Power Is Intoxicating →

Allie Brosh in this humorous cartoon essay:

The feeling had been slowly intensifying ever since I put the costume on that morning, and, as I stood there in the middle of the classroom, staring off into the distance in an unresponsive power trance, it finally hit critical mass.

I had to find some way to use it. Any way. Immediately.

This also explains why anonymity and pseudonyms encourage Internet trolls.

Better Than “Checking References”

This tip comes courtesy of Alan Weiss of Summit Consulting:

Anyone who gives you references is going to have provided sterling references. Don’t waste your breath asking about the individual, but ask the reference if they know others for whom the person has worked, and call them. You’re apt to get much more balanced and honest feedback.

An Illicit Methodology →

Alan Weiss:

A new boy in the neighborhood, five years old, met another new boy.

“How did you get here?” asked the first.

The second explained that his parents told him it was an act of love and intimacy which he could not yet fully understand, but their behaviors created him in his mother’s body where he spent nine months before coming out.

The first said, “We drove from Portland.”

Moral: Never lead with methodology.

I’ve never known a technologist to behave this way.

How to Get Certified for Free

Network World had a nice tip I saved from their 11-21-2011 issue (Page 16):

While no one argues that certs are more valuable than hands-on experience, “they can be helpful when implementing new technology,” Eddy says. “One of the things I like to negotiate with a new purchase order is that the vendor throws in certification on their product.”

Professional Athletes and Top Performers

Every individual, regardless of what role they happen to be in, is a unique mixture if natural talent, learned skills, and mental attitude. Put another way: nature, nurture, and inner game.

The one that sets the top folks in any field or endeavor apart isn’t either of the first two, though they can help. The biggie is the last one. It’s also the most difficult to teach, to be taught, or to learn from observing. It is, however, the most valuable.

Nintendo Still Doesn’t Get It

For the The New York Times, Brian X. Chen writes:

Tablets are considered a threat to Nintendo because games can be downloaded for a few dollars, or even free. Nintendo’s strategy has been to make most of its money from sales of the games it produces exclusively for Nintendo devices. Therefore, it has refused to offer its games to makers of tablets and smartphones.

While Nintendo may have to do the latter, eventually, that’s only a symptom of the massive opportunity they missed.

Our household has owned a Nintendo Wii for several years. To me the most obvious missed opportunity for Nintendo the last several years has been its lack of desire in creating a vibrant application ecosystem. Nintendo could have easy copied the iPhone/iPad App Store or Google Play — they didn’t even have to come up with the idea on their own or take a flyer on an unproven concept. They are uniquely positioned to have matched these app stores, unlike many of the wanna-be app store operators out there that you can find on every device and every site that has any semblance of a “platform”.

If only Nintendo had made it easier for developers to create apps for their platform and made it easier for users (read: customers) to navigate the marketplace for trying, downloading, and purchasing third-party applications on their console (e.g. being able to do it all from a web interface on one’s PC or, if really ambitious, via an iPhone and Android app). Then they’d have a 30% commission gravy train derived from the value of their installed base, just like Apple and Google do on their platforms, for any apps purchased from their ecosystem.

We’re not talking small numbers here. Even if you are a game console aficionado, you can’t refute that the original Wii console has outsold both the other two leading consoles (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3). The fact that the Wii intentionally is marketed to and ends up appealing to a broader demographic should have been a catalyst for even greater success in the app space!

Doh, Nintendo. Investments in the new Wii U and in 3D and, now, lower end, variations? Fine, but let’s not continue to miss the forest for the trees. There is still time. A brief window of opportunity does remain, before Apple, Google, Samsung, and whoever else eat your lunch (or, at the very least, force you into doing things you don’t want to do like releasing your software onto other platforms in order to remain comfortably, albeit less so, profitable from your old standby “franchises” like Mario Bros et al.)

This is How I Feel About My Work Too

I’ve been thinking a lot about the problems that crop up when IT is viewed as something for the technologists. That is why when Amy Sample Ward, the new CEO of Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), wrote the following recently it really resonated with me:

Whenever people ask me why NTEN isn’t focused on just one area of work, my answer is simple: All of us are using technology every day, regardless of our job title or organizational mission. To be leaders – either in our department, in our organization, or in our sector – we need to use technology effectively.

Yes, THAT.