Eight Days

So it is, after much deliberation, discussion, and doubt, that an eight-day business trip to the day job's global headquarters in New Jersey has been booked. This will be the first time I've left Japan since landing here almost 11 years ago, and it'll be yet another trip where I'm on a plane without Reiko1. This trip is something that I've struggled with internally for a couple of reasons, none of which seem to make sense to people when I try to enunciate them. Perhaps this means that the stuff in my head is utter nonsense. Perhaps this means that I'm just a poor communicator. Maybe it's a bit of both. Either way, there's no turning back now. Documents have been submitted. Forms approved. Money spent.

The Flight Plan

By all accounts, this trip is expected to be a really big deal by the participants. For the meetings and discussions I'll be a part of, we have five days to come up with the technical direction and strategy to implement the new business directions and goals while making extensive use of a new set of tools that — ideally — will give the company the flexibility it needs to be more responsive and more aligned with student and customer needs than ever before. Lofty goals for sure. The trick will be to devise a near-flawless execution of all the changes that will be necessary, while being careful to not alienate half the organisation along the way.

While I try to stay away from the whole corporate politics time sink, I can't help but wonder how many people will stand in the way of any decisions made during this week in the US simply because they were not invited to be part of the discussions.

On a more personal note, though, I've had reservations about this trip for a while because it's happening very close to the time when Reiko, the boy, Nozomi, and I are planning on moving into our new home. Construction will be completed while I'm on the other side of the planet or soon after, and this means that a lot of things need to happen between now and the time we're officially cleared to take possession of the house. Reiko has put in an incredible amount of work to ensure everything is being done efficiently and in a timely manner, but the eight days I'm gone will put a stop to a lot of productivity.

There's not much I can do about this, though, aside from ensuring that as many ducks are in a row as possible before and after the trip.

Fortunately, while I'm in the US, Reiko will bring our son and puppy to her parents' house. There she'll have the help she needs to look after everyone, while also being afforded a little bit of time with her parents. The boy will likely be spoiled like he hasn't been in a long time, and that's okay. Hopefully he'll not miss it too much after we return to our home to resume "normal life".

I think I worry too much about unknowns, and maybe not enough about things I consider routine. This trip will ultimately be a good thing for the career, allowing me to learn new skills while also solving very complex problems. I'll get to network with people who could open doors to other possibilities in the future and, even better, it will be easier to learn how some of my colleagues in other parts of the globe went about solving their own unique sets of problems. The more a person learns, the more questions they'll have, and the more answers they'll seek. I strongly feel that life is not worth living if there are no further questions to ask, so this is certainly a positive. I just hope that my family here is able to enjoy their week while I'm overseas, and I hope that I can return safely without any problems.

Alas, the mind is still clouded and foggy. I should stop writing ….

  1. despite all the flying we had done early in our relationship, we've yet to fly on the same plane

Good Intentions. Backwards Execution.

It seems that a lot of the freelance work I do is for people who work at a company whose IT departments get to dictate how employees do their jobs. During a recent email exchange, I was asked if it would be possible to set up WordPress on a company's local network in such a way that it was accessible inside the company, but not to the public Internet. I responded with my standard "Of course it's possible; it's just software!", and the client — a middle manager in a medium-sized business — was summarily surprised. She had been asking her IT department for years to have a WordPress installation inside the company, and had been summarily rejected without being given any reason beyond "it's not secure." If that's they're opinion, that's fine, but I find this common pattern a little concerning. At the end of the day, it shouldn't be the job of IT to tell employees of a company how to do their job, but to instead find ways to support the goals people are trying to achieve.

Something I Said to a Client In an Email

If WordPress is really so insecure that it cannot be used on a local Intranet, then how about a different blogging or CMS system? Why shut a person down — especially a manager — when they are asking for something that will make their job easier or more efficient? It boggles the mind.

I've had discussions with people who work in IT at various organizations around the planet, and the answer is almost always the same. "We are expected to keep the company's data safe, so we implement lots of rules on how systems can be used."

