Snapshot: April 7, 2019

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Display at The Louisiana Museum, Humlebæk, Denmark

Contemplating

 
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
— E.F. Schumacher
 

Reading

Wired UK always has some fresh articles about tech-driven trends and organizations, like this one about technology for the elderly — I want a KOMP! I think Marshall McLuhan would have approved of this sensitive re-imagining of new technology for older users. #skeuomorp • Researchers are beginning to create frameworks for how Fogo Island’s sustainable economic development approach can be shared with other communities — I’m a huge fan of the ongoing Fogo project :-) and this year I will start building hands-on methods that can be used within such frameworks. • Reading about the intersection and interplay of STEM and literature through a deep dive into the collected fictional works of Argentine writer and poet, Jorge Luis Borges. •

Seeing & Listening

Check out the excellent podcast: The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week from editors of Popular Science Magazine - the most recent episode talked about military tech transfer with Disney, forgotten female scientists, and gruesome mummification info. • Thinking of starting a simple t-shirt company? Maybe a capsule fashion offering? Lots of ideas from Emily Sugihara, the founder of Baggu, the chic, reusable bag company, about growing a real business around a simple product - in the Lumi podcast, Well Made. • Realistic and insightful discussion about what successful tech-driven entrepreneurs can learn from their first customers and imperfect products. • Recipe for a good company and a good life that runs counter to many tech-founder attitudes and behaviours, from Jason Fried of Basecamp - and the importance of developing great communications skills. •

Learning

Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, recommends Eric Hoffer’s 1951 book “The True Believer and The Nature of Mass Movements” to understand the drivers of today’s fanatical movements and leaders. His ideas have re-emphasized for me, the importance of everyone having the opportunity to have creative flow in their lives and hope for the future. Here’s an excellent 10-minute video summary of the book. • Some demographic groups of women earn as little as $0.53 for every dollar a man earns for the same job. •

Doing

Prepping an upcoming presentation for Imagine Canada on the potential impact of incremental innovation. • Watching Mount Royal University students share their ideas for new businesses is always inspiring. Kudos to local company JMH&Co. for providing seed money for the winners since 2014. • Deep dive into spaceplanning and research on materials, appliances and finishes for a renovation on a rental property I own in the beautiful Saanich area of Greater Victoria, BC. •

Etc.

The Harold Rule: Here’s a thought experiment I’ve used for many years to ensure I’m getting full value for my professional contributions. In my 20’s and early 30’s, I got tired of hearing many of my older, very talented female friends taking lower salaries in new roles and jobs, saying, “But it’ll be a great learning experience.” I knew they were being underpaid compared with the men in those same jobs, with the same learning curve. Here’s how The Harold Rule works: Whenever I go in to negotiate a salary, job category level, or pricing for a freelance project, I channel my “inner Harold.” In my mind’s eye, Harold is a 52-year-old man, divorced, remarried, two sets of children to help support, college tuitions to help pay for, a big mortgage, a weakness for new cars and fine dining, plus there are mortgages on his family’s suburban home and a summer lake house. I ask myself, “What would Harold expect to be paid for this?” … and that’s what I ask for. We know most women are underpaid compared to men doing the same jobs, so (only if you need it) you might want to channel your “inner Harold/Oprah/Whomever” and you’ll negotiate from a position of added strength. :-)