Sunday, July 17, 2011

Vacation

My Zimbio
Hard to believe the Outer Banks kept me for a full week. Yes, beach and pool every day, golf with in-laws and daughters, compelling eats... delightful. But who does the uninterrupted vacation? Pressing commercial concerns always seem to intrude.

This year, the canceled talk and careful planning made it possible. A little luck too... one RFP hit four days after return, not at the beginning of vacation.

Admittedly, I'm happy to be back working the day to day issues, but quite grateful for last week's change in scenery.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

My Zimbio
This morning was humid enough as I slid the staff with American flag into the fitting on our front porch. I reflected on those we lost in Afghanistan and Iraq. The song I heard recently, "Let him win or bring him home," which reminded me of the Vietnam War. So many lost in WWII, WWI, our Civil War and the other "minor" squirmishes. Of course, there is no "minor" squirmish, if someone lost a sweetheart, a parent, a sibling or a limb.

I am thankful for those sacrifices... those who gave themselves, and those who gave loved ones. Often, we didn't intend to give... we thought we'd just visit, lend a hand, then come back to happy lives. But something happened. Today, we are helping people acheive Sharia law... something we don't fully endorse, but in the context of tribal justice, sure looks like rule of law and "fair" even without some sort of mandate from Allah.

Yes, something happened... for you and so many. Be thankful for our freedom of expression, of religion, a right to the pursuit of happiness. Something happened, not so nice, to so many... so that you may have something better. God bless them, and God bless you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Informed

My Zimbio
Name your favorite blogs. Who do you follow on Twitter? What newspapers do you read? Weekly periodicals? Do you read them in electronic form, or (still) get them delivered to your doorstep or mailbox?

Admittedly, I'm electronic. Narrowly targeted, internet delivered, spot on my professional and personal interests... but how many major headlines do I miss? Certainly, I've become bored with network news, the "fashion" nature of what gets reported and the typically shallow fashion we hear about the world.

I can't afford to spend all day staying informed. The barrage of information can be exhausting. Guess I'll continue to read what I think makes sense. Suggestions, please!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cyberspace

My Zimbio
Eighteen months ago I wrote a blog post about President Obama's "Cyber Czar" selection. Rumours I was tracking were wrong: Howard Schmidt accepted the role (not Frank Cramer). Earlier this week Howard Schmidt stood on stage with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Commerce (and presumed soon-to-be Ambassador to China) Gary Locke, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Defense Janet Napolitano, DepSecDef Bill Lynn and Asst to the Pres John Brennan to announce the US "International Strategy for Cyberspace."

I haven't read the document yet (though I downloaded it from www.whitehouse.gov), but it looks like Howard Schmidt is getting some work done. Bravo, Howard! Congrats on getting all those people on stage and heralding US goals for promoting trust on the internet, around the world. A worthy cause, to be sure!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Good morning!

My Zimbio
How are dynamics in start-up America? Reports are there hasn't been a better time to start something new for quite some time... those reports seem off-base to me. Various laws apparently designed to protect investors provide limited protection on that front, while administrative requirements for the small business have become increasingly complicated and expensive. As if the challenges of finding and building a fresh, compelling offering weren't enough! A generation of college graduates face a terrible job market... even worse than the many troughs we've observed during the last twenty years. Let's move beyond it, America!

We can get beyond the spiderweb of protective laws with a drive to deliver exceptional value-- damn the risk, full speed ahead! Perhaps Congress can help us out along the way....

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's the economy...

My Zimbio Budget cuts are impending. Without a compromise soon, the bond rating for the US government will fall. The markets are taking a dim view of these dynamics... and justifiably so! The real question: what happens to stocks, the housing markets and consumer spending moving forward? Defense firms that have been riding high for a decade ... will be impacted the most. Stay tuned... but it doesn't look bullish.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Maps and Routes

My Zimbio

This week we briefed our business plan to the Harvard Business School New Venture contest. We described a pad market that will grow to $60 billion in 2015 and target segments including outdoor leisure and military/Homeland Defense.

While envisioning an easy to use interface for off-road route planning (and selecting maps or map data) may not be trivial, the top-level interface can be captured on "story board" within a couple weeks. The true challenge is managing standards according to the Federal Geographic Data Committee and the Open Geospatial Consortium, while delivering the easy to use interface on a pad.

We're looking for GIS, GPS and map data gurus. Folks with a deep understanding of pad hardware implementation and futures would help. Outdoors-y folks aren't necessarily tech-y folks, so hitting this market well requires a dramatic improvement in approachability... visit geo-pad.com for more info.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tragedy

My Zimbio
Such a shame. Crazy man shoots many in Arizona, including a U.S. Congresswoman. Children assault fellow students and teachers in schools-- with pistols and rifles. Random gang killings cut innocent lives short every day in our cities and around the world.

We blame "hate language," guns, and lifestyles that make gang membership preferable to bonding with family, teachers, churches and other constructive avenues. We miss key details about why a child or person isn't connecting... about a child that doesn't connect with curriculum and other troubling problems adults have, even here in the most prosperous nation in the world.

Perhaps it is too easy for an unstable person to get a gun. Perhaps certain words or graphic language alluding to violence do contribute to senseless violence. What about the illusion some people seem to have that they have been ostracized beyond hope? Can we fix that illusion? Is the condition more than an illusion, and if so, can we improve conditions?

Let's encourage our children and colleagues to be responsible when they choose words, but let's be careful before thinking a knee-jerk, heavy-handed response will resolve trends that really are much more complicated.