What a lazy approach to a serious concern. Yes, it's absolutely important that there are no data leaks or other problems that could affect the company's bottom line or put their customers at risk. This is IT's top priority. But this shouldn't come at the expense of getting work done. By simply asking a person "Why?" 5 times would be enough to better understand what the fundamental goal is, which may be sufficient to offer some other tool or mechanism. If something is truly impossible, then open communication should be used to ensure everybody understands why something is a bad idea. If a person asks for a list of all customers and their email addresses in an Excel file to store on a USB key to bring with them on a business trip, the answer should be a solid "no" with a clear explanation. Something like:

"I'd love to help you solve whatever problem you've got, but putting that much data on a USB key — even encrypted — opens the company up to too much risk. What would happen if the USB key was stolen or lost? I'm sorry. It's just not possible. Tell you what, though, why do you need this information? Maybe there's something else we can do to help you …"

There are a lot of great people who work in IT that do try to help their colleagues solve problems. I work and have worked with many. That said, it seems a disproportionate number of surly tech goofballs — for lack of a better description — seem hellbent on making sure people suffer while they play the role of king in their imaginary fiefdoms. Technology opens the doors to a lot of wonderful things. Hopefully younger IT staff will replace the angry old guard who has stood in the way of progress for so long before it's too late.

What About The Rest of Us?

Dalton Caldwell, the principal founder of App.net, wrote a blog post on Friday in a bid to guide startups that have "less than one year of runway", which seems to be how Venture Capitalists refer to money in the bank to cover operational expenses. The piece walks us through the necessary questions a business owner must ask themselves and the traps to avoid, as well as reiterates the age-old truth that you can always raise money when you don't need it but can't find two pennies to rub together when it counts. Managers are told to think about the welfare of their employees, the legal obligations to pay taxes before becoming insolvent, and also returning any remaining money to investors alongside a great big apology. There was just one important element missing: what to tell the rest of us.

As many people know, Mr. Caldwell decided to close-up shop of his own startup, App.net, back in May of 2014. The announcement was almost expected as there were a number of failures from within the organisation. What was not expected, however, was that the servers that powered the network would continue to run despite the fact that there were no longer any full-time employees to maintain or further develop the platform. In the words of Mr. Caldwell himself:

The good news is that the renewal rate was high enough for App.net to be profitable and self-sustaining on a forward basis. Operational and hosting costs are sufficiently covered by revenue for us to feel confident in the continued viability of the service. No one should notice any change in the way the App.net API/service operates. To repeat, App.net will continue to operate normally on an indefinite basis.

Dalton Caldwell made good on his promise to wind down the company as the runway became too short to make for a viable landing, and his staff were able to find employment elsewhere before "going down with the ship", as it were. As the people who paid for an ADN subscription were the ones who funded the business, he also followed up (more or less) by returning the money (more or less) to the investors in the form of a promise to keep the lights on … though we have no idea how long those lights might stay on or an easy way to know who to call if there are problems1.

So, while the blog post on The Macro to business owners who are facing a potential financial crunch does cover everything Dalton did when App.net was left to run idle, it doesn't really go far enough. If a company is going to shut down, it needs to be a little more transparent with its customers. In the case of App.net, this means knowing how many years, months, weeks, or days of funding remains in the bank to keep the service running. We don't need to know the exact dollar figure, though that would make crowd-sourcing another year's operations costs much easier to coordinate, but we do need to know when things are going to start happening. Being told "App.net will continue to operate normally on an indefinite basis" is just too vague for the average person. As a result, people have naturally left the network to focus their attentions elsewhere … using social tools that are the complete antithesis of what App.net was supposed to be.

The customers should be kept in the know.

But maybe this isn't how things work in Sunny California. Maybe, because people have come to expect online companies to ignore them, this is just par for the course. It doesn't have to be, though.

Lots of companies fail. Online companies tend to fail faster than most. It's a sad reality. Failing gracefully, however, might just help the people who ran those failed companies succeed faster the next time around. Communicate with your customers. Apologise if you must. Shut systems down if you must. But communicate. Let the world remember your name with a smile rather than a frown.

  1. People "in the know" can provide pointers on who to contact and how when something happens, but there won't be any rapid responses anymore.

Captured by 10,000 Characters

A number of people have asked me for an opinion on Twitter's recent announcement of a radical change from their previous insistence that 140-characters was enough for everybody by promising a limit raise to a healthy ten-thousand characters. While this has naturally created quite the outrage among Twitter's angriest products, it makes complete business sense and is a move that resembles something that Apple, Facebook, and Google have already done. Thinking about this in terms of eyeballs, it can only be good for the company that has long struggled with the question of how to keep people on their site.

In today's episode of my Doubtfully Daily show, I go over some of the reasons I think it is a good idea. For those who don't want to listen, the TL;DR; is this: if Twitter really wants to be a source of news and a "real" RSS replacement while monetising their product further, they need a way to keep people on their site rather than clicking a t.co and disappearing for minutes or hours at a time.

