Tag Archives: Random

Framing the Problem

Quick Story There once were two school children who loved listening to their new punk music. Like all school kids, they also had alot of homework to do. The first kid asks his parent, “While I am doing my homework, may I also listen to my music?”  The parent says, “No concentrate on your homework!” The second kid sees… Read More »

Margaery Tyrell is an Idiot

I was so annoyed with her on the Game of Thrones finale. I had to tweet about it six times. @Margaery_Tyrell when she realized what was going on… pic.twitter.com/Gjq4s9lGRH — Glen Lipka (@glenlipka) June 27, 2016 @Margaery_Tyrell WTF? When you realized it's a trap, just sneak out! If anyone asks, just say you are having… Read More »

The Moth in San Francisco 2016

I am planning on talking at the next Moth meeting in San Francisco. The Moth is sort of like an open mic night at a comedy club, except it doesn’t have to be funny, it’s mostly stories. They give a theme and each person is supposed to talk for 5 minutes. The theme on Tuesday,… Read More »

Obfuscated Rebate Programs

So this weekend, I went to the Verizon store. I have never gone into that store and left in less than 2 hours. It’s ridiculous how long it takes to get stuff done in there. The reason I was there was to get my youngest his first phone, plus to upgrade my father-in-law. He had… Read More »

Random Thoughts 2016

Hillary Clinton should choose for her VP, Michelle Obama. Two former first ladies! Plus, Michelle is a serious customer. I have no idea who would win, but it sounds good. Despite winning the most games of any team ever, the Golden State Warriors will not be considered even in the top ten basketball teams of… Read More »

Most Viewed YouTube Videos 2016

Out of curiosity, I looked at the most viewed YouTube videos. The distribution looks like this: That first one is Gangnam Style. This is a song, I am very familiar with. Why is it so much higher than every other? Good question. I do not have a good answer. In fact, you get music videos for almost the… Read More »

Not Going Viral

Nothing I have done has ever gone viral. I am talking about Charlie Bit My Finger viral. (840 million views, 500k comments) Ok, maybe even something with a few thousand likes. This is the kind of viral that usually happens in numbers similar to winning the lottery. Very few have done it and usually it… Read More »

Learn Fast and Get on with It

I hear the phrase “Fail Fast” all the time. At heart, the sentiment of this is “Get on with it.” (Which is a good thing) The problem with the word Fail is that it assumes that the effort is going to be negative. Why can’t the message be “Learn Fast“? Fail fast makes me depressed. Failure is… Read More »

My Favorite Comedians (2016)

These are currently my favorite comedy acts: Flight of the Conchords I love these guys. They have live acts plus an HBO series. They are brilliant. So many different styles, each funnier than the last. Here is my favorite live show from them: Garkfunkel and Oates They are like the female version of Flight of… Read More »

Confident or Intelligent?

My world has just been rocked. At the end of the movie, The Wizard of Oz, the scarecrow receives his diploma. He then immediately rattles off what I thought was the Pythagorean theorem. Until this morning, I thought was he was saying was correct. Today, on NPR, they disabused me of that notion.  Here is… Read More »

For Goodness Sake

Someone once told me that you should be happy doing nice things for people, for its own sake. You should never do something nice with the expectation of getting something good in return. In other words, if you save someone’s life by pushing them out of the way of a truck, don’t expect them to… Read More »

Movie Review: Whiplash

My son and I watched the movie Whiplash last night. He is a drummer and guitarist, so he was interested in this movie. (He loves Rush, but appreciates Jazz and Buddy Rich). My definition of great art is when the piece evokes thought and/or emotion in the audience. Whether it is writing, music, paintings, sculpture,… Read More »

Wrist Progress Update

Im starting to get annoyed that this is taking so long. The therapist says this is normal and I’m doing well, but I just want to play tennis unencumbered. It’s not just the flexibility, it’s also the strength. My wrist, fingers and forearm are still a bit weak. Here is the updated flexibility. The backward… Read More »

Make Something Great Again

I’ve seen two advertisements leveraging this Donald Trump meme.  One was a billboard on 101 that stated “Make your data great again!” and today, I got this email that proclaimed, “Make your events great again!” Both times I saw the ad, Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan came to mind along with a bunch… Read More »

Wrist Progress – April 2016

It’s slow and steady progress, but you can almost see the diminishing returns. Getting to that green line is going to be difficult. Whenever I see data, I want to visualize it. I hate looking at tables of data. The line shows a trend, the numbers are harder to understand. There is a UX lesson… Read More »

