December Calendar

November 29, 2015:  The Holidays begin as the year comes rushing to a close. The description* of the accompanying illustration appropriately tempers the December calendar with the phrase “work still goes on.”

Macy's Parade Turkey 2008

November 22, 2015: It’s a Holiday week, so here’s a short essay to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and to cite a few important things in my professional life for which I’m particularly thankful this year.

Quail hunting

November 15, 2015: An interesting event last week was the culmination of a 3 Day Startup (3DS) program combing UT Austin freshmen and a collection of high school students from Round Rock. I was invited to be part of a panel opining on their final pitches, and I commend them for the quality of their work. For those of you not familiar with 3DS, it’s exactly what the name implies.

1969 editing terminal

November 8, 2016: As we are developing the systems for the medical startup that is my ongoing case study for TechDrawl, I have learned to emphasize that we are building “software” and not “IT.” Medical professionals have nothing but bad connotations with the latter. They think of having been made keyboard dependent and becoming data entry clerks at the expense of quality patient time. It’s all about the codes; get that right and insurance pays, if not, there’s more work to be done making corrections.

Malaysian GP 2010

November 1, 2015: Last Sunday’s annual Formula 1 US Grand Prix in Austin inspires my essay this week. TechDrawl is nothing if not topical.

A conversation in a rococò setting

October 25, 2015: This past week our Qualifying Committee for the 2016 SXSW Accelerator met for our annual kickoff Happy Hour. You may not have SXSW on your mind right now, with important holidays like Halloween looming this weekend, but applications for the Accelerator are due November 6. We expect to have 500-600 for our committee of ten to review between then and November 18, to be followed by voting by expert judges scattered worldwide and the selection of the 48 on-stage finalists prior to Christmas.

Stephen Fear EIR British Library

October 18, 2015: This past week featured another edition of Bob Metcalfe’s StARTup Studio, in which three UT professor-led teams present business concepts resulting from their research. These are nearly always big, science-based ideas. This crop included nanomotors for detecting biomarkers; architectural glass that can selectively modulate both visible light and near-infrared heat-producing light; and magnet-free circulators to enable full duplex wireless transmission, effectively doubling the capacity of existing wireless networks.

IDEO Process

October 11, 2015: This week we’ll continue journaling the progress of the biomedical startup in which I’m participating in Georgia. I spent most of the week there working with our software team and an array of Subject Matter Experts. Design Thinking, as pioneered at Stanford and commercialized by its spin-out IDEO, is our method of solution creation, as opposed to scientific problem solving. Relevant terms in this method are solution-focus, ambiguity, iteration, and human engagement.

gold mine

October 4, 2015: If you’re a technology service provider to startups, you know that to be a difficult task. I’ve been on both sides of this issue over the years. We had to switch a major vendor in one deal this past week, which is always tough, even if it is just business and is for good reasons for all concerned. There are personal connections that are part of any such relationship, and those continue.

Yellow Camaro RS

September 27, 2015: Jack Kerouac made the title above famous in his 1957 roman à clef about travels with the pioneers of the Beat and Counterculture generations in post-WWII America. I’m finding myself back on the road now in connection with my Georgia-based startup, but I’m working with pioneers in cancer care. In some ways they can aptly be described as counterculture to currently accepted Standards of Care for cancer patients.


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