I am Senior Director of Developer Relations at Microsoft. I helped create the popular Channel 9 Developer Community, one of the first corporate blogs and a pioneer in the social space, and still lead this team to this day. I am a family guy and a total car nut!
My team and I make Channel 9 rock and heck of a lot more….
- Seen something cool in a Microsoft keynote? Chances are someone on my team created it and did the demo.
- Been to a Microsoft event like BUILD, MIX, PDC or TechEd? My team created the experience end to end, online, offline and around the world.
- Seen a crazy hardware hack with Kinect, a boxing robot or a crazy Mustang on TV? My team of Microsoft Magicians built it.
We are responsible for connecting the top Developers on the planet with Microsoft. If you are a creator and wonder what it is like to partner with Microsoft, drop me a line.
I take many photographs each week. A church in the small Canadian village of Benson, Saskatchewan. My parents were married in this church.
A dock at my friend John Reeve’s cabin at Lake Kachess.
I do a fair amount of speaking in my job as an Evangelist at Microsoft, but this was a very different talk. After a lot of thought (over months) on what to talk about, I came to the decision that I should relay one of the better pieces of advice that I have received. This advice was actually a tool for making big decisions in life.
Sanjay Parthasarathy, one of the great mentors in my life, taught me a tool called “The Five F’s”. In your life when you need to make a difficult decision, things will get emotional and affect your judgment. Often when working through a difficult decision some people will advise you to make a pros and cons list. The problem with that though is it impossible with a pro and con list to not introduce emotional bias. It is also difficult with that type of list to understand how the decision will the affect key pillars of your life. “The Five F’s” help prevent that.
So after the wedding ceremony I gave my toast. I thanked all the friends and family who had travelled from far and wide to attend the wedding and also took a moment to pause and remember the family we had lost over the years, I then began to talk to Brynn and Isaac about “The Five F’s”
When making a very difficult decision in my life I sketch out a table, listing Faith, Family, Friends, Finances and Fun (the Five F’s ) alongside those columns to the right for each of the choices I have.
Here’s an example:
|Choice A||Choice B|
With the table sketched out, I walk through each row in the table and ask myself which choice “A” or “B”, etc. favors the “F” for that row.
- Faith – Is this decision good by God and my belief systems? Do I believe strongly in what the outcome will be?
- Family – How will this decision affect my family? Will it hurt them? Will it benefit them? Will they support me in the decision?
- Friends - What will this do to my friends? Will I have more friends? Will I have Less Friends. Will it hurt the friends that I have?
- Finances – How does this choice affect my finances? Does it improve them? Make them worse?
- Fun – This is a super important one. I think we do forget so much in life that it is ok to have fun. Will the decision bring more joy in my life? Will it allow me to have fun?
After walking through the list and seeing where the choices land, I can then have a better idea of the impact of the decision and can analyze it a bit further.
- Imagine you need to help a family member out financially. Well in that case the decision will affect your finances negatively, but you are ok with that decision as it will help your family and it aligns with your faith.
- Maybe when you list the outcomes out you’ll find that it will be a positive in your faith, great for your family, brings you more fun, but could hurt some friends and even your finances. Even with that you might decide to go ahead with the decision.
The “Five F’s” help you go into making a final decision aware of how it affect the pillars of your life.
So the wedding was wonderful, the talk was probably one of the best I’ve given in years of having a career in public speaking. The wedding day will be a memory I will cherish forever.
Here’s to wishing you a great year ahead of faith, family, friends finance and fun!
Photo Credit:Peregrino Will Reign
Yes it is.
I just finished a migration to WordPress from Graffiti CMS. It took awhile, but I was able to sucessfully import all of my posts and finally configure WordPress so that my all of my permalinks are preserved.
In case you were wondering, on the server side this site is running Windows.
Lets see if I can update this more often now.
Photo Credit: Sweet Juniper
I miss blogging.
I know a number of people have written over the last few months that with the rise of social networks like Twitter and Facebook, that people are blogging less. This isn’t about that.
This about the lack of story telling or opinion in many of today’s personal tech / geek blogs.
The other night I was through a series of blogs posts that gave me an insiders view into what is happening to the housing market in Detroit through the Detroit UnReal Estate and Sweet Juniper blogs. I was able to get a glimpse from the insiders that write into what is happening in Detroit as the American auto industry resets. Sad times. It reminded me of the view I was able to get from the personal blogs of many folks in the tech business in my early days of blogging. In those days my favorite bloggers were the story tellers. These were the folks who through their blogs granted me access to experiences and insights that I did not previously have access too.
In my blogging past I think back to my posts about my youngest daughters hip problems, why I drive a Corvette, being stuck in India, a fun family trip as guests of Farm Aid or Bill Gates announcing his Transition to the Foundation as examples of where I told a story and shared an experience. Truth told, posts like these are my my most popular and my best writing. Somewhere along the way (myself included when I actually do blog), I’ve noticed many of the geek bloggers have become less about telling a story and adding insight into just rehashing the days tech news. In many cases authors just attempting to gain an audience as they rehash and repeat announcements from the popular news blogs like TechCrunch and TechFlash. Their hope? Ride the TechMeme wave and often leaving out any further analysis, insight or perspective. Not a lot of value for the reader.
So, I wonder if we’ll get the stories back into personal geek blogs? I’m going to start back hee shortly and once again get back into sharing stories and lessons learned from my life.
I’m hopeful you all will too.
I joined Twitter on December 24th, 2006 and it has been wonderful to see the service grow. In the beginning I used it mostly via text messages as a way to help keep track of friends while we were travelling together. It was great for helping find out where friends were going out to dinner or to which bar they had settled on for drinks.
I made a poor choice some time ago by following too many people. I used a service automatically following people that followed me. It was like a bad drug soon I was following about a thousand people. Many spammers, ridiculous and not usable.
For the last few days, I’ve spent about 15 minutes daily in the chore of un-following accounts and whittling down the number of people that I follow. I am now down to about 300 and should be complete with this penance soon. My goal when this is done is to increase the quality of the folks I follow and begin only following friends/co-workers, interesting customers (those that are already today and those that I aspire to change) along with a limited number of industry insiders/Press.
I will continue to use Tweetdeck to better organize these people into logical groupings and to keep track of the every growing number of queries I have for our products.
Hopefully it will result in more interesting and higher quality content.
Feature Request: I wish that Twitter had a way to automatically decline a follow to anyone who labels themselves as a Social Media Consultant or Real Estate Expert. These people are the modern day spam and some would say a cancer of twitter.
Photo Credit: Mukulr