Monthly Archives: August 2010

Lessons in Leadership

I just read a great blog post about the book “Warfighting” and wanted to share a few of the leadership quotes from it that I thought were valuable:

“Errors by junior leaders stemming from overboldness are a necessary part of learning. We should deal with such errors leniently…Abolishing ‘zero defects’ means that we do not stifle boldness or initiative through the threat of punishment”

“Until a commander has reached and stated a decision, subordinates should consider it their duty to provide honest, professional opinions even though these may be in disagreement with the senior’s opinions. However, once the decision has been reached, juniors then must support it as if it were their own.”

“Because … no two situations … are the same, our critiques should focus not so much on the actions we took as on why we took those actions and why they brought the results they did.”

“Freedom for initiative that permits the high tempo of operations that we desire….mission tactics requires subordinates to act with “topsight” — a grasp of how their actions fit into the larger situation…..we cannot allow decentralized initiative without some means of providing unity, or focus to the various efforts…>we seek unity not principally trough imposed control, but through harmonious initiative and lateral coordination within the context [ed: frame!] provided by guidance from above.”

“A subordinate commander who is not given a clear purpose for the assigned mission should ask for one….It is often possible to capture intent in a simple “…in order to …” phrase….statement of intent should be brief and compelling–the more concise, the better…Subordinates must have a clear understanding of what their commander expects. Further, they should understand the intent of the commander at least two levels up.”

“[Maneuver warfare] requires a certain independence of mind, a willingness to act with initiative and boldness, an exploitive mindset that takes full advantage of every opportunity, and the moral courage to accept responsibility for this type of behavior. It is important that this last set of traits be guided by self-discipline and loyalty to the objectives of seniors.”

The post looks to be a summary of the book, which appears to be a very interesting read and applicable in many areas.  For more of the blog post written by Zachary Burt, see his post entitled Social Warfare.

For the book on Amazon, see Warfighting.

There’s a Recommendation For That

Lately I’ve been playing around quite a bit with GetGlue.  For those of you who aren’t  familiar with the application, one of the ways I’ve seen it explained is that it’s like Foursquare for entertainment.  The basic premise of the app is that it allows you to “checkin” to something, whether a movie, tv show, book, etc.  While I do find that aspect of the application interesting (along with the collectables aspect), one other area that’s interesting is in the potential to discover a variety of items through it’s suggestions feature (also widely known as recommendations).

Typically a feature like this works by having a set of objects that are recommended for a particular object.  As an example, you might have a set of movies recommended for a particular movie.  The associations are usually made through some algorithm, whether via collaborative filtering, metadata association, or some other method.  Since the associations in their most basic form are object to object, it makes sense that we would start seeing recommendations for other items besides books on a major website.

You can imagine the possibilities for recommendations are endless, though it seems that they’re most useful for low personal investment, higher volume items (like music).  Typically an automated recommendations feature isn’t as valuable for high personal investment, lower volume items (like cars).  I’m much more willing to try a music recommendation where my investment is 4 minutes and $1.29, as compared to a car recommendation when my investment might be 4 years and $20,000.

Do you have any recommendations for other items this feature might be valuable for?

Hello World!

Welcome to my site and to my first blog post.

From the early beginnings of the personal computer and game consoles (the Atari pong console), my first passion has always been technology.  Along the way, I got an early taste of journalism and developed a fondness for writing.  I am hoping that this blog can be a combination of those two.

Since then I have worked in technology for around 15 years, from helping to secure connected devices to enabling web service powered entertainment guidance solutions.  I am passionate about creating useful products that affect the lives of millions of people worldwide, and I love the work.

I also love sports.  I’ve found that the concepts there apply to the world of business and the building of teams that deliver results.  I also love competition.  The main sports I follow are American football, basketball, boxing, mixed martial arts, golf, soccer, and baseball.

Lastly, I love reading.  Over the years, I’ve read thousands upon thousands of articles.  I read from numerous sources online and in print, as well as a quite a few books related to my passions.

In the future, I’ll periodically post thoughts about topics mainly related to technology, business, and sports.  I’ll use my Tumblr page for shorter posts when I’m on the run.  How frequent for both remains to be seen, though you can also subscribe to my Twitter account for shorter, typically more frequent updates and links.