The Consumerization of Popcorn... and IT

Technology continues to change not only the tools we use  but the language we use to describe it. Wikipedia describes  consumerization  as: …an increasingly accepted term used to describe the growing tendency for new information technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread into business and government organizations. Consumerization absolutely affects technology, but confining the definition to information technology too narrowly defines it. The etymology pins the emergence of the term itself as early as 2001, which is a long time in  dog years  and at least a half century in technology. But the concept goes back far before Y2K. I could delve into Eli Whitney’s  cotton gin , but I’ll stick to less distant history. Before we get to IT, consider the impact of consumerization on time and choice. Consumerization & Time In some ways, our experiences with consumer technology have changed the very speed at which we live our lives. We don’t make time for things th

Prioritize Teamwork to Deliver Results

This post originally appeared on in March 2017.  We’re in the business of creating tools and technology for  collaboration . Everything we do is focused on making it easier for teams to work together and “get stuff done.” But putting the best tools in place isn’t going to create teamwork from thin air. If your organizational culture doesn’t actually reward people for working together, tools alone won’t make it happen. Few people would disagree that teamwork delivers results. But for decades, recognition systems in business have focused on individual achievement. This encourages the belief that if you want to get ahead, you have to make all the magic on your own – or at least make sure you’re the person to get the credit for it. Have you ever been in one of those giant quarterly team meetings where four or five people are called out as superstars? How many of those people truly did it all on their own? How many times have you been sitting in that meeting thinking that Bob and

Why I Do Medical Missions

I was sitting in this same spot almost exactly two years ago. (Actually, I think I was in the room next door, but what are 15 feet between friends?) I’d just arrived in Namibia for the first time. On that day, I had some idea of what the next two weeks would bring. Today I have a better idea, but I’m well aware that much changes along the way. Volunteering is often a good exercise in flexibility. In 2012, a friend gave me an opportunity that would change my life. He invited me on a medical mission. I’d already been managing the group's blog and social media for a few years. But the chance to actually travel with the team was something I’d hadn’t expected. I wouldn’t consider myself particularly adventurous, but I knew I had to go. And so, I found myself in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta with the International Extremity Project . Not only did my first trip provide an amazing life experience, but it helped fill a void in my heart. I realize that sounds a bit dramatic, but I’ll explain.

Sending My Kid to School After Parkland

My kid has questions I can't answer. He wants to know how he's supposed to go to school and feel safe. I have no answers. I can't tell him that everything will be fine. I can't guarantee that. I can't lie. On the same day that a Florida teenager went into a high school and killed 17 people, my son's former PE teacher turned himself into the local police for child pornography and other related charges. Boom, crash, splat. He's 14. His sense of safety at school is shattered.  How does he know that someone won't come onto the campus armed and determined to do damage? How does he know that he can trust the very adults he's been conditioned to rely on since pre-school?   How do I answer those questions?

The Table: A Story of Need vs. Want

I try to make purchase decisions based on need vs. want. I'll often see something that I really like but opt out of buying it because I don't need it. I'd rather be happy with what I have than focus on wanting things I don't. (Yes, I did need the motorcycle. For mental health reasons. Yeah, that's it.) OK, let's not get distracted by facts. Admittedly, sometimes this need/want thing goes a little far. Exhibit A: I still have a bra that the dog chewed during her awkward post-puppy supportive undergarment chewing phase. She absolutely disabled another one, but this one survived with an interesting fringe in the cleavage area. It's serviceable. It's more of a yard-work bra than an office bra, not that anyone would really know. Until now, anyway. Bonus: I smirk every time I put it on.

Details + Details + Details = TMI

TG likes to explain things. All sorts of things. And he likes details. Lots of details. Like today, he didn't have a level in Soquel because he didn't bring one from home so when he went to the store with J, B, and the kids he bought a new one. I made the mistake of making a pun about "taking things to a new level." And somehow that jump-started a very detailed discussion of cabinet installation. And about 17 other things.

Birds of Protest: When Words Don't Work

Sometimes you can't do the things you're supposed to do. I was supposed to go to a memorial for a friend today. I couldn't. They're adding up. It would have been the fourth such gathering this year. Maybe that's not a lot, but it's enough for me right now. I'm tired of loss and focusing on loss. Real loss, impending loss, potential loss, metaphorical loss. There's a lot of it swirling around, near and far. I started running out of words. OK, I had words, but more often than not, they started resembling an unpunctuated string of cursing. I was running out of coherent sentences and paragraphs. I couldn't find them.

Raising a Son in a World of Brock Turners

This whole Stanford Rapist Who Can Swim thing has been everywhere this week, and I haven't tried to escape it. I've read the letters, read the articles, and shared in the discussion. I found myself wandering between disbelief and outrage. It was strange to realize I've been in the courtroom of the judge who sentenced Turner to the prison equivalent of cleaning chalkboard erasers after elementary school. He annoyed me then. He infuriates me now. At first, I didn't talk about the Stanford case around my son. I didn't want to talk about rape. I didn't want to explain what Turner had done. I didn't want to talk about how a young man smart enough to go to a university as prestigious as Stanford could also be as vicious as to attack an unconscious girl behind a dumpster. But then, I did. I am raising a young man. I wanted him to see me angry, astounded, and affected by the case. My son can go toe-to-toe with me about how unfair it is that I limit his s

Cancer Is a Narcissist

I am angry. And I am sad. But at the moment, it's mostly anger. Keyboard and reader beware. That androgynous, faceless, scourge with too many names and ways of wreaking havoc.  That invisible stalker that sneaks in at the cellular level, latching on and demanding attention.  That predatory visitor that remains unseen until  it's too often too late.  It wins again. Today, cancer won again.  It won this morning, taking a young woman barely 30 from her world, her family's world, our world, this world. Quickly. Aggressively. Ruthlessly. I want to scream at cancer, cuss it out, kick it where it hurts, be heard. But cancer is a narcissist. It doesn't care that I'm angry. It knows nothing but itself and how to propagate until it wins.