Stark Really #20: Redemption

March 27, 2016 § Leave a comment

[The following is the final installment of a science-fiction serial I started writing at Matterport, where I worked from May to December of 2015. Someday I will get the rights to publish the entire story, but for now, enjoy this little vignette.]

Stark Realty #20: Redemption

“He didn’t kill your mother, Tanya.” panted the newly-arrived Jane Hathaway. “I did.”

Tanya Bain stared at the petite, matronly woman in shocked disbelief. Tony Stark, his hands nailed to the concrete wall with Q-carbon spikes, screamed “Jane, no!”

The demolecularizing grenade Tanya had placed over her father’s arc reactor-powered heart dropped from suddenly nerveless fingers.  With a supreme effort, Tony levered himself against the spikes and drop-kicked the grenade against the far wall, where it harmlessly vaporized a quarter-inch of foamed concrete.

“Tanya,” he gasped.  “Please. Don’t believe her. It was all my fault.”

His estranged daughter stared at him blankly, sinking slowly to the ground.  She, with help from the anonymous cyber-dwarf Rumplestilskin, had put herself through hell to destroy Iron Man for killing her mother. Had her whole life been based on a lie?

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Third Millennium Values

March 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

I deeply appreciate and respect the new focus and push for 21st-century learning outcomes.  I just don’t think they go far enough.

Here are the four core character traits that I believe are foundational to creating those outcomes, as well as healthier individuals, communities, and society.

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Best Live Chat Widget for Startups: Jan 2016

January 20, 2016 § Leave a comment

Live chat support software is a great way to ensure visitors to your SaaS site are successful – or at least tell you what went wrong.  An in-page widget with a friendly human being on the other side is much more approachable than a link to anonymous forum!

Unfortunately, few startups are able to guarantee 24×7 coverage, which means you need a easy-to-use tool with a good fallback user experience for when nobody is available to chat. Here is what appear to be the best options as of January 2016.

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How to Build a Team

November 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

  1. Vision: What does success look like?
  2. Humanity: What do you need to succeed?

  3. Process: How do we ensure everyone gets what they need? 

Agile as Organizational Therapy

November 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

Agile is a meaningless buzzword for many because it is perceived as an answer in search of a question.  Too often, Agile is “cargo-culted” into an organization as an imposed process without first developing a deep understanding of what problems need to be solved.  True progress only happens when the solution is aligned with the problems people actually care about.

To make that happen, we need to take our organizations though a therapeutic process of surfacing and dealing with the hidden pains and frustrations than prevent top performance.  The good news is that we could use the same principles of agile to get us there.

  1. Agree on a Vision
  2. Define a Deliverable
  3. Commit to a Process

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Best Practices for Design in Agile

August 7, 2015 § 1 Comment

A Bibliography, mostly discussing UX Design but a little on the related issue of Architectural Design.

Ten Universally Useful Skills

August 5, 2015 § Leave a comment

In no particular order

  1. Financial Management
  2. Public Performance
  3. Writing
  4. Design
  5. Programming
  6. Sales
  7. Fitness Training
  8. Research
  9. Listening
  10. Self-Awareness

Did I miss anything?

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