Articles Posted in Culture

In the mid-90’s I had the pleasure of working for a genuine serial entrepreneur (defined as someone capable of having 10 number 1 priorities). He was charming, he was brilliant, and as the company got larger he was a disaster.  Eventually the lack of focus caught up with us and the company cratered.  It was only saved by a new infusion of capital, paring our development back to a single product line, and several years of patient turnaround work.

Setting priorities and focus for product development is one of the core questions all companies have to wrestle with. The answer determines how resources are focused. It also drives explicit and implicit organizational structure and power. It quite literally defines who you are as a business.

I’ve found that a simple framework with three options is the cleanest way to start this conversation. The three options are all valid, but they have very different strengths and weaknesses. Picking the right one for your company is critical.

Yesterday, in a discussion about on-line opposition to certain ideas, a lawyer employed this term and I was quietly charmed. I’ve been engaging in wanton and irresponsible bloggery since 2007.

I combines several powerful base words into one all inclusive and deliciously snide put down:

Blogging (obviously)

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In 1972, deep in the generational culture wars, Will the Circle Be Unbroken was released as a 3 LP set. A that time I was a budding 14 year old banjo player. It was refreshing to hear the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band fusing their hippie sensibility with the mastery of more mature musicians like Earl Scruggs and Vassar Clements. It opened up a world of possibilities I hadn’t heard before.

To this day their take on Soldier’s Joy remains my favorite banjo song to play or listen to. IMHO all other versions pale in comparison.

Scruggs was both a master craftsman and a transformational musical innovator, a very rare combination. Bluegrass simply wouldn’t be what it is without him. Be like Earl and goodness will ensue.

088My guess is that if you are in the office today you aren’t all that busy. So take 7 minutes and watch this great little video, particularly if you are skeptic about video games and learning.

Video – Tangential Learning

His central point, that a well designed game experience tees up personally directed learning actually extends far beyond games.

chinamorningAs the delegation returned to our hotel in smoggy dusk a lime green rickshaw was playing chicken with a big tan BMW 7 sedan. Some unseen signal passed between the cyclist and driver and the tangle resolved itself smoothly; the perfect metaphor for my adventures in China last week.

The country is a fascinating jumble of the old and new, the Chinese are inventing new ways of working together on the fly in the midst of unprecedented growth and change. The whole country smells of wet concrete. Construction is everywhere.

In the spirit of “Beginners Eyes” I’ve captured in this post a few of the things that caught my attention over my 6 day visit. We’ll be making an announcement soon about the business venture we worked on, but in this initial post I’ll focus on my personal experiences.

3274488888_43e04bc6e5Last week at EdNet Charlene Blohm was whinging about how I hadn’t posted some tunes in a while. Here are 25 of my favorites from this past few months.

iTunes no longer allows you to embed mixes outside of their service – so you will need to click through to hear the songs in this mix.

There is a bit of everything in here – americana, jazz, afro-pop, classical, bluegrass, classic rock, and a visit from GlaDOS. Enjoy

PICT0091.jpgWhat do you do with 112 degrees of dry Texas heat on a Sunday afternoon? We sheltered in the Alamo Drafthouse for the Harry Potter matinee and brunch.

Our 17 year old son Peter was sitting between Leslie and I, his broad shoulders connecting us as a family. The cartoons had run, the infamous “no talking” video had played (nsfw), french toast was cooling, the lights dimmed.

As the Warner Brother’s logo emerged on screen I began to cry. This final movie, at the start of Peter’s final year of High School, was a moment that caught me completely off guard.

Lovely, enjoy.


“Philips ran a contest called Parallel Lines in which they asked people to create a three-minute short film using only six lines of dialogue: :”What is that?”, “It’s a unicorn”, “Never seen one up close before”, “Beautiful”, “Get away, get away”, and “I’m sorry”. After more than 600 entries were submitted, director Ridley Scott selected the above film, titled “Porcelain Unicorn”, as the winner.”d