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…

Blending : Building A New World Family : Part II

This is the second time I’ve written about this (first was back in March) and, since then, we’ve taken huge leaps forward together, and each on our own, as our little family continues to evolve. On August 12, 2016, we (all of us!) officially marked our marriage and new family during a festive celebration at…

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…

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…

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…

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….

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…

Memorial

Right before you got very ill, Mom, you had already made up your mind. You wanted no funeral. No wake. No trace left behind but the memories you built yourself with each of us. You wrote letters to us to be read after you were gone. You made every consideration to make sure we knew…

The unseen upside to donating our bodies to science

“Donating your body to science” is a well-known but poorly understood concept, at least, according to my own experience in helping my own Mom accomplish her last wish. It is important to know there are a lot of options out there for donating but there is little, if anything, written about the process and true…

Race, Socio-Economics, and being cool with each other

What do I know about diversity? I thought I knew something about race, gender, socio-economics, and my own identity in relationship to something larger than myself. Turns out I knew very little. I learned more from this past year than I ever imagined I did not know and am keeping my eyes and ears open…

Perfect cubes, balance, and the number 27

It’s the 27th day of the month today. Turns out, the number 27 is singular. The Internet can tell us why, mathematically, the number 27 is so unique. For example, 27 is a perfect cube (3 cubed), a completely balanced equation. In math, that is truly saying something. The number 27 pops up a lot,…

Build

Building things is an existential endeavor. It takes mettle. Mettle requires an optimism inherent in the doing. It is the spirit within which the work is done that makes something great and powers said mettle. It is a self-powering process that feeds itself forward. My new favorite form of building is taking an idea that…

Excuses are not solutions

Excuses. This is a meditation on excuses. Since it is, I am going to write it in the first person so there can be no mistake. I am not writing about you. I am not writing about your mistakes or your ability to justify them. That is your own business to choose to face or…

Baby, life is what you make it

I have heard everyone say it. If I had to, I could not count how many times my pals with kids have asked, “So when are you going to be a dad?” or “How come you don’t have any kids yet?” For years I fielded kind words from my friends who considered me well suited…

Honey, it really works, honey.

Since becoming a grown-up, there are many things about childhood I remember fondly but one of them I was happy to forget about forever and wasn’t anticipating having to deal with again: allergies. For my entire adult life I was allergy-free living in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. . In Chicago, I have tried over-the-counter…