Three years ago found yours truly job hunting. I landed a really cool position very quickly as a business analyst for a global electronic components manufacturer (Tyco Electronics). That position quickly led to a great opportunity to work on the company web site (and eventually the position of Usability Team Leader). I had been working on web stuff for most of my career, so it was a logical move.
I loved the work I was doing, very much.
The environment on the other hand, was, at times, difficult...
On more than one occasion I said to my wife that I never seem to come home from work in the same good mood that I have when I'm going in - life is too short and we spend too much of it at work to be in a place that you don't love. There are things that I've done that I feel have improved the place, including building some "great mojo" (as my boss called it) for the Usability Team.
So, I was very excited when I got a call about a month or so ago from a former boss at a large, well-known, consumer packaged goods company - he had just gotten some additional head count, 4 new positions to be exact, one that I would be perfect for. So we met for coffee one morning and he shared his thoughts on this job he was creating and asked if I'd be interested. I was.
I went through the interview process back on July 17th and about a week later I was offered and accepted the job.
Despite the fact that I was less than happy with certain aspects of my current job, going back to this previous employer is all about running towards pleasure. I only worked at the company for two years, before leaving to work at a startup, but I'm super excited to go back. Interestingly, I've been back as a consultant with the company 3 times since I've left, so I've kept great relationships with most of my former coworkers.
My new job is Project Manager for Web Applications, basically running the web projects for both internal and external applications - I was a developer in the group when I left the company back in 2001. One of the really exciting aspects of this opportunity is that the company is looking for ways to improve innovation & collaboration throughout the enterprise, and I'll get to play a role in how that is accomplished.
There are a number of people that I'll miss from Tyco Electronics, especially Teresa (her personal site) and Jeremy (his personal site)... they're both extremely talented and the three of us just clicked, we really did have great mojo. Another person I'll miss is Bob, my boss. He brought an incredible mix of caring, discipline, and innovation to the table.
I start my new job tomorrow, but have already begun to dive into a couple of the projects the team is working on... so, time to get back to work. I want to hit the ground running.
I was going through some stuff the other day and realized I didn't have a good list of the articles I've written through the years. As I started to put the list together, I realized that one of the main sites I wrote for, Darwin Magazine, was no longer online. URGH!
So, I spent an hour this morning on archive.org finding links to my articles... what a great site!
My music collection now stands at about 60 gigs, about 35 gigs of that is on my 40 gig iPod. I end up shuffling most of the time because I can't decide what to listen to (the paradox of music choice?).
Over the last couple of months, I haven't been listening to my iPod as much... taking the place of the eclectic collection of music on my iPod is my PDA (HP iPaq hx4715) loaded with PocketMusic and a 6 gig microdrive. I still end up shuffling most of the time on PDA, however, it is rare that I ever hit "next". Having the reduced capacity forces me to be very selective in what I load. So, instead of copying all the tracks from a CD, I'm only loading my favorite songs. I have included all the songs from a few CDs - like Welcome to the North (The Music), Appetite for Destruction (Guns & Roses), Absolution (Muse), In Love & Death (The Used), Hot Fuss (The Killers), etc.
There are some other advantages to using the PDA over the iPod...
Wi-fi! Enough said.
I can watch DVD's - there is a great program called PocketDVD that allows you to rip a DVD. This is just awesome! You can watch the movies on your PDA or on your computer. I have also ripped several of my favorite episodes of The West Wing (for short flights).
MS Office Mobile - I've written more than a few documents on this, and it's been nice in meetings as a note taking device.
PDF viewer... the reading experience isn't great, but certainly good enough. I wouldn't want to read War & Peace on it or anything, however, between Mobile Word and the PDF viewer I'm able to read anytime; anywhere and everywhere.
Voice recorder... I haven't used this much yet because I have a nice sony digital recorder (for doing interviews), but I'm about to try it out.
Speaker... okay, the speaker doesn't have the best sound quality, however, I use it on occasion and it's been nice. It works really well for podcasts, where it is mostly just voice.
Games... freecell and chess are the two that I play most often ("often" being a relative term, I don't find I really get that much time for playing games)
Expandability... I've got the 6 gig microdrive with music, a 2 gig card with movies on it, and a 1gig SD card with documents on it. I also have a backup battery and one of those QWERTY thumb/keyboards (still getting used to this).