Nozomi’s Nook

When people would ask me what I wanted to do with my life in the early 2000s, I would often talk about opening a café where people could come and use some really fast Internet, do some work, and enjoy some really good coffee. The thinking was that if I were to make a place like this, then I could have (what appeared to be) a simple job making coffee and serving high-calorie treats to people 30% of the time, and doing whatever on the computer 70% of the time. Since it would be my business, I wouldn’t have to worry about “the boss” getting upset because I’m on the computer all the time, either. As time went on, this idea continued to fester. Now in 2015, it sounds like a plausible solution to a number of issues that I’ve run into over my short time on Earth.

The Workspace

Last April I promised myself that I would do something great during my 35th year, and it materialised very quickly with podcasting. While I’ve not had the luxury of quiet time to record new shows in recent months, the desire to make new things is never far from my mind. The passion to create new things is always at the forefront of my consciousness, but other responsibilities and/or situations tend to stand in the way. To make matters worse, I’ve been too much of a coward to attack problems head on to nip them in the bud long before they consume so much of my time that I have neither the energy nor the opportunity to make. I’ve been an absolute fool, and it needs to stop. I know that I can accomplish goals that once seemed impossible when I put my mind to it, so why not continue to do so?

Dissatisfaction From Intangibility?

I am the eldest of 8 kids and, as such, I was always called upon to find solutions to people’s problems. One of the biggest problems that I would face on a regular basis was the question that billions of people ask themselves at least once a day: what will we eat for dinner tonight. Yes, I was the family cook for several years. My job was to prepare food for everyone soon after returning home from high school, ensuring everyone ate, and then cleaning up after everyone when things were done1. While I was not much of a fan of cleaning up after my family, I did love cooking. There’s just something so wonderful about taking a bunch of edible items, throwing them together, adding heat, and getting a delicious meal at the end.

I like it. I like it a lot.

While growing up I thought for sure that I was going to be an architect. I would spend hours on end up in my room drawing buildings, cityscapes, and large machines that would take us to faraway places. The sketches would be incredibly detailed, showing not only form but function and utility. But then on January 17th, 19942, I was introduced to a single function on a computer that changed the course of my future in an instant3. But looking back at my past, I can see that a lot of people have taken advantage of this passion I have for technology and writing software. I can see that I’ve been an absolute sucker, never valuing my time at what I want it to be worth because it didn’t seem right to ask so much money for something as intangible as a computer program … or a database … or a ridiculously complex Microsoft Excel sheet that is able to predict patterns in inventory movements …

Nobody likes to be a sucker. I get great satisfaction from writing software and from solving problems, but it shouldn’t be like this.

No. I want to make something that people from all walks of life can inspect visually. I want to make something that people can enjoy for a brief period of time and remember afterwards with a smile on their face. I want to provide something that is so uncommon in the 21st century that, when somebody does it, it makes the evening news.

I want to open a café with Japanese-style breads, Japanese-style service, and an abundance of open space for people to sit, relax, work, and enjoy.

The coffee shop could act as a shared workspace or Internet café if people so wanted. It would have fast Internet, awesome WiFi, lots of tables that are big enough for a 15” computer and a half-sized tray for a coffee and treat. Two glass-enclosed meeting rooms would be off to the side, allowing teams to work in silence or converse in privacy if they so chose to. I’d even set up a recording studio if space permitted … though that would most likely just be for me alone.

When I first moved to Japan I was often blown away with the level of customer service one can expect, even when buying gum at a convenience store. I would ensure the same level of service was offered at my store, too. The place would always be clean, and I’d make some excellent foods that I never encountered until coming to Japan. Of course there would be the standard fare like sandwiches as well, but I’d make sure the sandwiches didn’t suck like they do at so many places … with their wet bread and skimpy veggies. No … I’d live up to the same mantra my very first manager at Burger King taught me many, many years ago.

Think Wisely

People would be encouraged to work from my café. People would be welcome to stay for several hours if they so chose4. We all need an escape from the everyday sometimes, and I’d be more than willing to help people try to enjoy some semblance of normalcy. My goal would be to offer the sort of place that I want to spend my time in. This means low noise5. This means low tension. This means a place that smells awesome … hence the bakery aspect.

