Archive for May 2008
One of the projects I worked on at O’Reilly was a joint report with another company that produced research reports. Among other things, it was a great way to learn how other businesses managed their processes and methodologies. The report came out well, but there’s one thing our prime contact at the other company said that, I hope, will stay with me.
“If we lose our way,” he said, “we always go back to our framework.”
We all want to be agile. But it’s easier to respond to anything if you have a starting point. Having just an adequate framework, I’ve found, might be almost as good as having a great one. Having thought about it for a while, I think simply having a framework is more important than which framework you have. Why look for the perfect system for writing a novel or getting in shape when any of them is probably better than just bumbling in the dark, which is what most of us do most of the time? A framework has to be unusually wrong to hold you back.
That’s new thinking for me. For a long time I didn’t trust explain-it-all systems. Until recently, I made fun of people who adopted GTD with an almost-religious fervor. Yet, after flirting with GTD for more than a year, I’m following it, too, although not with quite the fervor you’d expect of the recently converted. Even if it’s not a perfect system, it is a good system, and I’m starting to believe that’s almost all that matters.
And now, on to my GTD weekly review…
I am, against my better judgment, experimenting with Twitter. Please don’t subscribe. What I’m doing there is boring. Not sure that a format that’s even more evanescent than blogging will work out for me, but all my cool friends are doing it and I suppose the answer is yes, apparently I would jump off a bridge if all my friends asked me to. But you have to worry about a form that, in such a short time, has annoyed people so much that there’s a need for an app like this. On the other hand, many of the “tweets” I “read” are about the service being down, so my testing may be short-lived.
From the inventor … and two more giants …
Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash
Starting Monday, I’ll be executive editor of MIT Sloan Management Review.
The brain works in weird ways. I was just listening to Little Richard singing the New Orleans ballad “Send Me Some Loving,” and midway through I started thinking about his great rocker “Bama Lama Bama Loo” and that made me think of the time I saw Elvis Costello sing “Bama Lama Bama Loo” on TV.
I hardly ever watched Letterman after I graduated college in the early ’80s, so it was just a fluke that I happened to be awake and Costello happened to be on the show one night in 1995. Was I working late? Was I up with a child? I don’t remember. I do remember that Costello was touring behind his precious covers record Kojak Variety and I didn’t expect much. But this was terrific. The core Attractions quartet was augmented by two top-notch guitarists — James Burton and Marc Ribot — and the six-piece unit grabbed the song and brought it to some new places. Enjoy!
Elvis Costello and the Souped-Up Attractions:
Pretty well, we’re almost done. But it seems to have had a strange effect on Eli.
On Facebook, I only accept “friend” requests from people I know. And even then, I don’t accept ‘em all. So why do I have many more friends on Facebook than I do in real life?
Just got a Kindle. (Thanks for the gift certificate, EH!) According to the box, the Kindle is “Amazon’s New Wireless Reading Device.” Er, aren’t the most popular reading devices (books, magazines, newspapers, sides and backs of cereal boxes) all wireless?
Not sure how I’ll use the device; it’s an experiment. My former boss Tim O’Reilly has elegantly laid out how we consider the Kindle in a multitouch world and my former colleague Mike Hendrickson makes a spirited case for the XO laptop as an ebook reader, but I’ve heard rumblings than a publishing ecosystem may be brewing for the Kindle and I want to understand how it works sooner rather than later. Will pass on any epiphanies or disappointments…
I just checked my email and I realized what my favorite email subject line is:
Just a quick reminder that this blog, once again active, has moved to http://blog.guterman.com. Please change your links and feeds accordingly. So you don’t have to look it up, the new feed address is http://feeds.feedburner.com/JimmyGuterman.
And you can go there to find out what my new job is.