Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

If found that using Wordpress, which is what is built on, was just too heavy weight for they way I’d like to capture and express my thoughts & ideas.  As a result, I’m moving my blog to a new back-end system,  Going forward I will be using the following url, not only because I’m changing back-end systems, but the purpose of my blog as evolved.

I think I found it (the joy that is) at a bar in Montclair, NJ called Just Jakes.  My wife and I had gone to see a friend and his band, Hyperactive, play the other night and had an incredible time.  Not only was the diversity of music (that ranged from funk to rock to swing to ska) fantastic, but I saw something that night that I hadn’t seen in a really long time.  The guys on stage were doing something that they loved. They were performing not because they HAD to, but for the pure joy that they got out of it.  Everyone in the band has a day job; but they have found an outlet for the passion of music.  Watching these guys got me thinking about the fact that our lives are so focused around work and the daily grind. We tend to lose sight of the fact that it IS possible to have fun.  Unfortunately, too many of us spend time working and doing things because we HAVE to and not because we really WANT to.  For most of us, our jobs are avenues to make money in order to pay bills as opposed to passions to live and abide by.

Joe with two of his passions, music & wine.

Joe with two of his passions, music & wine.

As I gazed in amazement at the band, my attention turned to my friend Joe,  the lead vocalist.  When he is not playing gigs, he spends his days as the wine director of a shop in Bernardsville, NJ called 56 Degree Wine.  My immediate thought was, what a lucky bastard.  He gets to travel the world to drink wine, which he then writes about on his blog, Le Monstre Du Vin (this means The Wine Monster – I had to look it up) during the week and then plays music at clubs/bars on the weekends.  The more I thought about it, I realized that it wasn’t luck at all. He designed his lifestyle to accomodate these two worlds.  Joe found a way to take one of his passions and make a living from it, while still having fun with his passion for music.  My sentiments then went from jealousy to admiration.  Here is a guy that is so passionate about wine and music that instead of pushing these passions aside to maintain his life, he embraced them and decided to make a living from them.

The lesson I think we can all learn from Joe and others like him is that we don’t all HAVE to do things that make us unhappy.  The key strategy is to identify your passions, and then have the courage to chase them down.  Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that everyone immediately quit their jobs so that they can have fun all day.  It’s not always that easy.  I think in many cases, it is MORE work to pursue your passions than to just make a living.  What I recommend is that everyone try to find something that they enjoy doing… and then spend more time doing it.  Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more of us spent time feeling satisfaction and joy from our day vs just going through the motions to “get by?”

since my last post.  I’m back on the horse now and hopefully I can stay on.  I have a few posts that I have been in draft format for a while now, if all goes as expected, they will be published in the next couple of weeks.  

I’m also planning on starting a series of posts focused around a trend I’ve been seeing lately, in which companies want to be more “Agile”.  In many cases, the leadership team doesn’t really understand what this means.  They have been told that being Agile, will solve all of their problems.  As a result, too many organizations focus on being “Agile” as opposed to allowing their teams to be more efficient and productive.  After all that is the primary goal of being agile.  Just as s side note, I really don’t like using the term Agile, because it has been so abused and in many cases has a bad connotation.  I am using it because I haven’t come up with anything better.  In the posts to come in this series, I’m going to keep the posts focused on the principals/procedures that are important as opposed to the terminology.

More to come.

Or is it the other way around?

If you liked the movie Minority Report, or at least thought the technology scenes were cool, you’re going to love this.  A company has built an operating systems that leverages hand gestures to manipulate the information presented on the screen.  One of the founders of Oblong was a science advisor on the movie and based the designs of those scenes on his work at MIT.

I’m especially excited about this because my company has been working on a software application that takes data from disparate sources and allows multiple remote individuals to interact with that data in real time.  We have focused our efforts primarily on the data integration and collaboration aspects of the system.  Next steps are to apply an easy and intuitive user interface to the application.  This video has given me a lot of ideas on where we can take our application.

I realize that this is a fairly strange title, but it is actually a quote from Rules for Revolutionaries a book by Guy Kawasaki.  I haven’t read the book as of yet, but it is on the list to read.

The quote “Eat like a bird, poop like an elephant.” is actually a philosophy that I have adopted recently.

It is fairly simple, consume as much information as you can; read, have conversations and be open to new ideas/concepts.

- Eat like a bird (birds eat a lot & often)

Spread the knowledge as much as you can, share what you have learned with others.  This is partly what I’m trying to do with this blog.

- poop like an elephant (elephants poop a lot)

I thought this was worth pooping (sharing)   ;-)

and stand behind your words

This has been an issue of mine for some time now.  Individuals that hide behind anonymity.  I am targeting this frustration towards two groups of individuals.  Those that post articles or comments on blog sites that won’t identify themselves.  Their opinions are masked behind some random username that is only funny or makes sense to them.  The other group are individuals within an organization that won’t provide feedback in an open forum.  (This one is a bit more personal, because I’ve experienced this often at my company.  Everything has to be annonymous.

"I don't feel comfortable providing feedback if people know it was me".

Frankly this is B#LLSH#T (fill in your own vowels).  If you honestly believe in something than put your name to it.  My perspective is that these folks really don’t have conviction in their points of view, because they don’t want to associate themselves to their comments.  If you can’t stand behind your words, then your opinion doesn’t matter.  Just like you should have pride in what you do, you should have pride in what you say.  Within an organization, I can understand why people might feel this way, I don’t agree, but I can understand.  There is a lack of trust between the individual and the organization.  That’s a different topic, that I’ll address in another post.

I’m and I have approved this post.

I apologize for the rant style of this post, but this just gets under my skin.  If you didn’t get it, I’m not really  I was trying to make a funny ;-)

Four principals to live life by.

I woke up this morning tired as usual, again.

I got ready and headed out the door before anyone else woke up, again.

Another day another dollar.

I worked until late, again.

Got home after the kids were already asleep.

Yet Again.

Long are the hours you wait for her to come.  Alone you sit, waiting for her to come.  The harder you try to find her the further away she seems.  She is unpredictable, coming only when it pleases her and leaving just as quickly as she came.  When you do finally find her, it is the most intense sensation you can experience.  She allows you to open yourself to all possibilities you couldn’t have imagined on your own.  Your successes you owe to her.  Treat her well and she will be your companion for life, abuse her and you can lose her forever.