6 Vintage Commercials that Will Make You Smile…

My favorite:

This commercial puts things in perspective as only 18 years ago the internet was still a new and growing tool. 5th graders outline the prospective possibilities of the internet, which back then were only dreams, yet today make up a very present reality.

via 6 Vintage Commercials that Will Make You Smile – Goodnet.

Even if you have money to burn…

I know I’m opening myself up to a flame war here but I’m going to come right out and say it; the Mac is just not worth the money, especially if you do most of your work in the cloud.

There was a time when the Mac was demonstrably better at some tasks than others and that’s why is used it as my primary platform for 15 years. Heck, I even worked for Apple for 3 years I believed in the product and company so much!

These days though, in my work as an internet consultant, I use Mac, Windows AND Ubuntu and I am fluent in all three. I see no perceptible value in using Mac over the other two; in fact, it’s more the other way around. I like my 64bit Windows 7 machine but as Windows 8 [which appears to be another Vista to me] grabs more desktop real estate, I’m spending more and more time honing my Linux skills. After all, the Ubuntu operating system offers many of the benefits of a Linux or UNIX based operating system that looks good, but it uses inexpensive Windows hardware – the best of all possible worlds! Especially if all you’re doing is using the internet…

Right now, I think the best combination of hardware and software for business blogging is a Windows 7 computer although that may change soon. No matter what, however, you won’t find me paying for a new Mac – I don’t need the industrial design when I’m just looking at a monitor they’re just not worth the cost especially when Firefox, Chrome and Safari run on all of the major computing platforms! Questions? Feedback?


Endless possibilities…

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

My wife and sons have departed to visit family for the holidays and leaving me with five glorious days alone in the house. The question is how to best spend this treasure. Five empty days without interruption. To some people that might sound like a nightmare but to a father of six boys with three teenagers an eight-year-old currently at home it sounds like heaven. The question is and how to best spend? The possibilities are truly endless! One possibility? Buy a case of beer and load up on sausage and cheese and make it my objective to watch all five seasons of Castle back to back while never changing out of my boxers. Somehow I feel as if I have a higher calling and that this time could be better invested. What if I used the time to actually read the books on my Kindle that I thought I couldn’t live without? What if I use the time to actually do the exercises I gloss over in those self-help books I’ve purchased? What if I ate nothing but good food? What if I use the time to reduce or eliminate coffee from my morning? See what I mean? The possibilities are truly unless but the choices that I make will tell me more about who I really am than anything that I’ve ever written here…

What do you think about in your downtime moments?


via What do you think about in your downtime moments?.


The health hazards of tablet use

Holy Kaw!

via The health hazards of tablet use [infographic].

Before and after; Nilofer Merchant site ‘TBO’

2011 version…

What is TBO you ask? Why ‘total beauty makeover’ of course! Wednesdays are the days we talk about high-performing websites at elevation and today I like to share with you some recent work that I did for friend and client Nilofer Merchant…

I enjoy telling people that I have worked with Nilofer since the days when she was a mere mortal when our paths crossed at Apple in the late 90s. Since then, Nilofer has gone on to become an author, corporate director, and speaker while I became a humble social media mechanic. About 18 months ago, Nilofer had a ‘brochureware’ website and was blogging on Posterous. I ask ‘what’s a nice girl like you doing using sites like these’? Nilofer considered my question and came back a month or two later asking if I could guide her through the process of consolidating her Internet presence on WordPress. The picture you see above was the result of our first collaboration and it served her well for almost a year…

A month ago Nilofer approached me with the idea of giving the site a total beauty makeover in preparation for her September 12 book launch of 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #Social Era. Nothing could have made me happier because helping Nilofer promote her thinking is truly a labor of love!

As we talked about the new site we both agreed we wanted something simple and straightforward that would accurately communicate her brand. We chose a simple but powerful WordPress theme that would showcase images reflecting the different aspects of Nilofer’s brand. I really wanted the website to “get out of the way” so that people could see how beautiful SHE really is. I wish I could take credit for the images but she worked with Cooper Bates Photography to get what we needed and their images really carry the site. It was pretty easy going from that point forward; here is the result of our collaboration:

Click to go to website…

What about you? Does your website accurately reflect the beauty of your brand? If not, I’d be happy to work with you as well! You can use the contact form below to connect…

Pat Hopkins of Imaginasium in Green Bay [yes, we have very smart people here too!] wrote:

Steve Jobs had it. Bill Gates did, too. Their successors? Not so much.

