trends, methods, tools and strategies that worked well,…

Heavenfaced: Gratitude and Grieving

When we’re grieving, it’s easy to forget it’s a mysterious process. I’m grateful for the music, stories and art that are also mysterious, the way they find us when we need them and help catalyze the process, which can seem to take such a long time. When Dad died around this time last year, I…

Dear Loneliness

Dear Loneliness, I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written. I thought for a while that I might be different but, no. I’m fair-weathered like all the rest. I come to you only when there’s no one else. I have no excuse. Meanwhile, you’re true blue. You’ve always been there, no matter what, no…

Perfect is the enemy of good

WARNING – This is a long post. Something Dad used to say came into my mind yesterday, a variation on Voltaire’s wisdom: “Don’t let perfection get in the way of your best!” He used to tell me this especially while I was stymying myself by procrastinating on this or that. His words resonate today, even…

Show up. Do your best.

This is the best advice I’ve ever received. It’s so good and I am so grateful, it is the only advice I ever offer. Not surprisingly, it’s transmitted directly and indirectly by some of the greatest characters in fiction. I offer it to my 5-year-old each day when I drop him at school. He answers…

In the not-too-distant future

I will describe keyboards to my son one day in a not-too-distant future when he asks about them. That is when he and I will ask the computer to show us some examples. We will spend a rainy afternoon making make-believe keyboards (QWERTY and Dvorak) out of cardboard and crayons and pretend to type in…

I didn’t go to university. I learned from Linux instead. 

TOUGH CHOICES When I chose to forego college, preferring instead to join the working world confident that doors would open, there were a lot of the kinds of reactions one might expect. Most asked things like: “what are you thinking?” “why would you do such a thing?” “what are you planning to do instead?” My…

Changing without changing

Many of us make great sacrifice to avoid it. Laws are written and put into place to stymy it. Large, expensive buildings are built to protect against it. Minds are made up against it and reject ideas that even hint at it. Blockades of all sorts are built against potential outcomes that may lead to…

Blending: Building A New World Family

This is the first time I’ve ever done this and, since I’ve spent seemingly countless middle-of-the-night hours reading everyone else’s opinion about it on the Internet, I will offer my own out of respect for others – now knowing just what it feels like, having only imagined it up until now. If you are like…

Rituals

Is it a tough debate that rituals have not been affected by recent changes in our modern age? Do many people spend more time alone with machines than in the company of others? Have machines conversely opened doors to more rituals for more people? Are the new rituals, such as sitting together at a restaurant…

Perspective

The first time I saw this was sometime in May of 2011 while flying across the US inside a Boeing 737. I was commuting back and forth between the Midwest and West Coast on a weekly basis. I was uncertain about a lot of things. Specifically, in addition to my dad’s health failing and wanting…

The unswerving punctuality of chance (Part II)

There are some things that happen, happy accidents, that could not have been planned. Like stumbling on the carpet, catching yourself on the the edge of a shelf where, looking behind a small picture frame there, you find a key you lost seemingly years ago that unlocks that bike lock you have lived without all…

R2 me, too

I was 5 years old when my parents took me to my first movie. It wasn’t just a movie. It was a drive-in movie. It wasn’t just a drive-in movie. It was Star Wars. Needless to say, it flipped me right out. Unlike most of my pals at the time, though, who called out “I’m…

Does empathy bridge art + engineering?

It takes a special something, a combination of unique experience and compatible disposition, to effectively temper hard sciences with soft ones in practice. Everything may very well come back to user experience, not only in the product (the outcome) but also in the process (the story). Empathy is arguably a key component of both hard…

All in the telling

The latest technologies, including cloud, social, anything mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have and will continue to transform business, especially the customer experience, which still revolves around the story. Storytelling is still the centerpiece. Nothing new there. Storytelling has been the centerpiece since before anyone could even write….

On overcoming adversity

Having gone through a particularly trying time over the past couple of years or so, involving pretty much every type of major life-changing event (moving, career changes, divorce, child-custody battle, loss of parents, etc), I made some time to write down my thoughts about it, to write the whole story from my perspective, what it…

Telling stories

We can’t throw a rock across the Web without hitting one of the many articles, posts, books, podcasts or interviews focused on the use of storytelling in business. Arguably kicking the magic out of the hat, most of them address the way stories are used in marketing goods and services (yawn). We need to think…

The Dark Age of Story

Story is going through a dark time. We have over-fished the narrative seas, giving not a single nod to sustainable practices. The need to produce quantity (in marketing and advertising, especially) over quality has diminished many audiences’ discernment to demand quality. By doing so, we have become perfectly satisfied with the third-rate. Like mass-produced products…