Sunday, February 28, 2016

Work In Progress


Jason Fried, founder and CEO of Basecamp (, and Nathan Kontny, CEO of Highrise (, talk about the challenges of running a business, product design, and whatever else we're going though. Have something you'd like us to talk about? Let us know on Twitter &
OK, full disclosure. I am a huge fan of both Jason and Nate, and I run multiple global companies via Highrise, Basecamp and a few 3rd party apps that make their tools even more powerful.

Via their YouTube Channel Work In Progress, they have (with amazing generosity) posted hundreds of hours of “here’s how we do it” explainer videos - all for free.

The future of work is remote. Global collaboration via “the cloud” and the IoT (Internet of Things) is a way of life. Lifelong education is now expected. We live in the world of and of course the amazing

Remember this big news from last year?

Mountain View, Calif. – April 9, 2015 – LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 300 million members worldwide, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire, a leading online learning company teaching business, technology and creative skills to help people achieve their professional goals. Based in Carpinteria, CA, was co-founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin. The transaction is valued at approximately $1.5 billion, subject to adjustment, in a combination of approximately 52 percent cash and approximately 48 percent stock. (Our mission)
To help you learn the skills you need to achieve your full potential.

About us is a leading online learning company that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.

At the we say: From Distance Learning to Digital Learning to Digital Living to the IoT (Internet of Things) to “The Cloud” - no matter what labels we use, the aims to be the premier remote work, distance/digital learning and collaboration association in the United States and beyond. Whether it is via satellite, video conferencing, online, offline or other means of distribution, NYDLA will provide the latest information about technology development, collaboration, design and application in our at anytime, anywhere global collaboration world. Join the as we help each other to live, learn, work and play in the clouds!

Well played, Jason and Nate. Well played.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

May the diabetes be with you!


I don’t browse. Send me to the grocery store for milk, eggs, bread, and I’m in and out in minutes. I’m a man on a mission!

Last night on the way home from the movies, we stopped at the local grocery store around eight minutes before closing.  NO PROBLEM! Speed shopping is my super power!

Taking a shortcut down the cereal aisle, there it was. The Box. A box of candy on the shelf where you are supposed to find cereal. I stopped, frozen. The clock was still ticking - the store closes at 10pm. But I could not move.

Why are they selling candy in the cereal aisle? No, wait. They are selling toys? They are selling toys AND candy - in the cereal aisle. What the hell is going on here?

Star Wars toys - in a box of candy - in a cereal box. I must investigate!  I’m buying this box and taking it home with me - for science!

Hershey’s Cocoa & Reese’s Peanut Butter Sweet and Crunchy Corn Puffs!

An EXCLUSIVE Droid Viewer is inside the box!  And, in case you are looking for a new hobby, there are SIX to collect, including BB-8! 

OMG! I love, LoVe, LOVE BB-8!

Wow. Marketing GENIUS. From the side of the box: “WE BELIEVE IN THE GOODNESS OF WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL. Cereal is packed with nutrients and contains complete grains, which can help fuel your morning ~ General Mills.

Now, if you are grocery shopping, and you have your child in the cart and you drive down the cereal aisle, you are nuts. If you go anywhere NEAR the cereal aisle, you are activating the launch sequence of screaming child tantrum DEFCON 5. There should be warning signs like on a ski slope: this is a BLACK DIAMOND aisle. FOR ADULTS ONLY!

Who is the marketing genius behind this strategy? And, if you buy ONE box, you need to buy five more boxes, right? If you are not going to complete the collection of six droid viewers, the FORCE will NOT be with you!

Now here is my final question: if you go down the cereal aisle as an adult shopper WITHOUT a screaming child in your care, and you STILL walk out of the store with this (Candy - Toy - Healthy, Nutritionally Focused Cereal) purchase, you are:

  • A STAR WARS action figure collector
  • Someone who wants diabetes (for you or your child)
  • You need material for your Sunday blog

Marketing. It’s good for ya.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

If it ain't broke, you must have fixed it


Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual

One of the perks of running the is receiving advance copies of really cool books.

I stumbled across David Burkus during our recent winter storm Jonas (Snowzilla) which gave me an excuse to get caught up on my reading (and listening) to podcasts and books. Like finding a secret room full of hidden treasures, I discovered David’s archive of podcasts.

I used the storm as ground cover to explain to my wife why I listened to dozens of podcasts in a matter of days. David’s podcast archive is like a Hall of Fame of thought leaders and brilliant minds from the world of business and leadership.

I’m all about remote work, distance learning, technology based learning systems (TBLS) and the future of work. When you visit the first thing that you see is the question: How Can I Help You?  

Oh let me count the ways…...

In his new book, David explores:

  • Do open-floor plans really work – or do they make employees miserable?
  • Are there companies which really put their employees’ welfare first, and their clients second?  
  • Are annual performance reviews really necessary?

Dr. David Burkus is a highly regarded and increasingly influential business school professor who challenges many of the long-established principles of business management. Drawing on decades of research, David has found that not only are many of our fundamental management practices wrong and misguided, but they can be downright counter-productive.

Today, the best companies around the world are breaking the old rules. At Volkswagen, email is now restricted to certain hours, so that employees can work without distraction. Netflix no longer has a standard vacation policy of 2-3 weeks, but instructs employees to take off as much time as they feel they need. At Morningstar Farms, there are no managers at all - the employees govern themselves. At Zappos, new employees are given the option to quit and get paid for it.

Under New Management reveals how companies leave behind decades-old management practices and implement new ways to enhance productivity and morale. This new book challenges the traditional and widely accepted principles of business management — and proves that they are outdated, outmoded, or simply don’t work.


We live in the world of distance learning, and ebooks. We live in the world of global collaboration, telemedicine and “the cloud”. I just learned that for the first time, you can go to a local cinema and watch the opening session of the legendary TED Conference on the big screen.


After listening to my marathon of Snowzilla enabled podcasts, I connected with David via LinkedIn, and mentioned how we know many of the same people from the world of business and higher education.

Next thing you know, I am reading an advanced copy of his new book. And now, after being blown away by his newest best selling book (trust me) I am knocking out this blog before heading off to our Super Bowl party. I hope that David approves.

Don’t wait for the next Snowzilla. Go checkout and make sure you read his new book once it comes out next month.

David’s websites says: How can I help you?

Leaders are Teachers.

I think his website should be updated to: How can I help you to help yourself?