Don’t get me wrong — Apple and Microsoft may still be successful. It’s just that they’ll never be the same companies that they set out to be.

These days, they’re operating based solely on sound business practices, rather than rallying around a unified, inspiring vision that made them the undisputed leaders in their field.

Same scenario in government: In 2008, Barack Obama had it in droves. This year? Both he and Mitt Romney have played it safe — relying on tried & true tactics rather than a bold vision to rally around. Thus, there’s been no clear leader in the race to date.

And remember good ol’ George H.W. Bush? After serving as Vice President to Reagan — an unequaled storyteller with a clear, compelling vision — he sought to continue the same successful policies for another eight years. Yet, he only served one term.

Bush 41 had an incredible resume — on paper, there was perhaps no one more qualified in recent history than he to serve as president. As he focused on the comfortable role of handling issues one-by-one and in the here-and-now, his advisors urged him to speak to broader themes. He referred to it as “that vision thing,” and didn’t see it as important as solving problems and letting his record speak for itself.

It cost him the election — voters instead rallied around a new candidate who urged them to “don’t stop thinking about tomorrow.” (And Clinton went on to serve two terms, with unparalleled popularity even today).

Vision is what every successful leader and company thrives on, yet one of the hardest things to truly communicate and achieve. In fact, it’s the most critical long-term success factor and challenge you’ll face.

You can get by for a while without it. But you won’t lead your industry. Or make as much profit as your competitor. Or retain the best talent.

And unless you also weave it into a compelling story and get good at telling it, you’re likely to face the same fate.” via About That Vision Thing….

Takeaway? Find yours — vision, that is — and pursue it while you still can…

Mission accomplished…


Well, I made the transition. The first week of school I was struggling to get my bike ride in but I had a successful week last week and accomplished my goal of 3500 calories [or the equivalent of roughly 1 pound] per week…


I also had to scale back my miles a little bit. I had an aggressive goal of riding 200 miles in July and I accomplished my objective but almost ruined my knee for riding…

It’s hard to ride at 5:30AM but if I don’t do it then, I probably won’t at all. I also seem to be slower in the morning, but that may be knee related as well…

All these stats come from Endomondo, a fitness app I have on my Google Nexus S [although it is available for iPhone as well]. Pandora keeps me pumping and Endomondo tracks my progress. It’s probably goofy to you, but stats like this really motivate me…


Self-esteem via Like button :-)

Click image to enlarge…

The Joy of Tech comic… self-esteem via Like button.

Surface Computing: The iDesk Final Frame

Tech | Apartment Therapy via Surface Computing: The iDesk Final Frame.

Steve Jobs: Guru and Goon

Relly Nadler, M.C.C., writes:

Steve Jobs has been a fascinating case study in this blog for leadership because he was a phenomenal innovator and marketer, while demonstrating a dark side that could demonize people. This is the last entry to explore his leadership conundrum.

Newsweek this week named Jobs a top Evangelists and stated “equal parts businessman and poet he envisioned what technology could be –and then delivered it with magnificent products.” He was also vicious, arrogant, stubborn, blind to others feelings and prone to temper tantrums.  He was a star in some Emotional Intelligence competencies, while devastated others on the way to success. How do we make sense of these opposite attributes?  As leaders what do we emulate and what do we eliminate from our leadership behaviors?

In the last blog we continued to look at the DSM IV criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder for Steve Jobs as it helps us understand the two sides of Steve Jobs, his motivations and personality. This is exploratory in nature only and educational and not deemed to give him a clinical diagnosis, as he would have to be a client and interviewed personally. Many of these back stories come from Walter Isaacson’s book Steve Jobs. This exploration can help you if you see yourself in any of these descriptions and determine which ones to tune down.

In the DSM IV, the manual that helps diagnose mental disorders, you need 5 of the 9 criteria to meet the diagnosis. It looks like Jobs clearly fits 6 of the 9. We looked at three in the last blog. Two in the second blog on Jobs and here we will explore the last four.” Get the answer here: Jobs: Guru and Goon | Psychology Today.”

