People, Not Technology

One of the most important things that I’ve discovered over the last two decades of building software and leading technology teams is that technology is never actually the root problem, especially in terms of leadership.

People are the challenge 9 out of 10 times because it’s people that ultimately have to use the technology and the solutions that a technology manager and leader provide (or institute or demand).

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Cole Plante: Getting Started as a DJ

This kid inspires the heck out of me. He not only loves what he does but he enjoys sharing and educating others about it so that they might also share and participate in his passion.

When you think about this plainly it seems counter-intuitive: Why would you want to share with others your craft in a way that would enable them to become explicit competitors in your same space?

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Tobi Lütke is the CEO of Shopify, a growing and successful online ecommerce solution. I love this quote on simplicity and support:

At Shopify, we are trying to make things as simple as possible, but for the business owner, it’s not unlike starting your own little shop along Main Street somewhere. You still have to somehow entice people into your store and have the right products that the right people need so that customers will open their wallets and actually buy things from you.

But knowing how to do those things can’t be automated with software. So Shopify has these highly educated gurus – most of whom run their own stores – and they are there to help people in those crucial first months. Once a shop owner gets one or two sales it might be life changing.

I love this idea of supporting the user, simply, through a very hands-on customer service. A neat take, for sure.

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Easier Than It Looks

My first hit - Front page on the Austin American Statesman

My first hit – Front page on the Austin American Statesman

When I first began doing startups back in 2007 (or that’s when I had my first real “hit”) it looked much easier than I thought. Seeing all of these other entrepreneurs go out and build their companies was so exciting and it appeared so easy as I heard tales of success and happy “customers” who were finally pursuing their passion.

I was sadly mistaken and the reality of trying to build something of significance was anything but easy. I also believe that it’s the only way to know if you’re doing something of any import to begin with as well.

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Your Company is Your People

… Not your product, nor your service. Sometimes I forget this truth.

Sure, you may feel as if you’re known more for the products you build and the services that you provide but it’s ultimately about your people and the people that work for you will be the one’s who will carry the memory of your leadership with them for the rest of their lives while those products that the customers purchased will be long-forgotten.

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Pressgram: A Blogger’s Best (Mobile) Friend

pressgram-iconThere are a lot of value propositions that Pressgram has natively that has helped make it a well-received mobile application; things like ownership of your content and more creative control over your images.

All of these intrinsic qualities have helped content publishers and digital creatives enjoy a little more freedom with their work and I have loved seeing it all come to life.

But the real value for me is quite simply related to content creation and the signals it sends to the people and systems that matter. Let me explain…

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My First Pecha Kucha


I had the pleasure of participating in my first Pecha Kucha talk earlier this week and to say it was difficult would be a gross understatement.

Pecha Kucha is a type of presentation style where you have to present 20 slides for 20 seconds each (total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds – some great examples here). Originating from Japan it stands for “chit chat” and is now a world-wide adopted style in over 500 cities.

Now you would think that this would be a breeze since most of my talks are for much, much longer but it was the exact opposite, for a number of reasons.

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