Mobile Skype... I haven't tried this yet... but how cool, huh?
Calendar, Contacts, Tasks... I don't use these really. I'm never far from my computer and have only taken one trip where I didn't carry my laptop, even with syncing, this just doesn't add much value for me.
To be fair there are some downsides to it. It isn't the same great user experience as the iPod when it comes to music and the microdrive really chews up the battery.
I haven't gotten rid of my iPod just yet, however I'm starting to use it less and less each week.
What do you think? Do you carry both a PDA and MP3 player? If you have a PDA, how do you use it most?
By now I'm sure you've seen or heard about the new "Stakes are High" ad by the GOP- the one that has all the terrorists quotes and ends with the simple message: "The stakes are high. Vote November 7th".
The guy behind the original Johnson "Daisy" ad, Tony Schwartz, wrote a book - 'The Responsive Chord' - in which he detailed the ad and how he would have counteracted it.
Probably the smartest thing Goldwater could have done at the time was to agree with the attitude of the commercial and offer to help pay for running it. This would have undercut the sensational effect of it and possibly won him many votes.
I'm not sure agreeing with this message is the right angle for the dems. I think they need to reframe it, something along the lines of: There are those who would have you believe that you should be afraid... trying to sell fear helps them stay in power. The only thing we have to fear... are the people trying to sell us fear.
Is the world a complicated place? Sure. Do I understand all the dynamics of the middle east? No.
I do suspect, however, that our current foreign policy is making us less safe.
What do you think? Is trying to spread fear the right thing to do? How would you counteract this message?
At nearly 40 years of age I have a couple of basic understandings of life. Pretty simple stuff really. They are as follows:
Perception is reality, and people don't always share the same perception
Each of us has a distinct world view (or mental model) of how the world works that is built up, elaborated and refined over time. This is all based on our own experience of the world - it is rare that any two people share the exact same model
He who thinks he knows, doesn't know. He who knows he does not know, knows. (~ Lao Tsu)
Most of us are blissfully unaware of why we do the things we do... we like to think were in charge, however, our subconscious is really running the show (and we don't really have access to that - which is why I really like something Fouro shared with me a few years ago: "Self knowledge brings happiness")
I have a couple of other things I think I've learned during my short time on this planet, but that is enough for the purpose of this post...
Anyway, I got a comment the other day that really confused me. As long time readers of this blog can hopefully attest to, I try to write in a conversational and inquisitive manner. I have some ideas about the world, but in no way do I ever feel like I've got all the answers. So, I try to end every post with a question. I want to know what you think. I've learned a lot (TONS) from the people who have been kind enough to comment on my blog. From one-time commenters all the way to friendships that have developed as a result of this (Mark, Mike, Christopher, Aleah, Julian, Chuck, etc, etc.).
Just stumbled across this post. So I assume you would agree that AOL, Yahoo, et al should be held accountable for child pornography, mail fraud, etc. that their systems enable. Taken just a bit further, I assume that if your comments section were used to initiate a terrorist attack or hate crime you would immediate turn yourself in as an accessory.
Now, I ended this post with the following couple of sentences:
In the end, it does come down to personal responsibility. We should each be held accountable for our actions. But what about the companies that enable crimes? Should they all be treated with the same set of rules?
What do you think? Is the comparison between Napster and Gun companies a stretch?
Brian, you should never assume, and you obviously didn't read the whole post. So, as much as I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my blog, because you seem like you might be a very intelligent person, I would hope that the next time you want to comment you do so in a bit more friendly manner... I mean, we've never met. You don't know me well enough to assume anything about me. I blog for three simple reasons - 1.) to meet interesting people, 2.) to learn, and 3.) to share what I'm thinking.
Had dinner with fellow Blogger Marc Orchant last night - hard to imagine that we've been emailing back and forth for more than 2 years, maybe 3, and we finally met.
We had loads of great conversation - topics ranging from Dennis Miller, Microsoft, the nuances of user testing, and a host of other things. I had a great time! If you ever get a chance to meet Marc, do so. He is a fascinating guy.
I'm headed to San Francisco for a couple of days in September - anyone live out there? Want to meet up? Got a suggestion for a good places to eat? I'll be staying down by the Palace of Fine Arts/Fishermans Wharf area.