Kids Frozen in Time

No matter how long I live, no matter how big they get, my kids will always look like this to me: It was taken in 2009 during our infamous Tahoo trip. It’s funny how kids get frozen in that moment. This one picture of pure boyish joy was the moment they stopped growing in my… Read More »

A Few Rules for a Good Resume

I’ve been helping my sister with her resume. Here are a few good rules of thumb: Make it look nice visually Before anyone reads it, they look at it. The first impression happens in less than 2 seconds. Make it look nice. I downloaded a free template and then modified it. If you aren’t sure, ask… Read More »

My Nightmare Wrist Timeline

My wrist adventure has just been a nightmare. I want to chronicle it so far. Date Doctor Prognosis Sep 2014 Me I hit a tennis shot funny and my wrist hurt. I said, “Ow!” – Unbeknownst to me, I tore ligaments in my wrist. 1 week later Doc #1: Kaiser She said it was a… Read More »

Blog Post Pivot

Sometimes I’ll write a whole post and throw it away. The post made more sense when I started than when I finished. It happens in startups as well. The company starts off in one direction and then changes. It is called a Pivot. A pivot is actually great in a way. It lets you build rapport… Read More »

Amazon.com is down

I don’t think I have ever seen this. I heard a story about Amazon building something called a Gremlin which would randomly take down a particular service in the Amazon stack. This would force the engineers to build redundancy into every layer of the system. Seems smart, doesn’t it? So what happened? They are down.… Read More »

Product-Market Fit – a metaphor

I imagine myself holding a basketball while in a space suit orbiting the earth. I’m floating in some particular direction. Off to the right is the hoop, traveling in a completely different direction. Our paths are orbital and curved. The good news is that our paths will get near each other soon. So I start… Read More »

2016 Election Prediction (March 2016)

First, Trump is going to get the GOP nomination. Hillary Clinton will get the Democratic nod. Trump is going to try to paint Hillary as: Out of touch Elitist 1% with a giant Super PAC War Hawk getting us into trillion dollar interventionist wars Entitled Shrill Living with an abusive misogynist husband He is going to… Read More »

Future Glen: Nanobot Swarm

I wear clothes. The materials are not found naturally like a bear pelt. They are combinations of many things using modern (and ancient) technologies. I used to wear glasses to correct what nature gave me for eyesight. I then had Lasik, literally lasers in my eyeballs to fix my vision permanently. I had braces to… Read More »

How to React to New Ideas

In general, people don’t like new ideas. What I mean by this is that the first reaction “most” people have to a new idea is FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.) It’s natural based on how our brains work. We love patterns. Things in motion stay in motion, things at rest stat at rest. A new… Read More »

The Presidential Charisma Rule

Presidential Elections Rule #1: The one with more charisma will win. Since presidents have been using television to communicate with the people, the one with the most charisma has won. I’ll start conservatively with 1952, but it really was 1960 when television really took off. 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) – 442 Adlai Stevenson (D)… Read More »

Unicorn Meat

Recently, at Engagio, I have been talking with customers looking at the details of the different problems (opportunities) to solve. I am looking for a particular situation with the following characteristics: A task that happens all the time, preferably by lots of people. Clearly sub-optimal workflow with incredible pain in every step. Computers could help. People… Read More »

The “Just Sayin” Rule

I’d like to make a new rule. Any sentence preceding the phrase Just Sayin, should not be said in the first place. “Just sayin” is only said after obnoxious or insulting sentences. These are better left unsaid. We all say things that hurt other people, intentionally or not. Shrugging your shoulders are muttering, “Just Sayin”… Read More »

Wrist surgery

I am dictating this blog post using Google on my phone. We see how it works. I just got back from having my wrist surgery to solve the pain I’ve been having for the last 18 months. I believe they call it arthroscopic wrist surgery. The doctor found two torn ligaments and a whole bunch… Read More »

Succession Plans

A few years before I left Marketo, I started thinking about my succession plan. I knew that I might leave one day, so it was important to me that I leave the organization in good shape to live without me. This was complicated by the fact that I had designed most of the product. For… Read More »

The Roads Taken (and not)

In every design, you make choices that take you down a road. Sometimes those road leads to peril, other times to victory, usually both. There is no way to know what destiny existed in the other choices. I ask my self those questions all the time. “What if …” Some decisions are made while our minds… Read More »