My Father’s Day

I woke up early, which doesn’t always happen anymore.  I used to be up at 7 am no matter what.  Lately I’ve been staying awake much later than normal.  Call it part of my job.  But I love waking early.  My problem is that I also love staying awake until the wee hours of the morning 🙂

Anyway, this morning I woke to this drawing, emailed to me from my daughter.  She drew it on her Wacom tablet.

Happy Father's Day.

My daughter is always thinking of me.  She will make a great artist (and perhaps even a great wife and mother, should she decide to push her skill-sets) some day. 🙂  Love her to death.

Later my kids did the grocery shopping, and fixed me a wonderful meal, which they insisted we ate at the table together (at 18 and 20, my kids are rarely home for meals, much less eating together!).

My son has recently started cooking – and he has a knack for it.  Love him as well!

It was a wonderful day.

But not for everyone.

This conversation, which my friend Robert Scoble started, explains why.  Hard to enjoy this day when so much of the world is in pain.

If you can stomach it, here is the before and after photos of one father’s daughter on Father’s Day.  Don’t click if you are squeamish.  She was shot and killed while walking in a peaceful protest with her father.

I am proud that I served my country, and am inspired by all of those in Iran who are doing the same.  Sounds like a cliche, but freedom really isn’t free.

Ask Neda’s father.

Because we can’t ask Neda.

I’ve Been Busy!

Lately my time has been consumed by a new project.- building43.com.  I’ve been building it with an amazing team of friends – some I’ve not even actually met yet.  That’s the power of the Internet!

building43logo I’ve even got a post on the new site.  But it isn’t my site.  It belongs to the community that builds it.  You can join that community.  Learn how here.

It’s been a blast working on the site.  This is something completely fresh – from the graphics to the design.  The content and the idea behind the site – all new.

My employer, Rackspace, is backing the site.  It is an interesting challenge.  It has been from the day we decided to hire Robert Scoble and Rocky Barbanica.  Interesting because the idea is so unique that it is hard to describe.  A site that has no revenue model.  No marketing message.  It exists to help people use the new Internet to improve their own websites.  Particularly businesses.  If we help a business increase sales 10-15%, perhaps they will hire another employee.  Perhaps the increase in their sales means on of their vendors needs to hire more help.

Perhaps we can help the struggling economy one helpful post at a time.  Who knows?  Since it’s not been done in this way before – nobody knows.  But we have sure busted ass trying to find out!

I encourage you to go look at building43.  I am very proud of what the team has built.  I am proud to have my name associated with it.  And I am very, very happy that Robert and Rocky are with us on this project.  On paper, they work for me – but in actuality, we all work for the same purpose.  We all have a burning desire to build something truly meaningful – something truly helpful.

Let me know what you think!

Rob

I’m back, but where did I go?

I lost ownership of my domain name, lagesse.org for several weeks.  I won’t go into the ugly details, but I could certainly have prevented this.  Now I have the domain locked, set to auto-renew, and the email address I have the domain registered under is NOT an email address hosted on the lagesse.org domain.

It took a LOT longer to get my domain back because of (I assume) the Holidays.

What really sucked is my entire family has email on the lagesse.org domain – so I wasn’t the only one affected.  Bummer, family – and sorry about that!

So, the blog is back, the email is back, and I won’t make that mistake again 🙂

And that is all (for now) 🙂

Thanks,

Rob

Disclosure Policy

I have added a disclosure policy page.

Read it and enjoy the goodness 🙂

Lightning Does Strike Twice

It has been about four years since I first decided to step into the consulting lifestyle.  In that time one of my “children” has completed High School, and then his first year of college.  Next year my daughter will finish High School as well.

It has been an amazing four years for me – I have been able to spend time with my kids as required – but mostly I have been able to spend an inordinate amount of time learning.  Ten years ago I learned by reading books – today I learn more by surfing the Internet – it is still reading, but it is so much faster, and so much more available (and “find-able!”.

One of the things my time in consulting has taught me is that I miss people.  I miss the challenge of building teams – not just hiring people, but building functional groups that work well together to build more than any single persons could have done.

So, taking stock of my life, as I am often wanton to do, I asked myself, “What is next”?  In a year I will have two kids in college, and perhaps neither of them left at home.

It was time for me to answer the question, “What does Rob want?”.

So I looked back in my life experiences and tried to zero in on what made me the most happy – what did I love to do so much that I could do it for the rest of my life?  Raising children certainly tops my list – but I can’t raise them forever – in fact, I am already being outsourced in that position – by my children themselves.

Raising children is like building good teams – the end goal is that eventually they won’t need depend on you anymore.

I decided I needed to go back to work with people – preferably young, energetic people, and certainly people smarter than I am.  I have always been lucky in surrounding myself with people smarter than I am (and please – PAUL! – no comments that this should be easy – it isn’t).

This realization came over a several month period – I didn’t wake up one day having come to this “epiphany”.

I missed building teams.  I need to work with smart people.  I MUST work for a company that understands that I am a unique person – I am opinionated, passionate, determined, outspoken, opinionated, and outspoken.  And I am sorry if I repeated myself.  And I am sorry if I repeated myself.

I need a company that doesn’t exist outside of startups – I needed security, because I will have two kids in college.  It must be nimble.  It must be willing to listen, and learn – even as it teaches.  But I also needed the excitement that keeps me engaged.  I need to constantly invent.  I need to work with smart people that will make me smarter.  I needed to be someplace that allows me to make a difference every day.  I needed to build something that affects a lot of people, because after helping build WiFi – it takes a big project to be a “big deal”.

And most of all – I need to be able to help.  My work must have value – to me, and to the people I work with.  And to the customers – who I never shy away from or refuse a conversation with.

In the next day or two I hope to share with you the company that is all of that, and more.  How much more is something I expect to find out soon – and something I hope to grow over time.

But don’t worry – I won’t change my blogging style/habits.  I wouldn’t work for a company that thought they could control my freedom of expression outside the office.

The list of companies I wouldn’t work for is rather large.  So I’ll save you that and instead share with you in the next couple days who I would work for – and I will tell you exactly why I made that choice.