Monthly Archives: January 2013

How the Mighty Fall

The difference between success and failure is indistinguishable in the moment. In fact, what might be perceived as one may in fact be leading wholly in the opposite direction.

The ultimate indicator of success actually lies in the individual person, not the circumstance or even the product, company, or financial mile markers. I’m being reminded of this as I read biographies of once-heralded heroes in my industry who are now no longer with us – not dead, but simply forgotten because of colossal personal failure.

10 out of 10 times it’s almost always a moral failure closely aligned with pride that blind a person into making terrible leadership decisions. I told my team recently that I’m studying these leaders and their patterns of behavior so that I might identify them in myself in order to avoid those well-traveled paths.

Continue reading

Years to Gel

It can take a long time.

It can take a long time.

It takes a long time for individuals on a team to gel – in fact, it’s precisely this fact why most organizations, especially startups, fail because they aren’t interested in waiting that long for things to work out.

The initial buzz and excitement of working with new individuals quickly gives way to annoyances, arguments, and fundamental differences that if not managed well or generally accepted will tear a team a part.

Most startups never get to a point of really performing as a team because they drive each other insane and don’t stick around long enough to see the positive side of these stormy events.

Continue reading

The Internet’s Next Wave

What is the next technology revolution?

What is the next technology revolution?

The history of the internet can be summed up easily into four different stages, or waves:

  1. Directory
  2. Search
  3. Social
  4. Mobile

For those that have been around for a while you know this to be true. Yahoo! and a few other sites started out by simply creating a massive directory of sites – this was the first web and it’s what made Yahoo! such a large player in the beginning. Then, the directories became too large to manage and so search was born, the second wave.

Then, people got tired of that and realized that there was a social layer of interaction that was possible. The rise of “Web 2.0” was born as the third wave. Facebook, Twitter, and an infinite number of social networks suddenly showed up and only a few remain of those originals today.

Finally, we are currently in the wave of mobile – it’s mobile everything as it’s the most progressive and exciting technology crest that we’ve seen build. A “computer” in every pocket and a browser just arms-reach away.

Continue reading

Didn’t Work

As I’ve shared previously my family is going through a big “offloading” event as we are affectionately calling it and being incredibly strict with what we are going to keep and what we are going to sell or simply donate and giveaway.

We’ve expanded our efforts to go beyond just books – anything goes at this point. Furniture, clothes, and whatever else that we’re simply not using and don’t need.

But one of the interesting things that’s happening as I’m vetting my books in terms of whether or not I want to keep them is the fact that I’m being a bit introspective and reflective as I walk through all the titles. I’m simply asking myself this very simple question:

Did it work?

In other words, did the advice in this particular book “work”? Did it provide the value that I had hoped it would and was it time well spent?

Continue reading

Early Spring Cleaning

Auto-complete fail on that tweet!

We’re doing some massive “spring” cleaning with our library reducing our total book county by hundreds. We estimated that we’re getting rid of at least 300 books, but that’s just looking at the piles. It could be more.

Most of these books are from my studies for my two graduate degrees that I completed late last year that I feel I will no longer require at this time. I had hoped to hold onto most of them for some doctoral work but my wife and I agreed that if I need them then I can get them again.

It’s time we pared things down and clean out a lot that we simply do not need.

Continue reading

More Uncertainty

As confident as I may look in on High School Senior year book picture I remember doing my very best to mask all the anxiety that I had about the future. I can now look squarely in this boy’s eyes and admit that I was scared $#!7less.

I had determined that I would head to a school that did not even support one of my undying passions and force myself to head down a path that would ultimately turn a love and recreation into a full-time vocation – this didn’t excite me.

I did not know that that would happen at the time – all I knew was that I was headed into a world of great unknown and felt pretty embarrassed that everyone else appeared to be confident and composed about their impending future.

Continue reading

Visual Processing

I am, at times, a very visual processor. I like to see things in the big scheme of things, from a very high level, even if it requires levels of minute detail.

I just have to see it from up top – like choosing and scheduling the WordCamp Atlanta speakers for 2013. Sometimes this is the only way I can sanely walk through data.

Continue reading

Unfollow Me

I love it when two grown adults come together and somehow are able to speak intelligently and maturely about something so simple as Twitter.

The follow / unfollow thing is so trite and in the end who cares, but it’s so rare for people to be not offended when you unfollow them, for whatever reason.

Occasionally I get glimpses like this where I can see a ray of hope for relationships and online media.

Simplify All the Things

Changing my life...!

Changing my life…!

Which means… everything.

My life is incredibly complex already – just like yours I imagine. I have been doing everything I possibly can to simplify even the smallest details so I can prepare for an incredible 2013, which is passing by at record speed. Seriously, we’re almost done with January and it’s scaring the crap out of me.

Everything in my life on the table and is up for simplifying – from what I eat to what I wear to how I manage my team to how I write to how I drive my freakin’ car. It all matters and it’s all interdependent.

So when my friend Tom introduced me to his new wallet + phone solution I had to try it out.

Continue reading

A Key Ingredient for Innovative Thinking

As if...

As if…

A large portion of my job as an entrepreneur and leader is to come up with crazy and sometimes random ideas. I know, sounds fun, right?

It’s actually a lot of work and to not only identify an opportunity but formulate a business model that somehow extracts value out of an existing ecosystem requires a lot of brain power. There are some people where this comes incredibly natural to them but the problem that I’ve encountered with these types of people (and they admit it) is that they often fail to actually do something with it.

Identifying opportunity is easy – we all do that biologically as it’s part of our natural order to self-preserve, but capitalizing on one is an entirely different matter.

What I’ve discovered over time is that it’s quite possible to fabricate an environment that helps facilitate innovative thinking; in other words, construct and manufacture variables in your circumstance to produce more signals than noise in your very already-busy mind.

What are some of the mechanisms that I use to help construct these very vibrant ecosystems of thought and ingenuity?

Continue reading