Posted on Sep 27, 2012 1 Comment
We are all busy. But you should never be too busy to experiment, explore, and build something new, especially something new that could be a new income stream or professional achievement.
I call this the 20% project.
Yes, that implies you should be spending 20% of your time on new projects, be they for work or outside of it. My earliest 20% project, Belly Button Window opened up a world of friends that helped me cross the earth in style. My most successful 20% project was OLPC News, that beget a whole new career focus for me: 6 years as a thought leader in ICT for education.
But don’t think I am the only one.
In thinking about 20% projects, I asked around to see what others are up to. Here are a few of the responses:
Christine brings up a good point. If you do it right, your 20% is your 80% – you are able to build innovative projects as your job, and that’s when you know you’re doing it right.
So… what’s your 20% project?
Posted on Sep 25, 2012
As one of my last acts at Inveneo, I helped design and launch their new website. Well, I did a bit more than that. I spent the last two years bemoaning our old website and lobbying for a new one.
For a small company that sold best though in-person meetings, it was hard convincing others that we needed to invest in a new website. In addition, there was a perception that websites were expensive – at least $100K. So there was a long road to get the green light to change Inveneo.org
I am proud to say that we came in pretty much on time and on budget – and our budget was a tiny fraction of what they thought it would be. I will have to thank Lee Heidel of Heidel Design for both helping me demonstrate that websites can be built for very reasonable investments and actually building the new site within the expected costs. (Yes, I highly recommend him for your web needs)
But enough about the backstory – that’s not as much fun as the visual feasts this cake represents. Now dig in to http://inveneo.org!
Posted on Sep 10, 2012 1 Comment
In addition to switching jobs, I am now starting my Masters of Business Administration at George Washington University. Why? Because I don’t have enough going on in my life, what with a new job, a wife, two kids, a dog, house, and all my ICT4D friends.
So to just make it that much more intense, I am in the accelerated MBA program at GW, where we cover a semester’s worth of classes in half the time. Called the “AMBA”, it will still take me two years of Tuesday nights and Saturdays to graduate, but I can work full time at Development Gateway and bring home the bacon that my young family needs.
At this point, there are two dubious records I hold in the class.
Overall, I am excited about the AMBA courses and the freedom to challenge myself. It seems that most course grades are based on essays and case studies versus quantitative tests, and most people maintain the B average required to graduate, so I feel that I’ll do well.
Of course, this is the first week, so check back in a year and I may have a different opinion. In the mean time, check out my team’s first two work products:
Well, what do you think – worth an A?
Posted on Aug 22, 2012 9 Comments
Four and a quarter years ago, I joined Inveneo with the dream to accomplish three goals with the company. I aimed to grow the local ICT partner program to a market differentiator for Inveneo, raise the company’s profile in the Washington DC market, and get Inveneo on large USAID programs.
I am proud to say that I’ve achieved each of my goals.
In addition, Inveneo now has a deep pool of staff that can support its Washington, DC business. Sybille Fleischmann has ICT in education deployment experience from Microsoft and in Haiti that eclipses my own. Lisa Lin brings deep experience with USAID contracts beyond any level of detail I would ever want to have. Kristin Peterson and the sales team know their way around the different contracting vehicles and how to read the proposal and partnering tealeaves.
So it’s with the satisfaction of knowing I’ve propelled Inveneo into the highest levels of international development that I now take my leave from the organization. I am moving on from Inveneo on September 7th with a full heart of goodwill and happiness for the organization and my departure from it.
I feel truly blessed to have worked at Inveneo for the last four years. I loved, LOVED, every minute of it, often to the point of tears when I saw our impact on the communities we serve. It was truly the best job I’ve ever had.
I will cherish the working relationship I’ve had with the Inveneo team. I will especially miss Kristin and Mark, who were more than my bosses – they became great friends to me and I appreciated their continued support and endless patience.
The Next Challenge
Yet its time for me to take on a new marketing challenge with another organization. Starting September 10th, I will be joining Development Gateway in Washington DC. They develop results monitoring and big data ICT solutions for bilateral and multilateral donors and national governments and are instrumental in supporting the growing momentum around the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI).
Not to worry, I will still be in the ICT4D space and I will not forget Inveneo. I will continue to be a tireless advocate for both. I will start by suggesting that you subscribe to ICTworks, one of the many initiatives I started at Inveneo that I know will live on well past my exit.