Staycation 2016

Rick and Ev selfie at Brainard Lake

It's hard to remember a time when life wasn't busy, particularly in recent years since Evelyn was born and my company officially became a VC-backed startup with massive plans for growth. Throw in a family illness here and there and we always found a reason not to make the time to take a vacation.

A World of Radical Inefficiency

One of the reasons that I'm so optimistic about our future is that we, as individuals and as a collective species, are nowhere near the point where we've tapped our full potential. How could we be when billions of people are getting by on dollars per day and we still don't have ubiquitous access to broadband internet and electricity? But it goes beyond economics and technology. Here's a quick, top of mind list of every area of life that still has huge, upside potential.

When Ideas Die on the Journey from Inspiration to Creation

Dandelion seeds stuck on the stem.

I fell in love with poetry while I was completing my BS and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering. It was more than just an escape valve from the stress of my technical studies. It was my way of exploring life through words. Trying to capture a powerful human emotion, a memory, or a scene in a Haiku format became a fun game. And like any creative endeavor, once you started the flood gates continued to open up. I found myself needing to keep a journal with me at all times, and would often stop several times along my bike commute to campus to capture ideas, phrases, or sentences.

QR Codes on a Tombstone

I never missed an opportunity to visit Samuel Adams gravestone whenever I walked along the freedom trail in downtown Boston. Like many of the founding fathers, I deeply respected the principles he stood for and lived by. And yet his tombstone did no justice in representing the impact that he made upon the world. If it wasn't for the nearby placard, his entire existence would be summarized by a name and his birth and death year.

Among the other tombs, the stories of everyone's life were condensed down to a name and two years. What a pity, given the richness that each one offered.

Steps and Leaps

Photo of a person suspended in air.

Forward progress is made through a combination of steps and leaps.

Steps are the smallest possible actions necessary to keep moving. They build and maintain momentum. They are the daily and hourly actions that create and reinforce habits. They are the unglamorous daily grind, sometimes resulting in reaching the intended destination and sometimes resulting in getting stuck in a rut.

Degrees of Done: The Difference Between Developed, Deployed, and Decommissioned

What is done? If the question involves software, the answer depends on your area of responsibility. A developer may define done as the moment the application works the very first time. An operations engineer may define done as the moment it's launched to a customer and currently available. The business may define done as the last moment in time the last end-user is still alive and using the application.