Nadler concludes:

“Yes Jobs was one of the most influential people of this century and his Narcissism was driving force for his vision, perfection and success. He is a leadership conundrum for what to emulate and eliminate, which will be studied in MBA and leadership programs for years to come. These last blogs can help deconstruct his complicated nature as we move onto to new leading with Emotional Intelligence topics.

For a summary of What to Emulate and Eliminate from Jobs, go to the blog at www.truenorthleadership.com.”

Relly Nadler

Nadler’s article makes for interesting reading; I suggest you go to the source to get the context of his thoughts…

By the way,  I still think the best post-Jobs retrospective I’ve read was done by Harvard Business Review writer, author [and client] Nilofer Merchant who wrote:

“Certainly, we need inspiration to show us examples of clear purpose. But I wonder what happens in a world where we each figure out why we do what we do and we can live and work from that place. We might refocus on our own work and the community with which we get that work done. We might learn to define success in our own terms. We might even come up with our own mantra around this:

  • I shall not obsess over others’ success: not copying, idolizing, or mindlessly emulating.
  • I shall know my purpose and know why I’m doing something.
  • I shall ally myself to a tribe with a common purpose, though the tribe’s members may work in vastly different fields and forms.
  • I will make ideas stronger by uniting with others to do great work, not by holding my ideas all to myself but releasing them into the wild.
  • I recognize the truth in the credo that the future is not created, the future is co-created and will do my part as a part of the whole.

In doing so, we might go from a culture of find-a-fits-the-mold superhero to a system of heroes- and heroines-next-door. We might create, rather than copy. We might initiate, rather than wait for permission. We might see ourselves as powerful enough. We might not believe that solving the many problems around us is someone else’s responsibility. We might each be willing to disrupt ourselves as Whitney Johnson suggests we do. We might reimagine our careers, with clarity of purpose, and this might show up in our work with others. We might just transform the organizing principles of the places we work. We might even end up reinventing our economy. We might recognize just how connected we are.

For my own situation when I was a kid, once I realized there was no hero coming to save me, I found ways to manage the situation. I said “enough” to what was going on. I also started to claim the things that mattered, like an education.  As a result, I was ousted from my family — but I also started developing the sense of purpose that has led me to the work I do today and the people I do it with.

The cultural change when people know their own purpose and their own power in creating change is what could change everything: for ourselves, for our organizations, and our economy. So, go ahead and buy that Walter Isaacson book. But, let’s not obsess over being the next Steve Jobs or starting the next Facebook or [whatever]. Let us, instead, be inspired to find our own purpose in the world, and a tribe of people to do it with.” Be Your Own Hero | Yes & Know“.

What say you?

‘Technology Addiction’ edition

epic fail photos - There I Fixed It: Technology Addiction

Or, “The Laptop Meets the Blacktop.” via There I Fixed It: Technology Addiction.

10 TV Rules You Must Have

Did you ever walk into a friend’s home for coffee and conversation and feel overwhelmed by the distraction of a big honking TV, right there in the living room, running some mindless show and competing for everyone’s attention?

Are you constantly worried about what kind of trash Junior might be watching at all hours on the TV in his room?

Is TV the dominant social presence in your home?

Are you afraid to limit your kids’ usage because you’ve tried to go down that road before and it was nothing but whining and complaining and breaking the rules?

If you answered “YES!”, or have any other TV issues constantly in the back of your mind, then it’s time to step up and establish manageable standards and limits in your home. There’s nothing to be afraid of, and a whole lot to look forward to once you get over the hump and introduce protocols that are fair and consistent.

Here are “10 Rules” from All Pro Dad that should help right the ship just in time for the summer break from school.” Get more here: 10 TV Rules You Must Have | All Pro Dad.

The death of RIM [infographic] – Holy Kaw!

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Brief History of Instagram | Visual.ly

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More on being your own hero…

Kute Blackson’s post made me think of another epic post on ‘being your own hero’ written by friend, client and Harvard Business Review author Nilofer Merchant on the deification of Steve Jobs and the lessons it holds for us…

So, it’s with that life context that I am watching the beatification of Steve Jobs. Google the term, “Steve Jobs tribute” and you get back 5 million plus results. And I’m fairly sure that’s an undercount. There’s a good reason for this; the Hero Narrative has deep roots in our culture. We find it in history books and religions, in our sports teams and, yes, even in our corporate cultures. We obsess. We deify, as if there is a single defining idea of how innovation works, what makes a leader great, or how success happens.

