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.

Time, time, time.

One of the most important things we all learn as consultants is how to value our time. Initially, in the financial sense. Then, something else about it begins to emerge. We begin to see our time as a resource that can be invested, to build something, something larger than ourselves. Time is an asset we…

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…

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…

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…

Living With Dementia

Mom passed away three years ago today. After initially being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, it was a few months later, at the University of Iowa Hospitals, when she was diagnosed with vascular dementia. As her world (and ours) fell apart, I realized that Mom’s behavior suddenly made perfect sense. I also became startlingly aware that,…

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…

The teeter of convenience, the totter of innovation

Every Christmas, as I watch everyone tear into gifts and unearth the world’s latest new hotness, I cannot help myself to fixate on innovation – what it is, what it means, what makes it successful and the key tenets of achieving wide adoption. It always reminds me of a seesaw, the way a system is…

Parallel Parenting: A Strategy for Acceptance

Divorces are snow-flakey, meaning each one is different. Some people are able to be grown-ups about it and be respectful, friendly enough to co-parent but, honestly, this is the exception rather than the rule. Everyone has to move on, eventually. Acceptance is not always easy, though. Not everyone is good at accepting new paradigms, especially…

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…

Dear Tom Petty

You’re great. I love you but –> you’re wrong. The waiting is not the hardest part. The hardest part is enduring other people’s impatience, putting up with the kind of thinking that they are entitled to act impatient as if they have anything else to do. These people act like self-absorbed rock stars and they…

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…

URL

I learned one of the most important lessons from URL, who was about 3 when I first met him. Known mostly for peeing all over the place whenever he first saw you, URL always got too excited to see people he knew or any people, actually, who were willing to give him attention. URL would…

Googling for talent

Hacking machines is easy. As technologies become friendlier to use and more and more powerful each day, bending technology to the will of this or that culture is getting easier and easier.  People, on the other hand, are not so easy. Hiring people takes real time and resources, especially if you’re seeking to build a…

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…