2017 Flyover

Facebook generates an annual collation of “memories” for every member. I looked at mine and felt it was too shallow. Google Search summarizes the most common queries across its user base at the end of each year in video below. And I wondered mine were so different. Dramatically different.

First something about my Google searches. It has been an anguished year for many given the political situation and it shows in the Google video. I avoided too much CNN or Fox, too many political conversations or commentary. I worry that we are so distracted that our productivity and our economy suffers. Having said that, here’s a thank you to those worrying on our behalf about the political state of the world.

On the Facebook summary, here’s a longer explanation. This year, I started traveling for work and play with my iPad Pro and Pencil. It has changed how I take notes and photos and how I record interviews. I think I am more prolific than usual, and as a result files uploaded to my Google Drive grew by more than 100 gb over the course of the year. That’s a lot of experiences and memories.

Especially since it was a “book-less” year for me, for a change after 6 years. Allowed me time to write 500 blog posts (about average on annual basis) and I will end up paying the price next year with 2 books on the docket. But it also gave me time to spend time presenting on my last book, Silicon Collar. It is controversial because of its optimism about automation and impact on jobs. Also I got to do more advisory work for clients than usual. I was also honored to be invited to join the International Board of Visitors for my alma mater, the TCU Neeley Business School.

I like a wide variety in vendor events I attend, and this year some stood out even more than usual. The Workday summit, Plex’s Customer Advisory Board, America’s Cup in Bermuda, SuiteWorld for the first time in Las Vegas were particularly striking. I went back to SapphireNow after an absence of 5 years and found that very helpful.

Margaret and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. Our milestones are usually low-fuss, but we both feel very blessed with this accomplishment. We are even prouder Rita and Tommy are now contributing members of society. They have had numerous part-time jobs and internships, but they are now both in very interesting careers. In a role reversal, it is so nice they are introducing us to new restaurants and experiences.

We had a fantastic family reunion over Thanksgiving. Every couple of years we have cousins and friends convene at our place. The 2017 one was especially memorable because we explored Tampa Bay with them. We have seen so much of the world and so little of our beautiful part of our world so it was nice to be tourists at home.

On a less pleasant front, we evacuated our house for the first time in 25 years to escape from Hurricane Irma. We dodged a bullet though, and mostly had yard damage

Both Margaret and I had more than our fair share of aches and pains this year. I had a food poisoning episode which led to weeks of scans and specialist visits. My knees and Margaret’s back continued to nag. My walking partner, Rudy, a neighbor’s bichon passed on to my dismay.

All this made the fact that we still got around so much more satisfying. My FitBit tells me I will have walked 2.8 million steps this year, or over 1,300 miles. That’s only slightly lower than my annual average. Margaret went with Rita to Machu PIcchu in Peru. I am awestruck they were able to get there and back in just 4 days while adjusting to the altitude of the Andes and the strenuous climbs.

Much of our personal travel this year was in 3 day weekends in rural places around the US. Margaret and I drove around parts of Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. These are cynically called “flyover states” but each to us was magical in the natural beauty of caverns, hills and miles of farm and waterfront we saw. This is one amazing country! And thank you to Southwest which gives Margaret a companion pass to move around the wide expanse.

So, sorry Facebook, I only shared with you a tiny piece of what we experienced in 2017.

Thank you to all my reading and consulting audiences for your continued support and feedback. Happy holidays and here’s to an even better 2018!


(Cross-posted @ Deal Architect)

LinkedIn Twitter
CEO of Deal Architect, a top advisory boutique recognized in The Black Book of Outsourcing, author of a widely praised book on technology enabled innovation, The New Polymath, prolific blogger, writing about technology-enabled innovation at New Florence, New Renaissance and about waste in technology at Deal Architect.  Previously Analyst  at Gartner, Partner with PwC Consulting. Keynoted at many business and technology conferences and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The Financial Times, CIO Magazine, and other executive and technology publications.