This is not new. It is the idea of The One and it shows up in many ways: Who will be the next leader of the free world? What nation will be the next superpower? Which visionary company is the single conqueror of industry? (It’s Amazon, it’s Google, it’s Facebook, it’s Apple!). And we have it in management disciplines with debates like: isn’t it better to have one smart person than lots of ordinary people working for our organizations?

But I wonder if this framework is wrong.

Continue reading “More on being your own hero…”

Your starting place does not define you

Personal Best

“Your story is where you take it to, not where you start.”―Tony Robbins

Let’s be honest and get a few things out on the table:

Your starting point does not define you.

Your starting point is a neutral data point.

What matters is where you want to go rather than where you are right now.

Your starting place is just that—where you start. Nothing more and nothing less. It’s neutral.

Jeff Bezos started Amazon in a garage. Steve Jobs started Apple in a garage. Many people think a garage is a pretty terrible place to start a business. However, both visionaries built incredibly successful companies that have since changed the world and our view of what’s possible.

Iyanla Vanzant, an author and self-help guru, went through a divorce, lost her daughter to cancer, and lost her home. She is now a NY Times bestselling author and will soon have a self-empowerment show on Oprah’s network (OWN). Although, we tend to classify our starting place in an extreme way, it’s just a starting place. No need to be dramatic.

“We can think, speak, and bring the best possible outcome into existence by focusing on where we are going, not on where we think we are.”—Iyanla Vanzant

Do yourself and everyone around you a favor, please stop being so tough on yourself because your starting place is difficult…

Source: Your Starting Place Does Not Define You [BLOG] « Positively Positive

Go to the source if you want more…

Online Masters
Created by: OnlineMastersDegree.com

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Bio as Bible: managers imitate Steve Jobs

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

In the latest ‘drive-by’ management trend, the deification of Steve Jobs continues…

Mimicking Mr. Jobs’s keynote style and adopting catch phrases like “one more thing”—the words Mr. Jobs often used to introduce products—may make bosses think they’re operating more like the genius himself. But it has provoked plenty of eye-rolling among staffers. “Some employees are teasing me about when I’ll start wearing black turtlenecks,” says Mr. Thammineni, referring to Mr. Jobs’s signature item of clothing.

“It’s not to that point of being annoying yet, but it might get there,” says Dominique Levin, vice president of marketing at Totango Inc., a software company based in Mountain View, Calif., and Tel Aviv. Her boss, CEO Guy Nirpaz, devoured all 656 pages of the book in three days, then bought copies for his employees—including Hebrew translations for employees in Israel—so they could discuss the book at company meetings.

Source: Bio as Bible: Managers Imitate Steve Jobs – WSJ.com

Jobs was a brilliant but an assaholic! Managers should be careful about who and what they choose to emulate…

PC users vs. Mac users

The Difference Between Mac and PC Users [Infographic] « DAIN IT!

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Upgrade yourself!

Mastin Kipp shares a good analogy today at TDL…

I joke that my goal in life is to upgrade my internal software as often as iTunes upgrades its software! I mean, think about it, how many times does iTunes upgrade it’s software? It seems like almost daily! And why does Apple do this? Because they are constantly improving their product so that it’s better for us to use.

And that is what we must do. Accept who we are, know that where we are is perfect. And then from that place step into constant personal growth, busting through old stories and patterns and upgrading our internal software so that we can be used by The Uni-verse better.

The future is bright. Many people think when times are good that they will always be good, and that when times are tough they will always be tough – instead of remembering that the nature of life is constant change. It’s usually never as awesome as we think it is, nor is it as bad as we think it is.

And when we have a vision for a future that we want to create, we can use that vision as a navigation system when times are awesome or when times are tough. Coming back to your vision and taking action towards it REGARDLESS of what is happening in the outside world – that is what separates people.

Source: Here’s Why Your Future Is FULL Of Radness!

Go to the source if you’d like to read the rest of his post…

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