Month: June 2015

How To Improve Your Networking With Goal Setting (Video)

It was a blast to work with the folks at SkilledUp to put together this fun video on how to network more effectively using goal setting and a little bit of a system. Big kudos to my extremely talented movie-producing-and-entrepreneur-extraordinaire friend Rich Boehmcke for shooting, editing, and producing this video!

The original video on SkilledUp is here.

Why I’m Teaching

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It was 10th grade in high school and I was taking a class called “College Marketing.” It was a college-level course being taught as a part of a business program our school was piloting. The teacher, Mrs. Stein, pushed our class to explore potential career paths through cool projects and presentations. Mrs. Stein was always encouraging me to explore fun side projects and to network with everyone that I met. She eventually gave me advice when I started “MicFlash Enterprises” that fall (my 1-person desktop publishing ‘company’), and through our conversations that year she helped me understand what a career in business and technology could be. Mrs. Stein later introduced me to her husband at a class field trip to his office at Viacom in NYC, and some follow-up conversations with him led to my first internship at Viacom headquarters in Times Square. I can trace almost every job (and a best friend) since then back to the people I met at that first internship.

Mrs. Stein played a seminal role in my life. As an educator she taught me skills about business and professionalism that I still remember and use today, and as a mentor she gave me guidance about my career and connected me to my first job. I can never thank her enough for the path she showed me.

Twice a year for the last nine years, I have been going back to my old high school on Long Island and giving a talk to the students in Mrs. Stein’s classes. I call the talk “You Don’t Have To Be The Valedictorian To Have A Career You Love,” and it’s my attempt to show them how important the experiences, people, and relationships they make will be to their life. I do this by walking the students through a bit of my career journey: building web pages at a leather gun holster manufacturer in New Hyde Park when I was 14, DJ’ing, building web apps for Viacom, being a personal fitness trainer, then mainframe programming for insurance companies, eventually going to Microsoft, then Contactive, and now ThinkingPhones. I share how every opportunity, every job, and every success (or failure) was the result of a relationship I had made with a key person in my life.

Throughout my career I have continued to look for ways to coach and mentor others. As a manager at Microsoft I quickly realized and embraced that much of my role was teaching and coaching my team so they could grow and perform as quickly as possible. Working in the NYC startup scene at Contactive was a big change since our team size made it so I had a very tiny team and almost no time to manage. That wound up being a great impetus to jump into mentoring and advising other companies, and it’s something I continue in earnest now at ThinkingPhones.

Recently a mutual connection introduced me to one of the founders of General Assembly, Matt, at an event in NYC. He told me about GA and their mission, and almost immediately I said “Sign me up!” I loved the idea of working with a set of industry veterans to teach and coach others who were passionate about Product Management and design.

I’m now extremely excited to be joining the General Assembly family as an Instructor for their part-time Introduction to Product Management course. You can check out the details here on the GA site.

I can’t wait for the summer. I look forward to learning as much from the students as they (hopefully) learn from me.

Thanks!

The Friday List at #neato – 2015.06.05

A few interesting articles I’ve bumped into this week, curated from my Pocket and shared for your enjoyment. Some cool finds this week about the *giant* market for wearables in the enterprise, autonomous cars and the destruction of our car economy, Google I/O, and real-life drug fiction.

Augmate“Smart glasses begin to take hold in the enterprise”

My fascination with what wearables will do in the enterprise is increasing every day that I wear my Apple Watch to work. There are some cool contextual scenarios that can be improved by having a device as present as a Watch. I think that as the glasses form factor shrinks to something that IWs would wear (and not just folks in manufacturing), there will be all sorts of new productivity scenarios – my fav idea is what remote whiteboarding would look like.

“Autonomous cars will destroy millions of jobs and reshape the US economy by 2025”

Yes, they caught my eye with the title. But the article has some astonishing data points in it, like the average car owner only drives there car for 4% of the year. Talk about wasted capacity.

“Google I/O 2015 Recap”

I’m not sure if I’m going to switch to the new photos storage system just yet, but that announcement plus Android M made this a good set of releases from Google.

“The Untold Story of Silk Road, Part I”

Part of me wishes I had at least seen Silk Road live just once. Every time I read a story like this I can’t believe how big and significant Silk Road was without almost ever being known outside of those who used it.