The Art of Removing the Right Things

Some metaphors feel so clichéd that you avoid making use of them - even if they are true to the core. Gardening has been likened to many phenomena. Programming may be like gardening. Picking the best ideas to guide your work and life may be. Once the first of them appeared out of nothing. A … Continue reading The Art of Removing the Right Things

The Orphaned Internet Domain Risk

I have clicked on company websites of social media acquaintances, and something is not right: Slight errors in formatting, encoding errors for special German characters. Then I notice that some of the pages contain links to other websites that advertize products in a spammy way. However, the links to the spammy sites are embedded in … Continue reading The Orphaned Internet Domain Risk

Bing Says We Are Weird. I Prove It. Using Search Term Poetry.

Bing has done so repeatedly: In order to learn more about this fundamental confusion I investigated my Bing search terms. [This blog has now entered the phase of traditionally light summer entertainment.] Rules: Raw material: Search terms shown in Bing Web Master Tools for any of my / our websites. Each line is a search … Continue reading Bing Says We Are Weird. I Prove It. Using Search Term Poetry.

The Future of Small Business?

If I would be asked which technology or 'innovation' has had the most profound impact on the way I work I would answer: Working remotely - with clients and systems I hardly ever see. 20 years ago I played with modems, cumbersome dial-in, and Microsoft's Netmeeting. Few imagined yet, that remote work will once be … Continue reading The Future of Small Business?

Ploughing Through Theoretical Physics Textbooks Is Therapeutic

And finally science confirms it, in a sense. Again and again, I've harping on this pet theory of mine: At the peak of my immersion in the so-called corporate world, as a super-busy bonus miles-collecting consultant, I turned to the only solace: Getting up (even) earlier, and starting to re-read all my old mathematics and … Continue reading Ploughing Through Theoretical Physics Textbooks Is Therapeutic

Where to Find What?

I have confessed on this blog that I have Mr. Monk DVDs for a reason. We like to categorize, tag, painstakingly re-organize, and re-use. This is reflected in our Innovations in Agriculture ... ... as well as in my periodical Raking The Virtual Zen Garden: Updating collections of web resources, especially those related to the … Continue reading Where to Find What?

Social Debt (Tech Professional’s Anecdotes)

I have enjoyed Ben Horowitz' book The Hard Thing About Hard Things. Farnamstreet's review is perfect so I will not attempt at writing one. I will focus on one idea I found most intriguing. I read Horowitz' book as an account of dealing with hard decisions in general, about having to decide alone, about personal accountability, … Continue reading Social Debt (Tech Professional’s Anecdotes)

When I Did Social Engineering without Recognizing It

I planned to read something about history this summer. Then I picked the history of hacking. My favorite was Kevin Mitnick's autobiography - the very definition of a page-turner. The book is free of hardcore technical jargon and written for geeks and lay audience alike. Readers are introduced to the spirit of a hacker in … Continue reading When I Did Social Engineering without Recognizing It

Career Advice – Borrowing Wise Words from a Sailing Hacker

On researching SSL-related hacks, I have stumbled upon the website of notable security researcher Moxie Marlinspike. Marlinspike is also a sailor and working on diverse projects, such as Audio Anarchy - a project for transcribing anarchist books into audio format. On his About page he says: I like computer security and software development, particularly in the … Continue reading Career Advice – Borrowing Wise Words from a Sailing Hacker

Diffusion of iTechnology in Corporations (or: Certificates for iPhones)

[Jump to technical stuff] Some clichés are true. One I found confirmed often is about how technologies are adopted within organizations: One manager meets another manager at a conference / business meeting / CIO event. Manager X show off the latest gadget and/or brags about presents a case-study of successful implementation of Y. Another manager … Continue reading Diffusion of iTechnology in Corporations (or: Certificates for iPhones)

What Entrepreneurs Need to Have

Chances are that many readers had to do one of those things as corporate employees or as members of any large organization that asks management consultants for help: brainstorm on a vision, formulate a mission statement, create a business plan. As an aspiring start-up business owner you cannot escape trainers who tell you need a … Continue reading What Entrepreneurs Need to Have

Fragile Technology? (Confessions of a Luddite Disguised as Tech Enthusiast)

I warn you - I am in the mood for random long-winded philosophical ramblings. I have graduated recently again, denying cap-and-gown costume as I detest artificial Astroturf traditions such as re-importing academic rituals from the USA to Europe. A Subversive El(k)ement fond of uniforms would not be worth the name. However, other than that I … Continue reading Fragile Technology? (Confessions of a Luddite Disguised as Tech Enthusiast)

More Capitalism, Less Zen. Tackling Existential Questions Once More. In Vain?

Usually you make things worse by trying to explain again what you didn't get across the first time. I do it nonetheless. My post on Zen Capitalism might have been interpreted as advocating Follow Your Bliss and Anything Else Will Follow (Money, in particular). I cringe; this is exactly what I intended to avoid, but … Continue reading More Capitalism, Less Zen. Tackling Existential Questions Once More. In Vain?

So-Called Zen Capitalism and Random Thoughts on Entrepreneurship

In this blog and in the comments' section of other blogs I have repeatedly ridiculed: management consultants, new age-y self help literature and simple-minded soft skills trainers. Let alone all other life-forms in the lower left quadrant of the verbal skills vs. quant skills diagram. Now it is time that I give you a chance … Continue reading So-Called Zen Capitalism and Random Thoughts on Entrepreneurship

On Social Media and Networking (Should Have Been a Serious Post, Turned out Otherwise)

It has been nearly a month since my satirical post on LinkedIn and bot-like HR professionals has stirred interesting discussions and unexpected reblogs. I have promised to come up with related posts regularly. To all my new followers who were probably attracted by the Liebster-award-related nonsense: Compared to those posts this one is unfortunately a … Continue reading On Social Media and Networking (Should Have Been a Serious Post, Turned out Otherwise)

Work Hard – Play Hard

There is indeed a 'corporate culture' named like this. Trusting Wikipedia on this: In their 1984  [sic!] book, Corporate Cultures, Deal and Kennedy identified a particular corporate culture which they called the 'work hard/play hard culture': "Fun and action are the rule here, and employees take few risks, all with quick feedback; to succeed, the … Continue reading Work Hard – Play Hard

The Dark Side Was Strong in Me

Once in a communication skills training I learned: For each of us there is a topic / a question / a phrase that will turn us raging mad or leave us in despair, or both. The point the trainer wanted to make, of course, was to use your combatant's topics to your advantage. There are mild variants: Topics you … Continue reading The Dark Side Was Strong in Me

Burn the Org Chart – if Not the Organization – Down to the Ground

Don't panic. This is just a quote. It is a quote from one of my favorite favorite favorite books: The Cluetrain Manifesto, first published in 1999 and now available for free. The website - and the book is a call to the people of earth and puts forward 95 theses, the first of them being Markets are … Continue reading Burn the Org Chart – if Not the Organization – Down to the Ground