Pastures New

Today I’m breaking from my typical routine of writing about digital marketing and strategy trends to talk a bit about a big personal milestone.  It is with much excitement that I share the news of some big changes for me and my family: I have left ThoughtWorks to head for new pastures.

My next career challenge:  I am joining TrackMaven in Washington, DC, as their Senior Director of Professional Services and Customer Success.  I am starting this month and soon after, I will also be looking into moving the family back east as well.

What I Am Most Looking Forward To

I am excited to be joining my fellow Mavens on many levels, but I’ll elaborate on a few specific reasons here.

  1. TrackMaven has a great product that fills a universal need for omni-channel marketers: the benchmarking, monitoring and trending of competitive analytics across all digital channels.   I’ve been a customer/user for a couple of years now, and we continue to find new ways to use the data that the service provides. I cannot wait to help build new levels of awareness around the product, help our customers get better insights into its use and potentially craft new forms of marketing education and services using it as a platform.
  2. A fun-loving culture. There is a love of the craft of marketing, and that of helping customers solve problems that comes from every member of the team.  This spills onto customers as well, not solely through Corgi photos and cupcakes, but also by creating unique quality content.
  3. Building relationships with marketing leaders. If you know me well, you also know that I am a connector, and lover of people. As a part of my role, I will be able to forge new bonds with marketers in organizations of many different shapes and sizes.

The Extra Benefits

  1. Proximity to friends and family. Being based in DC, I’ll now get to visit many more of our closest friends within a few hour drive.
  2. DC is such a  great city.  Filled with so many amazing free things to do and see and eat, I cannot wait to share it with the boys.

What’s Next?

During the last several weeks, I’ve had a chance to reflect on many life themes from the last decade. Specifically, these include life in northern California, product management, health and wellness and career changes.  I’ll be sharing some of those thoughts here, in addition to my typical areas of focus, digital marketing and strategy. I would be very thankful if you subscribed and offered feedback on anything that resonates with you.

 

My Wistia Interview on Using Video in Your Digital Recruitment Marketing Strategy

Wistia has not only provided a fantastic software platform for our video hosting, but they have been an influential company for our marketing. This week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for the Wistia Blog by Meryl Ayres.

In the post, How ThoughtWorks Recruited Hundreds of Talented Employees Using Video, we discuss many of the transformative content pieces that came out of our recruitment marketing team during the last couple of years.  I’m very excited to tell this story, as I think the work done by our team was really innovative.  In fact, I think we’ve only scratched the surface of how to apply digital to the recruitment funnel; I look forward to telling an expanded version of this story in the months to come.

ThoughtWorks Developers in Brasil
ThoughtWorks Developers in Brasil

If you enjoyed this piece as well as the Wistia style, you should know they host an amazing online marketing conference called WistiaFest, that will be going on its third year.  Feel free to check out my entry on my experience at Wistiafest 2015.

Brave New World: The Future of Search on ThoughtWorks.com

Over the last few weeks I have crafted a narrative of what the future of search looks like. Inspired by several of the great minds in search marketing today, Brave New World: The Future of Search provides an overview of where search technology came from, how it evolved and where its going.

Please, grab your cup of coffee or tea on Sunday and curl up with this piece, as I think it will make you think deeply about how we find information online.  I would love to field questions or hear any feedback you have about the article.

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Responsive Delivery article on ThoughtWorks.com

About a year ago, I had the distinct pleasure of presenting a talk called Responsive Delivery: Effective Practices for Digital First Organizations at the Searchlove San Diego conference hosted by Distilled. The conversations that came out of that talk really proved valuable for me in identifying a real gap in the market for resources helping marketers and software developers come together to create awesome experiences.

I am very proud to say that this week, we have published a revised version of the talk as a long-form article on ThoughtWorks Insights. Please give Responsive Delivery a read and let me know what you think.

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Three Month Sabbatical

This week marks the beginning of my three month sabbatical from ThoughtWorks.  One of the very special perks we have is the 12 week paid sabbatical after 10 years with the company.   I reached my 10 year milestone last August but it took until now to plan a suitable time and to prepare my team.

It’s a pretty weird thing to plan on stepping away from your job for 3 months.  Immediately I was peppered with lots of questions from friends and colleagues:  “what are you going to do,” and “where will you go?” The truth is when you have two toddlers at home, you’re not going far, but the possibility of having that much free time on my hands again was very exciting.

