Game On.

**First Published MARCH 10, 2013

I recently heard that my generation will supposedly accumulate less wealth overall than my parents generation. Be it the economy, work ethics, etc there are enough things against us to make that a reality. However, increased access to information and knowledge should make finding the right opportunity (based on our interests/skills) and being prepared to tackle that opportunity easier. In the end it’s a matter of what game(s) you choose to play.

Corporate game: Like playing snakes and ladders. Your essentially rolling the dice and leaving it to a fate that your boss controls. It’s even more difficult to control your own succes in our current economy with mass layoffs, etc.

Internet Startup game: Like building a puzzle as fast as possible. It’s a matter of finding the right pieces and putting them together in some semblance of an order – getting ahead of yourself, working on the wrong sections or choosing the wrong pieces can be deadly for your career and worse your company.

Marriage game: the search for a husband or wife more wealthy than ourselves. An unfortunate reality of our society but true nonetheless.

Small business game: maybe like a game of Risk? Time and costs to setup are high, its difficult to expand your territory quickly, very few actually make it through the whole game to grow to their true potential.

Solo (freelance) game: Like running a marathon, you’re mostly on your own competing with the other runners, depending on the people on the sidelines for support. When one race ends, another begins.

And then some people just play the lottery.

Labels & Titles

First published OCTOBER 25, 2013

Hipster. WASP. Prep. Celebrity. Nerd. Salesman. Actor. Musician. Designer. Engineer. Employee. Boss. Gangster. Slut. Friend. Lover. Boyfriend. Girlfriend. Ex. Jew. Catholic. Buddhist. Atheist. Mother. Father. Brother…

labels & titles.

Why do we let these words define so much of who we are? Filled with emotions, thoughts, personalities, feelings and reactions – rational or irrational, we’re a complex species.  We are deeper than the titles thrust upon us by peers, employers, friends and strangers.

The world is full of people telling each other they should limit themselves to the bounds of a particular label. “You can’t do ‘X’ because you are ‘Y’”. Labels stifle creativity and freedom. They inhibit our drive to break boundaries, question conventions, and live a well-rounded life. Execution and progress is difficult enough without the limitations we cast on each other.

Don’t confine yourself to a label that directly defines and limits your unique character.

Creative. Brilliant. Loving. Charming. Sexy. Kind. Funny. Cruel. Snarky. Clever. Cunning. Animated. Beautiful. Dull. Strategic. Shy. Philosophical. Adventurous. Reasonable. Innocent. Guilty. Trustworthy. Radiant. Inspiring.

Self-identify with the adjectives.


**First published NOVEMBER 4, 2013

Software development has focused on an approach of moving offline activities (social relationships, communication, shopping, etc) online. And yet we seemingly lose an element of humanity in these online interactions. Why not take the reverse approach? How do we use the internet to make what was traditionally an offline activity more effective or easier to accomplish?

Take the idea of writing a letter. It has easily been replaced by digital communication tools – from fax to email to SMS to Snapchat, the list goes on and on in ways to communicate online. But none are as formal or as personable as a handwritten letter. Yet, our society has lost touch with this traditional, beautiful medium. Writing a letter takes much more time and energy than sending an email. You need letterhead, a pen, content, good handwriting, an envelope, postage, sending address information, time to make a trip to the postal box, and finally no assumption of receiving a response or even acknowledgment that it arrived (in a few days at time).

Of all the things listed here, all but one can be achieved by someone else sourced in an online environment. That one thing is content. As long as the letter sender can create the content, it’s technically feasible for the rest of the steps to be accomplished by a third party. A company that crowdsources writers, matches penmanship with personal taste, manages additional media and printing (photos, etc.), and handles postage and mailing logistics can do so entirely on the internet.

I’m not suggesting this is a logical approach to writing letters, I’m simply pointing out the fact that technology has forced us to lose touch with some of the simpler things that humans in a different lifetime valued and appreciated. Is it not worth thinking about how to use technology to bridge the online world back with the offline world?