Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Engineering’

SXSW Download (in brief)

2010/03/18 4 comments

My $500 name tag @DaveMc9ee and @balanon are famous ReWork talk by David Heinemeier Hansson

I’d like to expand on this eventually, but likely it will remain short. We packed a lot into one week in Austin.

I greatly enjoyed SXSWi 2010. No better place to make connections in the tech startup scene, while chatting with touchscreen UI designers, eating Rudy’s BBQ, catching up with old friends and making new ones, and wishing that AplusK would get out of the way so we could extract a nugget of wisdom from Paul Graham.

My favorite sessions

Ok, so I liked most of the sessions I attended. These are the ones for which I took notes worth sharing:

Hung out with some cool people

Closing Thoughts

  • Time to relearn web development. I was so cool writing HTML back in 1996, but the world has come a long way. Some UI/UX design insight will help for touch screen apps, too.
  • Crowdsourcing some answers for this one: What is more valuable: go through a seed combinator program (get paid, network, create) or MBA (pay them, network, learn)?
  • Creativity WILL drive the future. I want to be at the wheel, not just along for the ride.
  • HUGE opportunity to bridge the Digital Divide (see above). It will take simplicity on the far side of complexity.

See you at SXSW 2010!

Advertisements

My Three E’s

2009/10/02 Leave a comment

I am passionate about the 3 E’s (I know, Jack Welch has 4, but that’s an unlucky number in Japan, so I’ll stick with 3).
Engineering
Entrepreneurship
Environment
Each of these have a deeper than surface meaning.
Engineering is all about problem solving. In the popular sense, engineering is about understanding the laws by which the physical world operates and using that knowledge to create structures, devices, chemicals, and software. In a more human sense, it is about learning from our life experiences. It is about rewarding intelligence over laziness. It is about being open-minded, observational, and retaining a life-long thirst for knowledge. It is about knowing that you don’t know everything. It is about believing that facts are more convincing than opinions. It is about knowing your expertise, and trusting others on their expertise.
Entrepreneurship is literally undertaking an endeavor. It is popularly used to describe those who start their own business ventures. It also describes my favorite definition of leader: “Not necessarily he who strives to be first, but he who is first to strive.” Being an entrepreneur is about ignoring antiquated social norms and being your own person. It is about taking a step back, looking at the big picture, and seeing what others are missing. It is about rallying the pimps (ie your coolest friends) and getting them to collaboratively do something awesome. It is about not settling for the old and proven, but venturing out into the uncertain unknown. Entrepreneurship is about sacrificing good now for great later. It is about following the vision of Gordon B Hinckley, who at age 92 stated, “I am no longer a young man filled with energy and vitality. I’m given to meditation and prayer. I would enjoy sitting in a rocker, swallowing prescriptions, listening to soft music, and contemplating the things of the universe. But such activity offers no challenge and makes no contribution. I wish to be up and doing. I wish to face each day with resolution and purpose. I wish to use every waking hour to give encouragement, to bless those whose burdens are heavy, to build faith and strength of testimony. It is the presence of wonderful people which stimulates the adrenaline. It is the look of love in their eyes which gives me energy.”
Environment, in the green movement of the new millennium, is about stepping back from a myopic view of the consequences of human activity on this planet. What one of us does today effects everyone tomorrow. Therefore, environment is about solidarity. It is about never being alone on this journey. Environment is about service and sacrifice. It is about not separating the end and the means. It is about Stephen R. Covey’s “Third Alternatives”. It is about consensus, equality, liberty, unity, and teamwork.
These are deep-rooted beliefs. I will never think it is dumb to be smart. I will always hope you dance, instead of sitting on the sidelines. I will respect the earth and all people who live here.
What is unanswered is this: how will I make progress on all 3 of these when I wake up tomorrow morning?