Finally, there’s “the little things” that I would want to look after. I dislike seeing litter on the streets. To help curb the problem, I’d charge 10 cents or more for a paper cup. People really should bring their own. That said, if someone does buy a “fortune cup”, they’ll be treated to a nice message when they reach the bottom. It’ll say something nice, like “You’re awesome!” or “Don’t Forget to Smile” … something to let people know that the world we find ourselves in need not be without it’s little respites.

Places like this are not easy to start. They’re not easy to keep going, either. So the most logical way forward would be to work at a café and see if I can keep up with the demands. See if it’s truly what I want to be doing. I’ll also need to save up to make something like this happen. Going into business with a massive amount of debt is never good for the heart, and I’d like to avoid this as much as possible. There’s also the question of location. I have two places in mind, but would want to conduct a good amount of research before taking the plunge.

There’s still another month to go before my 36th birthday, and I plan on starting that year with a set of clear objectives that will bring me closer to reaching more of those seemingly impossible goals.

The $36 Question

Value propositions shouldn’t be complicated, but they often are. A value proposition is, quite simply, a promise of value to be delivered and a belief from a client/customer/consumer that value will be experienced. If the value exceeds the price we are charged, many will opt to pay the fee and enjoy the product or service. When the value does not exceed the payment, businesses fail to grow. This is a problem many online services face when trying to make the transition from free to paid and vice versa. At what point will people decide something is no longer worth their money? For App.net  this is the $36 question a lot of people struggle with as their subscriptions come up for renewal.

When I joined the service in March of 2013, I had in mind a few things I wanted from this new tool. A number of proponents of the network were making the rounds on some of the more interesting podcasts at the time, and one common theme came up more than any other: data portability. ADN1 was not a Twitter clone like so many people had claimed at all, but a social platform from which applications and people could interact with the same stream of information. Developers could build applications on this service and, if people were not content for whatever reason, they could migrate that data to another, similar service without missing a beat.

The prospect seemed absolutely wonderful. A platform-agnostic iCloud that would support transaction-based interactions with people and data! The first thing that went through my head was: this would be an excellent solution for online games of igo2! The reality, as usual, turned out to be quite a bit different from what I was expecting. There is data portability. There is the potential to create a platform-agnostic version of iCloud with transaction-based interactions. But these things don’t quite exist. There are many applications that work with ADN data … but not interchangeably.

Do We Need Development Standards?

Application developers, myself included, tend to do things our own way. We have certain limits to play with, and make our own systems that get around the limitations and rules we’re required to abide by. Only so much data can be used. Once items are written they can’t be edited. Et cetera, et cetera. Perhaps if developers were to follow more of a standard, and the people that maintain the servers encouraged the practice, people who use ADN would find more value in the service. People could actually move from one client to another while keeping all of their data … just as they can with Alpha3. The hassle of moving from one service to another, be it a blogging system or an image sharing system, would become trivial, and people would begin to see a lot more possibilities and convenience.

This is the real value proposition behind ADN; to take our data anywhere we choose. We need to make this into a reality.

Data Export

ADN already has an excellent data export function. We can, at any time, request our data from our account page and have it emailed to us. This will contain everything we’ve put into the data stream, but not the data in our File Storage (yet). If developers were to use common standards for application types, then the data really would be portable. We could take blog posts once sent to 10Centuries or Epistl.es and pull them into WordPress, Ghost, or any other system that allowed it. We could take images, remarks, and geotags from image services and pull them into something else … all with minimal effort.

Is this the value proposition people are looking for?

Alpha alone is not enough to warrant people spending $36 a year for the luxury of interacting with an excellent group of people on a relatively niche, advertisement free, social platform that encourages discussion, debate, and dialogue4. 10 Gigabytes of file storage is not enough, either. There needs to be something more. There needs to be a unifying mechanism that will encourage people to use their storage, interact with services, and ultimately want to use ADN. Better cooperation between applications might just encourage this.

Marketing Is Hard

Over the last two weeks I've put a lot of work into the words that appear on the 10Centuries website, writing and re-writing the various paragraphs that outline the reasons people might want to put their trust in my ability to provide them a place to publish content to the web. The previous Evernote-green site had a lot of words that tried to convey what I wanted to accomplish, as well as a personal anecdote from my own family history to illustrate the point. That didn't work at all. There were only four people over the span of six months who wanted to sign up in the site's previous form, and half of them knew me personally. That's failure in my books.

Two weeks ago I launched a new design that is much lighter and comes with a very responsive layout, allowing people to view it on just about any screen size. A week later I had 17 inquiries and 14 signups. That's success. There is still room for improvement, though, which is why I've asked a copywriter for help to make the site clearer and easier to understand.