That said, I do have lots of plans including:

  • Eating and sleeping well
  • Daily fitness activities, namely lots of Yoga, but also hopefully taking advantage of the many hiking trails around our house
  • A meditation retreat
  • Spending lots more time on my hobbies including gardening and music
  • Returning to working on my personal blog and website which has become something I don’t make enough time for anymore. Considering starting one thats more professionally focused.
Proud to say that I’ve started off well with a great workout every day and an awesome trip with Jen and the boys to Stinson and then up the Highway 1 through the Marin hills.I don’t think I am going to live up to my original ambitions to blog daily, but I am going to set aside some time each week to work on it more, particularly some of the longer piece ideas I’ve had.

 

Stay tuned for updates!

 

Me and the family at Stinson Beach
Me and the family at Stinson Beach

I made the pages of P2

If you haven’t heard of P2 yet, you should. It is an original monthly magazine featuring ThoughtWorks folks of various talents reflecting on the craft of building software.

I’m proud to say that I was interviewed not long ago regarding the origins of the project to develop the new ThoughtWorks website during the last year.  That served as the basis for a story that appeared in this month’s issue of P2:  Failures in doing everything right.

Check out the magazine and the article. If you’re not familiar with ThoughtWorks or our website, feel free to take a stop by thoughtworks.com.  In particular, we would love to get your opinions on some of the writing happening in our Insights section; pick the channel that inspires you the most.

Cycle time, lead time, and continuous improvement

After some time, I have picked up Storify for a few projects that I have been looking to work on. This one will be based around resources to learn more about cycle time, lead time, and other measurements which can be used toward continuous improvement. Since I am being referred to new resources from colleagues on a daily basis, it seemed a great way to keep up with the various pieces in a visual way.[View the story “Cycle time, lead time, and continuous improvement” on Storify]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gone but not forgotten

I’m ashamed to say that this blog has gone long neglected. Two children and loads of new career adventures have taken my focus.  And so, I’m determined to give the site a refresh.

In the short term, here are a few tidbits about what I’ve been up to:

  • I have two fantastic little boys that are keeping Jen and I incredibly busy.
  • I’m now overseeing all things digital for ThoughtWorks, which has been a really satisfying progression that has aligned with my interests and trajectory over the last few years. More to come in an upcoming post on that.  In the meantime, take a look at the latest version of thoughtworks.com and let me know what you think.
  • I set up an experimental blog recently using a very cool technology called postach.io that lets you use Evernote as a CMS.  You can read about it in my inaugural post at Digital Pistachio.
  • The garden is in full bloom.

Here’s a little Vine of our youngest to keep you amused.

Archetypes for location based services

mayor-of-playersIn many of our training and consulting engagements we gravitate towards the use of archetypes to depict common behaviors, both constructive and destructive.  Two that come to mind are:  Facilitation Patterns and Anti-Patterns (ThoughtWorks) and The Requirements Super Heroes and Villains (Organic).

This morning, I really enjoyed this collection from the Dachis Group as related to location based services, The Mayor of Players and Other Location Based Services Archetypes.

In the article, Brad Kenney identifies a number of behaviors exhibited by frequent users of location based services, such as Foursquare, Facebook and Yelp.  They include:

The “trend setter” … takes pride in being the first of social group to begin using a new service or feature.

The “time killer” … looks to alleviate boredom or fill time using mobile apps such as LBS.

The “social surfer” … sees who else has checked in to a specific place, enjoys voyeuristic exploration of other user profiles.

The “mayor of players” … enthusiastically engages in competitive behaviors such as “mayorship battles”.

The “scavenger hunter” … looks to create a collection of experiences, badges and/or other artifacts.

The “status seeker” … only checks in to the “right places” and is concerned with maintaining and enhancing personal brand.

The “knowledge miner” … searches for the most recent or relevant information from LBS services to improve customer experience by gaining the knowledge of regular patrons.

The “do-gooder” … is incented to participate by a perception that their activities are having a positive impact on others, the planet, etc.

The “social seeker” … announces location in order to facilitate real-world interaction with friends or enable serendipitous interaction and connection with friends or strangers.

The “trip planner” … facilitates social bonding or group cohesion by using LBS to plan group outings.

The “life logger” … obsessively tracks life lists, captures past activities/personal or experiential history for pleasure or for “quantified self” programs.

The “discount hunter” … actively searches for location-based coupons/deals to save money.

A final wild card archetype to consider in this LBS tarot deck is the “privacy activist”, who is so concerned about privacy issues that overly promoted check-ins, push notifications etc. may cause negative sentiment or hostile or aversive behaviors that then are relayed to their social network – which is the exact opposite of the intended effect of any social campaign.

How accurate do these archetypes seem to you? Does anyone in your social circles resemble one or more of them?