The year in review

2017 has been a big year here. It was our first full year in New York. We got a lot accomplished. While the year has been filled with a lot of negativity for our country/world as a whole, it’s actually been pretty decent on a personal level.

Lots of people have different strategies for setting, making plans and achieving their goals. I tend to settle on very specific personal goals and then not talk about them much. This year, I managed to hit most (but not all) of the goals I set.

  • The most important thing that happened to our family this year was the addition of our little Penny. It’s been an amazing ride so far. Exhausting, that is, but amazing still. Honestly, it never stops being remarkable watching this new, little human learn about the world around her.
  • I (re-)started my personal blog early this year. I’m really glad I did. Professionally, your blog is like a living resume, so always useful to have; personally, it’s given me an outlet for thinking out loud about topics I care about. It’s made me a better writer. Seriously – for every word you read here, I’ve probably written four or five that were deleted. It’s excruciating sometimes, but I like the product.
  • Upon discovering that Penny was due in September, I resolved to buckle down and finish a personal writing project that I’d had sitting on my back burner for nearly a year: a piece of fiction about a planet threatened by a giant asteroid. This became The Second Transit, which I finished and self-published over the summer. I learned some valuable things from the experience. You can find out more about the book (and buy it!) on Amazon. Reviews/shares are much appreciated.
  • Over dinner with my friend Ben, we also decided last winter to write a book together on Product Management in enterprise software. I added that to my “stuff that must get done before the baby comes” list, and for the most part, was successful. We originally planned to self-publish, but wound up accepting an offer from O’Reilly Media instead, which we couldn’t be more thrilled about. As you might have heard, “Building Products for the Enterprise” is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Tell your friends.
  • Over the Summer, I decided to revive my old email newsletter. I sort of ditched the “newsletter” approach, though, and made it a more informal “here’s some great stuff I’ve been reading/writing” instead, which seems to have led to more engagement (clicks/opens/subs) than the previous format. It’s also way more fun. Subs are up 40% since I started; which, for a relatively small name like me, is pretty good. (Past issues are available on the Updates page, and/or you can sign up at the end of this post.)
  • Something I don’t talk about a lot online, but which I do/is important to me, is powerlifting. I added about 30 pounds to my bench press this year; 65 pounds to my deadlift; 60 to my squat. I estimate I dropped about 10 pounds of body fat. I’m happy with this progress, but not quite satisfied. I’m switching up my program in the New Year.
  • I mostly quit using Facebook. I’ve found it simply brings me no personal value. I still maintain an account mostly to share baby pictures.
  • I got twitter-checked by the King of the Netherlands

There’s a lot more to come in 2018 – professionally, personally, and otherwise. I’ll keep you updated.

In terms of the blog, I wrote several pieces that got a lot of traction.

  • Learn to Sell – this thing caught fire and drew more than an order of magnitude more traffic than anything else I’ve ever written. Wild.
  • Adobe and Transformation – I have honestly considered making this a book project. (Anyone want to commission it? 😄) Adobe does not get nearly the credit it deserves for its transformation.
  • You Should be Paying Attention to North Carolina – NC in particular, but really the whole VA/NC/GA swath (SC as a potential inclusion too) is an epicenter for the country’s growth. This whole Southern swath should properly be compared not individually, but as a group, with California – against which it is growing much faster.

Here are a few other pieces that were less-read but, I think, still pretty good. I’ve found it’s basically impossible to predict what will catch on and what won’t. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of the right large-audience people noticing at the right time and deciding to share.

Thanks for reading. I take your time and attention very seriously. Have a wonderful New Year.


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