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July 2010

Guy Kawasaki's "Reality Check"

Realitycheck

In case you haven't figured it out, I'm a fan of Guy Kawasaki and his "How to Change the World " blog.  If you like his blog, you should check out his book "Reality Check."  Yes, you can read most of the content for free on the web, but sometimes a printed copy is more convenient.   Like if you're on an airplane.  Or on the toilet.  Or if you want to underline it.  Or if you want to underline it while you're on the toilet on an airplane.  Ok, you get the idea. 

The book covers some of the best items from his blog, categorized into themes like starting a company, raising money, business planning, innovation, marketing, schmoozing, management, hiring and firing and more. It's not a bunch of high-falutin' theories either. It's hard lessons learned by working with hundreds of entrepreneurs. Guy is also a player coach, having built four startup companies and served on the boards of ten companies. So it's practical advice rather than academic theory. And even though it's practical, it's still entertaining. You won't find the top 10 lies of VCs or the top 11 lies of entrepreneurs in any other book. And I doubt you'll read either of those pieces and not learn something either about yourself or about how you conduct your business. With more than 90 essays (including some great Q&A pieces) if you heed just a fraction of the advice in this book, it will pay for itself tens if not hundreds of times over. How's that for a compelling ROI?

While a lot of his advice is oriented towards startups, in my experience, it's equally applicable to large companies.  It's all about focus and execution.  Guy was one of the top rated speakers we ever had at the MySQL Users Conference, and he's well worth whatever he charges for these events. 


Disrupting IT with Open Source & Cloud

A couple of weeks ago I gave a presentation at the Apache Lucene Eurocon in Prague. It was a good conference focused on Lucene/Solr open source search technology and sponsored by Lucid Imagination.  

I've posted the bulk of the presentation below.  (I omitted a couple of slides that were MySQL specific.) Even though it was a technical conference, I got positive feedback from the attendees and organizers that the information was useful in helping folks think about where to focus their efforts.  

The slides have been posted to Box.net and are shown using their new "embedded preview" feature which is pretty cool. You can also use the short URL www.tinyurl.com/box-disr to view or download the slides in Powerpoint format.

Thanks to the folks at Lucid Imagination as well as those who gave input and feedback on the presentation.