I had the great good fortune to know Professor John Sperling, Cambridge don,...
I had the great good fortune to know Professor John Sperling, Cambridge don, when I was an undergraduate student at San Jose State University. At that time, our campus was awash in great thinkers: visiting scholars Buckminster Fuller, Alan Watts, and a host of other eminent faculty. I knew Sperling as a friend and mentor, and worked closely with John and my friends with the SJSU student government: Dick Miner, Peter Ellis and others, some of whom went on to work with Sperling at the Institute of Professional Development and later at the University of Phoenix. My fondest recollection of John was as the catalyst for our symbolic burial of an ugly yellow Ford Maverick on the first Earth Day. John challenged us to define ourselves by what we would do to mark that day. It has become one of the defining events of the first Earth Day. But I also view John as the precursor of the current MOOC’s movement. John shook up the academic world with his revolutionary ideas about education. John created immense controversy but he also spawned significant change.
Some people seem to be having a problem with Nick Hanauer. He seems to have pissed off a lot of people, but at the same time, he seems to be talking sense and to have achieved significant traction. This often seems to happen in times of turmoil and change. A multi-millionaire in his own right, but also someone with a profound liberal arts and humanities grounding, Mr. Hanauer has called “foul,” with the behavior of the 1%. I am personally fascinated with people like this, because I sense that Hanauer is somewhat like me. I worked with Ivy League MBA’s at Intel who said to me that they wished that they had my humanities education, while I told them that I wished I had their management education. I now teach management in a prestigious university and can comment intelligently.
In October of 2013, I first met Energy Aware’s management team, led by UBC alumni founders Janice Cheam and VP of Software, Ali Kashani in their modest East Vancouver offices. I had encountered Ali commenting on the Internet of Things (IoT) on LinkedIn, and I challenged his arguments, as the skeptic that I am. Ali very graciously invited me to meet with him to discuss it further. Home automation and its new iteration, IoT, has been around for at least twenty years and had been going absolutely nowhere. Added to that was what I termed “the Tower of Babble,” a term now also used by Qualcomm to describe the data communication hairball in the IoT space. Indeed, Energy Aware had struggled for quite awhile in this immature market. What I learned in that first meeting with Ali and Janice turned this skeptic into a believer, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with Al and Janice since that time providing them with tidbits of advice here and there. My gut told me that Energy Aware was on to something with significant potential, as IoT was finally achieving technological “convergence,” and the Big Dogs in Silicon Valley were now gearing up their own IoT efforts. There is a Tsunami coming, and Energy Aware is well-positioned to ride it.
Originally posted on Quartz:
The World Wide Web celebrated its 25th birthday recently. Today the global network serves almost 3 billion people, and hundreds of thousands more join each day. If the Internet were a country, its economy would be among the five largest in the world. In 2011, according to the World Economic Forum, growth in the…
I have become the exclusive worldwide business manager for a former MI6 civilian undercover operative, a real-life James Bond character, and author of two very interesting books. The books are fictionalized autobiographical accounts of his exploits for the British intelligence and counter-espionage agency. We met by chance on the Internet, and in an effort to vet his background and credibility, he introduced me to a well-known Hollywood producer, and to a successful international entertainment lawyer and entrepreneur living in Spain. I also called on the expertise of a long-time friend and colleague in Los Angeles who previously worked directly for Lachlan Murdoch at Fox Entertainment. Using the nom-de-plume, Nicholas Anderson, his books may be found on Amazon, and bits and pieces of his story may also be found online. My task now is to package his exploits for presentation to select senior executives as potential source material for a variety of entertainment projects here and abroad. Though now retired, he maintains an incognito profile, and has run afoul of the British Official Secrets Act in the past, which both adds to Nicholas’ appeal, and complicates my work on his behalf. My new relationship with Nicholas has also led to the development of a parallel project to develop an investment fund for entertainment technology projects. Nicholas resides quietly on the Cote d’Azur in the south of France, which is an added benefit for me.
Originally posted on Quartz:
I have been a professor for 25 years—most of my professional life. Even when I had full-time corporate jobs, I always took salary cuts to be able to maintain my professor role because teaching has given me about as much joy as anything in my life. Watching students learn, improve, and…
Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School are adopting drastically different strategies for delivering business education. These differing strategies are reflected in the debate that has erupted between two of Harvard Business School’s best known professors and their visions for the future of business education, Michael Porter and Clayton Christensen. I have also been personally tire kicking MOOC’s, acting as a mentor for Stanford’s online Technology Entrepreneurship course, hosted by NovoEd. I have been pleasantly surprised by the experience, and among the teams I am mentoring is a group of Xerox senior research scientists acting as an entrepreneurial team.
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