Monthly Archives: July 2012

Developing Products that Echo

echo-conference

I’ll be in Dallas this week for ECHO Conference and I hope to see you there! The topic of my talk is titled Building Products That Matter.

Here’s the description:

After building products (web and software applications) over the last 15 years for Fortune 50 companies, non-profits, and both Angel/VC and bootstrapped startups, John has seen what it takes to build products that matter and succeed. He also knows firsthand what it’s like to build products that succeed yet don’t matter at all.

This session will practically explore the pieces that are fundamentally required to enable an organization to leave a lasting legacy. On the flip-side, this session will also lean in hard on the dangerous practices that hamstring an organization of any size, ensuring that they will ultimately be forgotten.

I’ll be honest, preparing for this talk has been painfully slow. What I thought was going to be an easy discussion about something that I’m passionate about has become something much more difficult to swallow.

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Quiet Enough

small-house

When was the last time you were able to escape for a time and ask yourself the really tough questions? When was the last time you found a break in your busy schedule to ponder the infinite? When was the last time you were able to fully appreciate all that has happened up until that very moment?

Last night I had that moment. As I sat on my porch as the sun gave it’s last light to the darkening world I breathed deeply and reflected on what has happened over the course of just the last 6 months.

It was almost too much to consider; too much to even believe. I think the right word for the moment was “awe.”

I have been running hard for a long, long time. More like a sprint on a marathon trail with no breaks and no water. Even this moment, although spontaneous, felt a bit contrived as if my body, mind, and spirit demanded that I sit for a moment and do absolutely nothing.

And it felt great. I watched the sun’s light disappear into a cool evening glow and I began asking the myself the questions that had been long overdue. I asked myself to consider where I was going, what I was doing, and why. I asked myself if what had happened in the first part of this year was everything I had wanted it to be or whether it was a whisper of what I had hoped would transpire.

I asked myself if I was being successful, experiencing satisfaction, and creating significance in my life and others. I answered honestly – too honestly perhaps, and I didn’t like the answers.

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Standard 3: The Future of (My) Personal Online Publishing

Whoot!

Are you seeing something a little bit different with the design here today? Oh yeah!

I’m so pumped to be working in the completely new Standard Theme, version 3! We worked through the migration in real-time last night over at The Work Spot and we had about 45 people show up, 20 people IRL and about 25 people online via our online broadcast!

What fun! We had door prizes, candy, and the ever-popular Chex Mix for snacks. Tom and Jared were on hand as well to share their thoughts about online publishing, design, and software development. Much thanks to Ray Ann who is the best host and coworking founder in Atlanta! She seriously rocks.

And if you’d like notes from Tom about what was covered as well as a few pictures and even the assets used, check it out!

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Live Stream of Tonight’s Meetup!

Oop. I hope I get this right!

As I promised, I’m going to attempt to live stream tonight’s meetup event. You can go here for more details and the link to the live event page.

Hope to see some of you virtually if not physically! We’ll have some light refreshments available and they even have a coffee shop right next door!

Should be very fun. I’m honestly a bit nervous about tonight as I’ve never done this before!

Savvy Blogging Summit… Here We Go!

I am incredibly excited to share with you all that I’ll be joining an incredible lineup of speakers at the Savvy Blogging Summit in early October! Not only have they asked me to come speak and share a little bit of my experience with the attendees, they’ve asked me to be the closing keynote!

Wow, I couldn’t be more humbled and fired up!

You can already see the great list of speakers, some of whom you’re already very familiar with, and can imagine how practical, encouraging, and how productive this conference is going to be.

I really hope to see you there and I love the fact that it’s here, in my backyard, Atlanta! My team, 8BIT, will most likely be in attendance as well, and they would love to meet with you and help you in your online publishing needs!

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Lonely or Bored

My 5-year old (nearly 6… wow!) has learned recently the idea that boredom exists – or rather, that nothing fun exists at times and we call this boredom.

Or as she says it,

Appa I’m boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooored.

I honestly have no idea who taught her this concept or where she learned that word because it’s not something that we use in our house, ever.

I can’t even remember the last time I even said that word aloud much less saying it as if it were actually true. I do remember when I was young that would say it often, especially when I didn’t get my way, but that went away real quick.

But an interesting shift has occurred over the years as I’ve grown and become more engaged in a variety of different activities and interests. I am not bored nor lonely – in fact, I say this explicitly to people at times, especially if they are asking me if I need more “work” or if I need more things to add to my plate.

These people who ask typically don’t know me very well and don’t know all that I’m involved in so it’s not entirely their fault (in fact, not their fault at all), but I say it playfully and thankfully that I can stay very, very busy.

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Success, Significance, and Satisfaction

I have been thinking about these three words for a long time now, ever since one of my mentors over 5 years ago challenged me to think critically about the three.

The question he asked me to consider and the resulting challenge he gave me was this:

What does success, significance, and satisfaction mean for you? And, can they co-exist in harmony?

I have been racking my brain ever since. To be honest, I have teetered between the three every single year (if not every single month) and changed my perspective many times over.

There have been times where I believed the following equations to be true:

  • Success = Significance + Satisfaction
  • Significance = Success + Satisfaction
  • Satisfaction = Success + Significance

This is on a good day. On a bad day though I see them not as additive but more negative where one of them is limited or limiting: Continue reading

1,000 Likes, What Now?

Yesterday I saw that we had crossed the 1,000 Likes mark on the TentBlogger Facebook Page. Now, I created this page on September 21, 2010 which means that it took 662 days to break the 1,000 mark, meaning that I averaged about 1.5 Likes per day over nearly 1 year and 10 months.

As I stand back and look at these figures I realize how incredibly unimpressive that is. Honestly, it’s not very much of a big deal. In fact, it’s probably a slower growth than most Facebook pages (this is just a guess though).

I’m not worried or upset or discouraged by these numbers. In fact, it doesn’t bother me at all, especially when I’m reminded that my decision to focus on one area of social media was purposeful and strategic.

Choose one and kill it is how I typically describe this strategy.

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