Spot the Geography Geek
Every time I’m being briefed on the latest report designs for Geocortex Optimizer, I can’t help but get a little thrill when I see a Popular Extents map amongst all the important tables, graphs, and charts.
We’ve mostly (and I think rightly) invested in aspects of the product that extract and present all kinds of metrics relevant to the ArcGIS Server stack. As CEO, I know this should get me most excited because these types of metrics represent the core value prop of the product. But as a geography geek, if you hooked me up to machines that measure my physiological level of interest, I’d undoubtedly get most excited when I see the map.
The Monk and the Riddle
Speaking of the "Latitude Library", I just finished reading an interesting book recently added to our inventory, "The Monk and the Riddle". Written by Randy Komisar, self-described virtual-CEO and technology entrepeneur, the book is quick to reveal the roots of its unusual title (no clues here though!), but slow to reach its point: its the journey that matters, not the destination. Set within the context of new technology ventures, Randy presents the central premise of his book (and the driving force behind new arrivals to Silicon Valley and the so called SPDs at Bear Stearns) as the "Deferred Life Plan"; dedicate every waking hour to work today in order to enjoy life later with all the commensurate toys. Having lived the Silicon Valley lifestyle for several years, I could immediately relate.
Overall, I found the book largely readable due to its intriguing anecdotes about Randy's numerous technolgy ventures - I'm a sucker for business non-fiction. Dissecting the successes and failures for technology ventures is infinitely more interesting than anything fiction writers could come up with! Conversely, I felt the premise of the book missed its mark - the "Deferred Life Plan" is a well worn cliche. Or is it? For those reading the book, perhaps it will beg the question: "Am I doing what I'm truly passionate about?" Regardless, I recommend checking it out.
Happy Victoria Day
FYI, today is Victoria Day in Canada. For most Canadians, Victoria Day is just a day off that enables the "May Long Weekend" but here in Victoria I guess somebody decided to try to make a bigger deal out of it (complete with parade and fireworks). So... if your emails haven't been answered so far today (i.e. if someone here forgot to set their out-of-office response), now you know why.
For Canada-only holidays I generally come into the office (along with two or three other people, and then we take a corresponding US holiday off). Someone needs to be here since the phone keeps ringing, but an otherwise quiet office means we can get lots of work done. Answering some incoming phone calls means I get to chat with a random selection of customers (most of whom I don't get a chance to speak with day-to-day). I've already had some wonderful conversations with folks that've called in. So, if you want to catch-up or share some ideas with me, this afternoon is the perfect time.
Hurry up 2025
We need to hire five or six computer programmers right now, and recruiting is constantly on my mind.
This morning I gave a presentation on mapping and GIS to a fourth grade class. They were a sharp group of kids, and during the Q&A section I found myself calculating the year in which they'll graduate from university so we can hire them.
United States of the World
Back in 2005 Steven posted a map in the office kitchen, showing US States named for countries with a comparable gross domestic product (GDP).
The blog comments suggest that the accuracy of the source data may be in debate - an interesting way to compare world economies nonetheless.
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
I've always been fascinated by the Hollywood game "the six degrees of Kevin Bacon". Its a pop-culture version of the well known "six degrees of separation" idea - we're all seperated from anyone on the planet by, at most, six people. Except, in the "Kevin Bacon" version, you interconnect Hollywood stars via Kevin Bacon.
I'm in Corpus Christi, TX right now at the ESRI SCAUG conference, and was thinking of this concept as it relates to my predicament: I flew here on American Airlines and narrowly averted getting stuck in Seattle as their MD-80 fleet was grounded for FAA inspection earlier this week. With the cancelling of so many flights, surely everyone would know someone this has affected? Well now you know one more (or the first) - me.
I just checked the American Airlines website for information related to my flight home tomorrow and it won't load - presumably becuase the other 100,000 or so displaced passengers are looking for the same information I am! Anyways, I hope I make it home tomorrow - but I can think of worse places to spend a weekend.
Our New, Vibrating Office
Having recently hired four people, we’re expanding into some more office space next to the product developers on the third floor. In the main room we’re trying to figure out if we should go more open concept (loud, but looks nice) or build a cube farm (practical, but doesn’t look nice).
We’re also trying to figure out how to solve a weird issue with the space. After we took possession we noticed that about one quarter of the floor in the main room vibrates (I think the ventilation system in the downstairs office passes under the hardwood floor). While Drew was in Dubai he acquired a large (8’x14’) Persian rug for us in an effort to absorb some of the vibrations. It sure looks nice, but it doesn’t do much to reduce the constant vibration. Any clever ideas?