It’s probably good for many of us in the tech community to have a bit of a pause in the action over the next couple of weeks. We need time to reflect on a horrific national tragedy and to watch our government grab onto the cliff’s edge at the very last possible moment. We’ll all work more productively after letting our minds regroup and allowing ourselves to focus on family and friends without distraction.
Not everyone gets a break, certainly not those selling technology into year-end enterprise budgets (as I discussed last week), and not those who maintain the machinery of commerce like data centers, but many creative and development oriented companies give their employees en masse some welcome time off. The UT students have completed their semester and vacated, taking their energy and bustle and traffic congestion with them. However, I do see one local resident calling on Facebook for some impromptu hackathons for those in town over the Holidays. I suppose that’s as good a way as any to escape visiting in-laws.
In my case there are plenty of irons in the fire, and there may be some solid activity, but a realistic expectation is to use this time of pause to nudge those I can toward making some real progress right after New Year’s. (This of course is predicated on the assumption that our world will not be terminated in the interim per the Mayan calendar and/or the Oreo cookie, which look about the same.)
With that preamble, what are some items on my wish list for this Christmas and the year ahead? How about these ten:
1. I’d like to see another 1000+ business summaries next year, for the third year in a row. I’m rather in the groove now, and it’s fascinating to see the bigger picture of how startup minds are shaping the future of the technology industry.
2. It would be darn nice if I could go a week without a critical update on some piece of software or hardware interrupting a task for which I’m on a deadline. Hopefully I can get through this blog post without Word needing a tweak.
3. What if Google, Facebook and Twitter declared a one-month moratorium on changing their business rules? We might have time to figure out the last set of rules and how they affected us. But then I do believe in Santa Claus.
4. Like the common cold, there is no cure for bad PPT slides, so there will always be a need for more pitch coaching and mentoring. It’s amazing how smart people can find ways to communicate so little information in a collection of slides. I’m actually not wishing for any change there – keeps me employed in my many pro bono jobs.
5. My iPad mini really needs a lanyard, or maybe a belt hook like the slide rules of yore. It’s a wonderful device, but it’s too easy to drop or to lose under a stray sheet of paper.
6. I would like to obtain 100% phone coverage in my daily Austin life by some method other than carrying one Verizon iPhone and a second ATT iPhone. I manage to make regular stops at a set of locations where one or the other has a dead zone and have to rely way too much on Google Voice to catch incoming calls.
7. It would be nice to see rates for infrastructure like cable triple-play services indexed to the near-zero rate of inflation instead of increasing so rapidly. I suppose I’m held hostage to ESPN’s fees to the cable carriers. And, I can’t even get the Longhorn Network in Austin, although my son Jesse gets it in Atlanta.
8. When my Alma Mater Georgia Tech plays in a Texas bowl, I wish it were not one where in Austin I’m only half way from Atlanta to that bowl in El Paso. It still requires a plane ride, and it almost doesn’t matter how far you fly domestically these days; all the hassle is on the ground.
9. It would be great if the fine Austin Police Department showed more interest in keeping traffic moving than in shutting down major arteries for lengthy accident investigations. Atlanta is a much bigger city with far more congestion, but there the police give priority to shoving the crashes aside and keeping the multitudes of drivers moving along at high rates of speed. Here we seem routinely to trade tens of thousands of driver hours for examining and documenting every centimeter of an accident scene.
10. I have a bedroom clock set by the power company signal that is always exactly 7-minutes slow. Going from the kitchen to the bedroom is literally a step back in time. I want to go visit the Austin Energy offices again to see what time it is there.
With that, Seasons Greetings to All!