A week after asking for help, I'm in way over my head. Marketing is hard, and it's something that I don't completely understand. I get the principles, and I get the importance of the tool, but I don't understand why it works. Luckily the person I'm working with is quite knowledgable on the topic and has the patience to explain the reasons for his decisions. I plan on learning quite a bit from him over the next few months … if he tolerates me that long.

I hope to quickly boost the number of people using 10C from 62 to to 250, with 50 accounts using the paid option. This won't raise a lot of money, but it will allow the service to stay online for the next year or two. Future campaigns will raise product awareness even further to bring even more people to the service.

What's in it for me? Self satisfaction. What's in it for people using the service? An ad-free experience.

Marketing is hard, but I plan on giving it my all.

On Your Own

Of all the people I've never met, Dan Benjamin has most likely had the largest impact on my decisions than any other person that has ever lived. He started the 5by5 Network, collected a number of excellent speakers, and recorded podcast after podcast. I've mentioned in the past how Back to Work with Merlin Mann has had a profound impact on how I see myself and how I'm making long-term decisions, but another podcast has had me itching to get the ball rolling with 10Centuries; Quit!. The show is recorded every Friday and people are encouraged to call in to share their stories of how they quit their jobs to start their own thing or, more commonly, we hear from people who are ready to quit their jobs but just need a final push to get the ball rolling. Many of these people sound a lot like me when they call in, too. They're a little scared of failure and not quite sure whether they should be doing their own thing. There's just one little difference between these people and me; many of them have support from a spouse.

A common thread in many of the tales people tell when calling in is that they have a great idea, some savings in the bank, and a supportive spouse who would be patient enough for a few months to see whether the idea will take off and turn into a successful business or not. When I think about my own situation, though, only two of these three items apply. Do I have a great idea? I think so. Do I have some savings in the bank? Enough to survive on for two years at current spending levels, yes. Do I have support from my wife on this venture?

An old saying goes that behind every great man stands an even greater woman, and I believe it's an accurate statement. Beside almost every person I've ever respected, man or woman, has been a spouse who believes in the idea. This is a completely foreign concept to me, though, as I've rarely ever had people close to me who have believed in any idea I might have had. Typically everything is met with cautious enthusiasm, followed by reservations, followed by requests to stop being so idealistic and stick to real jobs. It's almost as though I send a vibe of youthful naivety that makes people step back with caution. Are my ideas really so foolish?

My wife hasn't yet asked me to give up on the idea of 10Centuries, but it's very clear that she would much rather have the illusion of security with me working for a relatively large organisation. In her mind, working at a large company like Sony, Panasonic, Toyota, or Mitsubishi would be an excellent opportunity. There is always a great deal of work to be done, and a rather large bankroll to ensure a steady stream of cash is deposited into our bank account every month. For me, though, working at such a large organisation would be a fate worse than death1. The only way I would ever truly enjoy working at an organisation with more than 500 people would be if I were right up on top.

But that's never going to happen. Even if 10Centuries earns billions in profits there wouldn't need to be more than a few hundred people working for the comapny and most of them would likely be performing incredibly tedious, albeit important, work. There is no need nor desire for it to become the next Facebook.

This brings me to the main question I've been dancing around for the last 618 words: how does one go about convincing a spouse that a potentially risky move is not a stupid one?

There are no easy answers, as every person is different. One of the more recent goals that I've had for 10Centuries was to make it part of the 2013 Evernote Developer's Cup2. By putting it there in front of so many Evernote users I would be able to determine how successful this little project might be. A successful launch might also result in some prize money. Prize money would act as a form of legitimacy and, if all goes according to plan, would act as an initial buffer as I make the move from a full time corporate stooge to a self-employed crazy person in search of the ever-elusive magic number of 723 paying customers3. Such a tiny number when you look at how many people use the Internet! It shouldn't be that difficult at all … right?

That's yet to be seen. 

At the end of the day I plan on having a fist full of cash in hand that I can wave in front of the people who do not believe I can have a successful online business. The primary problem I have, though, is getting everything legally in place without the support of someone who not only believes in me and the vision of the product, but can also understand the subtle nuances of local law. Having a business in Japan is not quite as simple as it is in Canada, and the problem is only exacerbated by the fact that I'm an immigrant4. Local help is needed, and it's better when you can trust your partners 100%.

I wonder what Dan Benjamin would tell me to do if I made the call5.

A Fork in the Code

It's hard to believe how quickly one's direction can completely change, particularly after a just a few conversations with people. Yet here I am, hard at work on the next phase of the self-employment trek. A month ago I had believed that Noteworthy would be something that I would make available for people to download and, while this is certainly true for the current release, there are a number of future changes that are going to take place including a rather bold project, which will move the open source version of the code to the back-burner.

One of the may things that I discovered in the few weeks since Noteworthy's release is that a number of shared hosting servers have some really, really different configurations to what I expected. Certain files and folders could not be auto-created by the system as required. PHP Versions would have some key functions disabled or, for reasons I've yet to understand, require a different set of variables passed to them. The oh-so-important .htaccess file might never be read, making friendly URLs an impossibility. I've helped a number of people solve these problems and even put in a bunch of new code in place to let people know about these deficiencies whenever they sign in to the administration page. But this isn't good enough. I'm going after the wrong crowd. I'm five years too late, and have known it right from the get go!

Nobody wants to host their own site anymore.

A Fool's Errand?

What if I host people's sites, though? One of the many concerns that I had with hosting a Noteworthy site that anybody could sign up for, though, was having access to people's Evernote Developer API tokens. I don't want them. Ever. The risk that my site gets hacked and all of those important keys get stolen is just too great. That said, February's release of Noteworthy on GitHub was going to include the option to host as many sites as you wanted. Billions of them if you so choose. What's to stop someone from grabbing this project to quickly set up their own hosted solution in a bid to attract people to steal their Evernote Developer API tokens?

This isn't something I want, either. Considering all the things that I put into Evernote, keeping people's private data out of the hands of unauthorized fools is something I take quite seriously. There must be a better way … and there is.

Over the coming months I'm going to be updating Noteworthy to work with Evernote's much more friendly OAuth keys and providing a place on the Internet for people to post from. Like a fool, I am going to create a tiny little place on the Internet that will compete with giants like WordPress1Tumblr2Squarespace3, and Blogger4. What will my site offer that others don't? Here's a quick little run down:

  • tight Evernote integration

  • Dropbox integration

  • support for any custom domain name you might already have
  • support for MarkDown-formatted files

  • automatic backup from Twitter, App.Net, and other microblogging networks with unified search results

  • a website that doesn't take an eternity to load for all the stupid JavaScript
  • Of course there are a few more things that I plan on offering, but one more element is going to stand out with this project: there will never be any ads on any of the sites. Never ever.

    No Ads? Are You Mad?

    Ads suck. They slow down a website's response time. They clash with the content. They make money for all the wrong people. And, worse than anything else, the amount of revenue earned through web advertising is so minimal that there really is no point having an ad on your site unless that site happens to attract about 25,000 humans a week who can't help but click things that may or may not be any good. No … I don't want this on my platform at all.

    Instead, there will be the option to have a limited "free" account, which will be targeted to people who are trying the service out. And there will also be the option for a paid account, which will unlock all sorts of benefits and features. Although the actual pricing structures haven't been fully worked out, I don't plan on charging more than $25/year for a "pro" account which will come with some nice templates and a whole lot of searchability5.

    And this isn't all …

    I've written at length around the web about the need for a repository for those who have passed away. The data left behind on blogs and other services will eventually go away as domains expire, once-popular web services disappear, and the onward march of time takes it's toll. I want to make such a repository available to everyone in the world, and I will under the banner of 10Centuries. The idea is simple enough. Sites that are part of the program will be kept online, untouched, in their final condition for so long as I'm alive … and hopefully longer than that.

    My freelance company Dematigo Japan got it's start making WordPress-powered websites and themes for clients, but this is not how I want to make money going forward. I want to help archive people's thoughts, emotions, and shared moments for generations to come.

    Three Years Too Late

    You ever get the impression that the people who run the company shouldn't be? There's a lot of hub bub internally about some of the company's upcoming plans and, I must admit, that it would be incredibly exciting … if it were 2009. Unfortunately, it's not. Listening to some of the ideas I'll admit that I'm interested to see what might come out of it but, knowing what I know of the company's history with decisions affecting systems and processes, I'm also dreading it.

    In one weird way I actually hope that I get to talk to some of the project managers about the project to learn more about it and their vision of the future. Regardless of what they have to say, though, I'll probably still think that it's all three years too late. We're always going to be playing catch up with the competition1 and we won't even be good at it, either.