Head on down to change alley!

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The concept of crowd funding is very exciting. I am a huge fan (and a huge supporter) of the various projects on Kickstarter. Why? Simply because it is a way to break the cycle of innovation into smaller pieces and it brings many more great ideas to light.

Interesting in the book “Good to Great” and “How the mighty fall,” Jim Collins and his team point out that the loss of innovation is often a contributing factor to the decline of great companies.

Kickstarter to me is the expansion of innovation outside the stifling walls of larger companies where great ideas often languish. In fact there are a number of projects on the site right now that are beyond interesting. A pen that let’s you draw in three dimensional objects. A 3-d printer and scanner (two different projects) that allows you to bring all dimensions into the computer. All are projects that have recently been funded or are being funded now.

The Pebble and Metawatch offerings came out of Kickstarter. There have been a number of extremely interesting projects and it isn’t just technology. From films to high school robotics team Kickstarter is a way to shape and share innovative ideas and get them funded.

Part of this revolution is of course the ability to manufacture what you envision. The ability of a Chinese factory to fund a floor for about 30,000 dollars is simply amazing. It reduces the cost of entry for the new ideas.

For example a project I’ve recently found that is intriguing – Drive with dash (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shred444/drive-with-dash). This device captures the I/O port in your car, the Progressive plug and drive device uses the same port to capture information about your driving. It links to your iOS device and let’s you know about your driving.

Change is coming.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

A communications experiement

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The chaos of communication

 

I have now written a daily blog for most of the past 5 years. (I’ve missed a few days during that time – less than 20 all told however). I’ve focused a lot of energy on the concepts and processes of communication.

First off let me say that I realize communications is at times and often at best chaotic. It is something that we all strive to improve. That being said it is a very hard thing not to worry about.

Secondly communications isn’t an art form. It doesn’t vary from user to user or from “artist to artist” it is a measured process with a core set of goals including, understanding on both sides. If, communication was an art, by definition some of us wouldn’t understand the message and therefore would act differently than expected.

After all my discussions of patterns and anti-patterns of and within communication the next thing to consider has to be a set of guidelines for communication. So, here are the rules I am going to try to live by over the next month and see if they work.

  1. When you communicate make sure you connect and use the language expected by those you are communicating with (no stretching the meanings of words or arguing that the meanings aren’t relevant).
  2. Be on time for meetings. Be prompt and let the meeting leader take the meeting in the direction they want to, after all they called the meeting.
  3. Be aware of the various patterns and anti-patterns in the room. Avoid creating situations where the anti-patterns overwhelm the patterns.

There are many more rules than this and frankly rule 1 is kind of the golden rule. If you don’t want others to shortcut the language you use, don’t shortcut theirs. I will post again at the end of April about my experiment.

 

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

I wonder…

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What would the most interesting man in the world say about mobility today? (I don’t often use a phone myself but when I do I expect…)

Location services are very cool but they burn your battery. Wi-fi takes up less battery than inconsistent cellular connections. LTE sometimes feels like false advertising.

I don’t often use my cellular phone but when I do I call world leaders.

The cellular phone is a great tool. It makes all of use more accessible and frankly it makes it much easier to get in touch with people. It allows you a connection both data and voice that is a great tool to have.

It is however the greatest game changer in the work life balance concept in a long time. First let’s talk about the broad and often sweeping concept “work life balance” once upon a time if you wanted to survive you worked. Mostly on the farm doing the manual jobs that needed to be done for you and your family to survive. Then came the great factories and people worked six and seven days for enough money to feed their families.

Today we have this newer concept of having a balance between work and personal life. Cell phones intrude upon your personal time. Technology makes us work more house. I wonder about that. I often find myself working 50 and 60 hours a week. But if I were working on a farm in the 1800’s that would have been 100 hours or more just to stay alive. In effect I am working 40 or more hours less per week than someone would have 200 years ago. Plus my survival isn’t in question as well, simply the balance people are seeking.

Still, if you measure productivity in hours gained I am far more productive with a working cellular phone than I am without. I just wonder sometimes…

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

GO IU

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I am still not a fan of DC traffic.

In fact I am not a fan of traffic in general and DC traffic specifically.

Tonight’s IU game looks to be a good one – a little scary overall when you think about Syracuse. They are a tough team. It should be a good game but at 10 pm I suspect I will struggle to see the entire thing. Luckily I have tomorrow off.

Time to get rolling!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

Syncverse and the moon over the ocean…

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There has to be an easier way. I took a lot of digital pictures of Virginia beach. IMG_0137 Here you see the moon setting over the beach – a wonderful picture. Now there are pictures I am not allowed to post (those of my wife) and so on. It would be nice if the camera knew where I was (some do now) at the same time also knew who in the family liked having pictures posted and who did not.

I know its heading down the Syncverse path for probably one more time than I should but still. Shouldn’t the devices I use work together the solve the problems I have?

For regular readers sorry about missing yesterday – I took everything with me except the power cord for my computer. There are days…

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

A great device…

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Topographic maps are interesting, they show the way the world is shaped under your feet. I bring this up because lately I’ve been playing with the Delorme GPS handheld receivers. The first part is the fact that they have developed maps that blend the topo with the satellite image of the world you are walking around in. I find that most interesting as the dog and I like to cut off the beaten trail from time to time and find a “new way to go.”

In the old days we used to lay the topo map out on the table and map our trail. Now we can simply punch it into the GPS device and away we go, plus the chances of missing that obscured fire trail are a lot less when the GPS tells you that you are off track. It is an interesting change greatly improved by the addition of technology to the solution.

Plus with a 32 gig S.D. card you can in the end have virtually the entire country on your device rather than simply having the map of one portion of the state of Indiana on the kitchen table.

Oh to live in interesting times…

I am a self-avowed technology geek. I am always looking for the next great gadget.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

The Office View Book…

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There is a great business idea in yesterday’s blog – the concept of taking pictures out of people’s home office windows (and office office windows) and packaging them up as an easy to use screen saver.

I’ve relegated (due to mess) to the basement for the past 14 years for my home office so the concept of a window doesn’t fit. Most of the offices I’ve occupied at work haven’t had great views, either. So I do enjoy the occasion view out someone else’s window.

I think I am going to pull this together. If you have a great view out of your home or work office take a picture and send it to me. I will pull them all together and post them as a Kindle Book for all to enjoy.

The office view book – a fun project that all can join in on! (copyright Scott Andersen). Its all about what you can see that only others enjoy today. Please note, all submitters will get credit as a contributor but in no case will your name be associated with the actual contributed picture. A personal space protection thing so that you maintain a little additional security.

I will keep the group posted on how many pictures I get!

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow