I’ll be a little scarce in the coming weeks

I’ll be a little scarce in the coming weeks

The coming weeks will be very busy for me.

We are in the process of moving from Nashville to Orlando, FL and along with all of the fun things that accompany a cross-country move, I also have to do a little something I like to call “work.”

In fact, my banker is sorta insisting that I continue this thing called work.

Anywho, what all of this means is that I am pretty much double and triple booked on paying gigs for the next several weeks to the extent that I might be a little – or a lot – more scarce here in the wilds of Social Media.

Fish gotta swim, bird gotta eat as Nigel says in Finding Nemo.

I’ll try to post Utterz and Photos when I can, but it may be a little thin between substantive posts until the World Wide Corporate Headquarters of Sumner Systems Management has been relocated to its new home down South.

UPDATE 6/29: We signed a contract on our current home here in Nashville last evening and are now putting the pressure on our Realtor in Orlando to really kick things into gear. Still showing the house in the event (hope?) that we will get a backup / fallback offer should the deal fall apart before closing in early August. But that’s a different problem for a different day.

UPDATE 6/29 10:45PM – we received a second offer this evening on the house. We have signed a counter offer, so now it is a race to see which signed counter (along with an earnest money check) arrives back to us first.

House FINALLY on the Market

House FINALLY on the Market

Well, everything is definitely NOT ready, but it’s ready enough.  Our house has been on the market now not quite 48 hours.

We finally got the house listed in MLS Saturday 6/21 (MLS #992443) and I saw that it was in Realtor.com just a few minutes ago, though not with all of the pictures and Virtual Tour in – yet (should be fully featured in the next day or so.)

A few punch list items – a very few – and then it’s in St. Joseph’s capable hands (yeah – he’s buried in the backyard and we’re on day three of the Novenas).

The house was shown a couple of times Sunday, is scheduled to be shown later today, and is also scheduled to be shown tomorrow.  I definitely realize that we are in a marathon and not a sprint with regard to getting this thing under contract, but I am very heartened by the response – so far – of the local market.

Nashville has been very fortunate, in that it never was part of the go-go housing boom of this past decade and as a result prices have still appreciated rather than going backwards.

As is the case with almost every house that I have lived in, the only time I have everything the way that I like it is just before we sell it.  C’est la vie.

My powers of compartmentalization are always pushed to their limits when we sell one house and move to another – particularly when moving long distances (this will be my third long distance move in the last six years).

But I am oh so eager to be back among my friends in Central Florida – and getting ready for the upcoming school year.

LinkedIn Contacts

LinkedIn Contacts

My “twitterpal” Ruth Marie Sylte showed some love for my LinkedIn Contacts Facebook Application in her blog today.

Thanks, Ruth, for a very nice endorsement.

Ask Me About My Trophy Kid

Ask Me About My Trophy Kid

As I have mentioned ad nauseum, I am quoted in the July 2008 SmartMoney Magazine, in an article titled Trophy Kids.

My participation in the article occurred because I was contacted by Anne Kadet of SmartMoney on the strength of this blog post.

I was motivated to write the post because I was disappointed in the general direction of social networking applications, and I was attributing at least part of the reason for the general craptitude of these apps on the low barrier to entry for writers, and comparing the situation to travel sports and how travel sports differs from rec league sports.  The original post does a better job than I can summarize here.

As represented by Ms. Kadet, she wanted to interview me for a feature article on parenting and sports.  True enough, as the final product is about parenting and sports – albeit from the point of view that is clearly meant to make the parents who did contribute appear to be on the fringe and to be nut cases (emphasis mine, but explicitly stated in the article – twice).

Because my participation in the article was precipitated on the basis of a blog post, I thought – mistakenly or not – that my views presented there on how sports can provide children with focus and commitment would be communicated.

Wrong and wrong, as it turned out.

Out of an hour phone interview, my contribution to the article was whittled down to a single quote – and used in a context different than how the quote appeared in my conversation with Ms. Kadet (my other contribution was a great photo of my son and I – of which I am so very proud – and that I hope will mean something to my son when he is older and I am no longer around).

Please bear with me while I make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Let me say that Anne Kadet and I have never met in person.  The interview we conducted was by phone.  When she writes that “David just shrugs” – how could she know whether I shrugged or not?  She was 1,500 miles away.  Unless I had a mouse in my pocket, I’m pretty sure I was alone on my end.

What was lost in the details on how I supposedly “shrugged” over the cost of $2,500 for my son’s hockey “habit” were the following facts, of which the quoted $2,500 amount represents an annualized cost of all my son’s hockey related expenses:

  • Approximately $550 for House (Rec) League Ice Fees
  • Approximately $750 for Travel League Ice Fees
  • Travel Related Expenses (Lodging, Food, Gas, Entertainment)
  • Private Skating Lessons
  • Equipment Costs

We spent $50 a year on helmet, pants, and pads by renting from our league’s equipment locker.  I spent $75 on a carbon composite stick and $200 on a set of Bauer skates.  No where near the many hundreds of dollars quoted for skates, helmets, and sticks.

Regarding the comment I made about being resigned to the costs, it was made in the context as to how if one wishes to play competitive high school or college level sports, coaches look first to athletes who play travel league sports, and not that I am resigned to $2,500 a year because my eight year old wants to play hockey.

In truth, the one thing I was most disappointed in within the article was the one thing that was easiest to fact check – my son’s name.  His name is Macgregor, not Gregory.  Even though Anne and I traded emails, even though I spelled it out for the photographer, even though I spoke to a magazine fact checker – they still got his name wrong.  For me, if you can’t get the easiest of factual things correct, it definitely casts a pall over any of the other “facts” presented in the article.

One can’t turn on the news these days without seeing how Americans are raising a nation of fat, spoiled, lazy kids.

It seems now, that when you do challenge your child to compete and – gaspkeep score – you’re a nut case.

Here’s a news flash – life isn’t fair.  We’re not all created equal.  And you don’t get trophies in life for just showing up.

We’ve created a fiction that if we shield our children from resolving their own conflicts, if we protect them from failing, if we give them everything they want, that they will lead happy, stress free lives.  Look around – how’s that working out?

Since Ms. Kadet doesn’t have children – I asked her during our interview – I’m not surpirsed entirely by the judgmental tone of the article.  Nothing I write here will change anyone predisposed to a certain view of parenting – and that really isn’t my intent.

I guess what I am trying to say – here, as well as in my original post – is that when we ask more of ourselves, when we raise the barrier to entry into an endeavor, we wind up with a higher quality of play, a better product, increased focus – in short, if not excellence, something approaching it.

My sentiments are best summed up by a line from the movie The Incredibles; When everybody is special, no one is.

I want to thank Anne Kadet and SmartMoney Magazine for allowing me to participate in the article.  I’m definitely using this article as a learning experience for my son – and bragging like hell about my Trophy Kid.

Postscript: After the magazine article was published, I was contacted by another “hockey dad” about a new company he was putting together – and that he wanted my participation.

Whither the News Business?

Whither the News Business?

Newspapers aren’t dying – they’re becoming something else.

Television News isn’t dying – it’s becoming something else.

Radio News isn’t dying – it’s becoming something else.

Don’t believe me? Visit a newspaper web site, like say WSVN in Miami. Now, visit a newspaper web site like the Orlando Sentinel. Finally, visit a radio web site like 540 WFLA in Orlando, FL.

Aside from the promos and come ons, the news content is mostly the same across all three types of media web sites – though some are more text-centric, or audio heavy, or more saturated with video.

In short, what is changing is that the distribution model of newspapers, radio news, and television news has been entirely been disrupted by the ever ubiquitous web.

News gathering is still a labor intensive resource. Quality production is still resource intensive. Professional content is still resource intensive. That is the strength of the traditional media outlets. What they are not so adept at is realizing that the world has already changed under their feet.

In ten years time, online presences between television stations, radio stations, and newspapers will be entirely indiscernible, and if the laws of the land are changed, will probably be one and the same.

Newspapers dead? Nope. Television news dead? Nope. Radio dead? Not yet.

The only thing actually dead with all of the three major media forms is their notion that whistling past the graveyard is a satisfactory business strategy.

I’m in the July Issue of SmartMoney Magazine!

I’m in the July Issue of SmartMoney Magazine!

David J. Hinson in the July Issue of SmartMoney Magazine from David J. Hinson on Vimeo.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day

I love Father’s Day.

I love having my boys pile on me when they get up this morning and ask what’s for breakfast.

I cannot remember much about my life before my boys, because I cannot imagine my life now without them.

My dad passed away in March of 2004. He and I had very little in common and as an adult I was not particularly close with him. It was nobody’s fault as to why this was – it just was.

I loved him, because he was my dad.

As my boys grow older I am finding myself understanding a lot more about my dad. It’s even funny to catch myself saying the same things he said to me, to my sons.

My hope today for you who are being feted as Fathers is that you enjoy the day – and make many happy memories.

Facebook App Landgrab is Over

Facebook App Landgrab is Over



Pigeonholing is, according to Wikipedia, a term used to describe processes that attempt to classify disparate entities into a small number of categories (usually, mutually exclusive ones).

It is almost always pejorative in the sense that the pigeonhole-ee – the person or object being pigeonholed – is relegated to a tightly restricted role or position. Most people would say that they hate being pigeonholed, because the act of pigeonholing by definition is to limit for ease of classification – at the expense of getting the entire picture.

The most recognizable form of pigeonholing is typecasting in the movies. Some actors have roles that are so tightly identified with them that they can never find acting work doing anything else; William Shatner as James T. Kirk, Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins, and Bela Lugosi as Dracula
(note to readers: this phenomena is definitely not limited to vampire roles – Ed).

But pigeonholing is a danger that “high performers” in business are prone to as well. Dan Bricklin will forever be known as the Visicalc Guy, Mitch Kapor will always be the Lotus 1-2-3 guy, Ed Esber will always be known as the Ashton-Tate guy who was at the helm during the Dbase IV tanking. Even though all of these guys have been successful afterwards, they are cast into a certain world view because of a need to simplify the world by putting people into neat little compartments.

Some business people have definitely broken the pigeonholing cycle.

Had Steve Jobs fallen off the map following the failure of the NeXT, he more or less would have been pegged as simply being lucky with his first stint at Apple Computer. Instead, he has gone on to be one of the most successful second acts in personal computing history.

I would suggest that Marc Andreesen is looking for his pigeonhole-escaping second act, though he has had quite a few successes following his days at Netscape.

But even for the “little guy” pigeonholing is a constant danger to be guarded against.

For example, you do an outstanding job on a project, and all of a sudden you’re the SME on that particular project – forever. Unless it’s being project manager on a deep space probe or being Chairman of the Fed, or being Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, this is probably not what you had in mind.

Stick around long enough, and one gathers quite a few skills and life experiences that don’t fit on a one page resume or condense down to a single 140 character tweet.

I would hate to think that my professional life can be condensed down to a five minute elevator pitch, or even shorter escalator pitch. Yet I recognize the need to help others get to know what I can do for them in as short a period of time as possible. The key question is – how to summarize the complexity and richness that you have to offer in the ADD business world that we exist in?

From my perspective, you have to have several answers at the ready, tailored to the audience at hand.

“I’m a developer.” “I’m a Marketer.” “I’m a Salesman.”

But beyond that, you have to figure out how to pull out those layers of complexity in your career that make up who you are today. It’s a tough nut to crack.

From my personal history, I have done the following:

  • Been the IT director at a startup transaction processing company in Transportation
  • Written multitasking kernels for point-of-sales systems
  • Written NetBUI networking stacks
  • Written SCSI controllers
  • Taught Advanced Microcomputer Concepts at the University Level
  • Been the Director of a Business Unit for a Software Company
  • Written Engineering Software for the Largest Private Banking WAN in North America
  • Written software responsible for engineering 100,000 VoIP phones
  • Written Social Networking applications such as LinkedIn Contacts and Cheap Gas!
  • Have been the President of a Software Consultancy for the past dozen years

Among all of these things, most people know me professionally for only a handful of these – usually, only one or two, tops. Yet they constitute the fabric of who I am as a professional.

My daily challenge developing business for my corporate brand, and increasingly my personal brand, is simplifying my pitch while losing as little detail as possible in the experiences that have made me what I am.

I’m still a work in progress.

Just realize that if you limit me to only five minutes, the really good stuff is outside the time limit.

It’s Free – Stop Your Bitching

It’s Free – Stop Your Bitching

Every time I read a post like this I think “that person doesn’t mind having his time wasted.”

There is a cost in lost opportunity. I for one actually transact business as a result of Twitter participation, and when it is down, it IS a lost opportunity cost and money lost.

Plenty of companies are being built of upon the assumption that Twitter is available – TwitterPhone and about 200+ API developers for example. I guess that they have nothing to bitch about, either.

Also, I would like to point out that Twitter is no where NEAR 9 nines of availability.

It is not the audience’s fault if Twitter cannot figure out a revenue model. I don’t blame my customers if I cannot sustain enough business to keep my idle hands fully occupied – that’s why they call it “work.”

Twitter will one day make money on the community being built. Ergo, there is value to participation and this whole notion of “it’s free – shut up” will be exposed for the BS it is.