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The New Lombard Street

Back to understanding money and economics, I started reading The New Lombard Street soon after serendipitously discovering the wonderful online class, Economics of Money and Banking by Professor Perry Merhling (@PMerhling). After two or three years buried under other books on my nightstand, prodded a bit by a discussion group popping up on Reddit talking about the class, I finally finished...

Conferences are a Collection of Conversations

I just spent two of the last three weeks of my life attending big, global, virtual conferences. Quite the 2020 experience, made more so by the 11 hour timeshift for one of these plus a one-day conference a month ago. All this has me pondering what is lost in moving conferences online, and more importantly, can be gained from these early experiments. As the pandemic ends, I expect we’ll see...

Improving Virtual Conferences

My last post critiqued the pros and cons of 2020 virtual conferences. This post focused on how these conferences could be so much better. Sweating the Details Online conferences are software products as much as events. For software, every click needs to be thought through and optimized, as does every button, every bit of text, and every bit of whitespace, as well as the layout of all the user...

Critiquing Virtual Conferences

Before 2020 a conference was an in-person gathering of hundreds or thousands of people and a webinar was an online gathering of dozens to hundreds. 2020 begins the new era of virtual/online conferences. What is the difference? Conferences serve two main purposes: knowledge sharing and relationship building. The online tools work differently for each of these. Knowledge Sharing The creators of...

Time Traveling and Virtual Conferences

Last month I attended my first conference held in a timezone from the other side of the globe. That was a one day event, and an interesting experiment in timezone travel and virtual jet lag. This month the experiment grows, as I’m attending Sankalp Global, a week-long virtual conference, with the programming running morning through afternoon in India Standard Time and East Africa Time. That...

Time(zone) Travel and Virtual Jet Lag

Normally I’d be flying around the world to attend a handful of conferences between the end of summer and end of the year. Here in 2020, we instead get the global, online, virtual conferences. Earlier this week I attended The Future Summit, hosted annually by the Segal Family Foundation. Lovely event. Only trouble was that it was scheduled for East Africa Time, GMT+3, and I live in Pacific...

(A solution to) Zoom Fatigue

Spending too many hours per day on Zoom? Finding Zoom calls far more draining than phone-based conference calls and face-to-face meetings? Yes and yes for me, and I’ve been experimenting to try and figure out how to overcome Zoom Fatigue. Over the summer (and before the unbreathable smokey air showed up), I took pleasure in any meeting that was by phone rather than Zoom, as that let me get...

Factfulness

If you’ve never seen Hans Rosling speak, scroll down, click play, and be amazed. Before Hans passed away, he wrote down his big learnings in Factfulness. This is one one those books everyone should be read. It’s a easy read, and insightful and hopeful, and at the same time, frightening. The key lesson is that almost no one really knows what is going on in the world. Population growh...

Boatbuilding

For years I’ve been so busy with global travel and family that I’ve not had time for any real hobby. Instead I’ve been vicariously enjoying other people practicing their hobbies via YouTube. Keith Appleton, Keith Rucker, Scott Manley, Cody’s Lab, TechMoan, and Curious Marc, plus the explainers of 3Blue1Brown, Alec Steele, CGP Grey, Clickspring, Half as Interesting, Half...

Am I Being Too Subtle?

Many months ago, someone suggested I read “Am I Being too Subtle?“, Sam Zell’s memoir. It’s a good read. Clearly written by Sam itself, as Sam is a go-getting entrepreneur, a true self-made billionaire, but one that didn’t simply have one success, but a whole series of successes in a multitude of industries. The biggest teaching moments of the book come at the end...

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