Entries from June 2008 ↓

Casual Friday: Dave Talks Home

I’ve got good news and bad news. First, you may soon see a drop in activity on this site.  (Wait, wait, that’s the bad news, not the good news, stop cheering!)

The good news is that it’s because we’re due to have our first child in two weeks.

When this happens, I’ll be taking a couple weeks away from work to concentrate on being home with my family.  Given the circumstances, I may not have a lot to say that fits into this blog (then again, maybe I’ll be up all night and resort to blogging to pass the time 🙂 ).

Even after this, my blogging schedule will likely change.  I plan to continue regular updates, but you will probably not see new posts every work day.  No promises I can’t keep, remember?  So I promise to update regularly.  I hope that’s good enough.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Career Limiting Moves

I recently wrote in my EMC internal blog about transparency. My goal was to demonstrate that while opening yourself, your product, and your organization to the world (or at least the company) might be risky, there was inherent risk in sitting out while others did it. In fact, I used a very similar argument when describing to a friend why I was starting this blog.

There’s a quiet assumption in that, which I didn’t realize until I started listening to and reading the feedback I was getting. I’m assuming that the motion I’m seeing is progressive – that we as a company (and industry,  and culture) are moving in a direction where further transparency on a personal and institutional level are inevitable. In other words, I’m assuming this isn’t a fad.

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Anchors Aweigh

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A product struggles with quality and stability, and a mandate comes down from on high that quality is now Priority One. Checks and balances are put into place, cultural adaptation begins, and slowly quality and stability become a point of pride instead of pain.

In the process, innovation and creativity are compromised.

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Is it time to break kayfabe?

If you’ve never followed professional wrestling, the concept of kayfabe is probably new to you. It’s an old carny concept – you had to deceive people into caring about your staged fights by making them believe the fights were “real.” So even though everyone in the wrestling industry knew that the outcomes of matches were predetermined, nobody would admit it, for fear of being ostracized and blacklisted. Kayfabe was stronger than just not breaking character – it was a code of honor that nobody broke.

The fact is, wrestling knew its product wasn’t good enough to survive any level of openness.

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Talk Hard

In my late teens (and beyond), I watched Pump Up the Volume more times than I can count. Released in 1990, it summed up the high school experience in a way that found a very enthusiastic audience (especially among disenfranchised kids who liked “weird” music, not that I knew anybody like that).

The hero of the movie, played by Christian Slater, has trouble talking to people face-to-face but uses pirate radio broadcasts to reach out to his classmates. Like a much darker Ferris Bueller, he’s loved by everyone, but nobody knows who he is.

DVD box from Pump Up the Volume
I imagine the movie would have a tougher time being understood by today’s teenagers.
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