The business of death - lessons learned

Sunday, June 26th, 2011
John David Head shares some valuable lessons learned from the recent passing of his father. Key points include:
  1. Paperwork is either your saving grace or your worse nightmare.
  2. Salespeople at cemeteries are the new low of low
  3. Emotional Attachment to things can make you do silly things
  4. Documents, Lists, and Storage
  5. Remember that even with death, your life must go on
To John's point #2, I am reminded of the time my brother an law and I accompanied my wife and her mother to help them select a casket for Kathy's father. I gritted my teeth through most of the sales pitch and attempted upsells (e.g. extra padding in the pillow, the kind of satin lining in the casket, or the type of plating on the fittings) but when the salesman got to the part about the 25 year warranty on the hardware I became (quietly) livid. It was all I could do not to burst out and ask why not a lifetime warranty? - it would have been just as valuable.

Apart from honoring your loved ones and letting them know they are loved - it's key to be prepared and ask the tough questions up front so you won't be alone making difficult decisions later. I think John provides a good starting point. From a spiritual perspective, there are other important questions to ask, sooner than later. The answers to these can provide great assurance and comfort during such times.

I appreciate John's willingness to share his experience. You can read his blog post here.

Go Home and Love your Wife! (No excuses)

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Dr. Voddie Baucham discussing the Importance of Marriage...
ManDrowingInBox115.jpgI've been socially disconnected since returning from Lotusphere. This is mostly due to big changes on the business and personal fronts. For starters, on the business side, we launched a new product, a new business model, and a new web site to tie it all together. If you have ever done anything like this you know how time consuming any of these can be, not to mention all three concurrently. I'm fortunate to work with an awesome team and Ryan Heathers, my director of consumer sales and marketing  did an amazing job coordinating all aspects of this project.

Things are busy at the Mack's, too. A move, a wife recovering from surgery, homeschool for the kids, two daughters getting ready for college, and Amy's world debut of her first orchestral score on Saturday. Her score will be performed by the GBC Praise Symphony Orchestra this weekend along with the West Coast Premier of Dan Goeller's presentation of The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. I'm excited about all of these.

If you are in Santa Clarita on Saturday and want to attend the concert, let me know. If you use Lotus Notes and want to learn about eProductivity and the new free Essentials version, please check out the new site. If you want to tweet about either, I'd appreciate that, too.

Anyway, there's an update. I do plan to get back to the social side of things soon.

Love is...

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Opening up the refrigerator to find a plate of freshly iced cookies from my daughter.

Thanks Kelly, you made daddy's day.

Love, Dad.

Why I Love My 3D Printer

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

The last time I blogged about 3D printing was in 2004 when I visited my friend Bill Griffin invited me to have a look at The Ultimate PC Accessory, a Stratasys Fused Deposition Machining (FDM) system.

Unfortunately, I can probably list 100,000 rea$on$ why I would not be getting one any time soon.

Six years later, a 10-year-old 3D printer hacker who goes by the name DocProfSky shows us how you can build your own 3D printer for about a thousand dollars.

Before you get caught up in how cool the technology is, watch the presentation skills of this young man at the Ignite Phoenix event.

MakerBot is an affordable, open source 3D printer. It makes almost anything up to 4"x4"x6". Build your own MakerBot and it makes things for you.

I haven't built one of these yet, but it's definitely on my Someday/Maybe list.

Phantom of the Floppera

Thursday, February 10th, 2011
It's been a long time since I have used my soldering iron to build circuits but I found this inspiring, technically and musically. This guy built a MIDI controller that drives teh stepper motors in 4 flopy disc drives to make music. Be sure to watch to the 2:30 mark for a special surprise.

I recently had an interesting discussion on the topic of ethics in business and how they apply to Knowledge Management. My view is that ethics are the foundation of effective knowledge management.

Here's how I currently define the argument for Ethics in KM
  1. Knowledge Management is about sharing of knowledge, information, and experiences - an exchange of information and ideas . (We often call this learning.)
  2. This exchange cannot occur without effective communication.
  3. For communication to be truly effective, transparency must exist. Transparent communication is built on trust
  4. Any unethical behavior undermines trust which ultimately impairs communication which leads to the loss of sharing and the loss (or distortion) of information and knowledge .

The bottom line is that ethics is important to KM because of trust.