Following this, my 200th blog post, it’s time for a change.
In the future, you will see fewer new posts from me. I don’t know what the frequency will become, though once every 4-6 weeks feels about right.
This has nothing to do with this blog’s core theme – disruptive tech, trends, and opportunities – about which there is so much more to write.
There is something else I need to do, and I need the time I have dedicated to this space to make that happen. I’ll preview that in a moment, but before I do, I want to answer a few questions I get from time to time about my blog. People ask because they have thought about writing a blog themselves, and I’m a big fan of the medium.
How long does each post take? I subscribe to about a dozen newsletters and blogs. They reliably give me a core idea to explore. I’ll spend about 60-120 minutes researching, and then another 60-120 minutes writing and editing.
How do you find time to write? I make the time because I love it. I write a lot for my job, but penning emails, presentations, and Slack messages could never satisfy me.
How did you get started? In November, 2012, my wife was undergoing a double mastectomy at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, NY, to remove a scary tumor. (She’s doing just fine now). Hunkering down for a tense, four hour wait, there’s no way that the waiting room television and its empty calories of daytime programming could preoccupy me. I quickly downed a cup of strong coffee, waited for the surge of caffeine, donned my noise-canceling headphones, and cranked out three posts. Therein lies useful guidance for other would-be bloggers: don’t publish until you have completed at least three posts. That will help you determine if you have enough in you to make the commitment to a blog.
How did you come up with a theme for your blog? To advance my career, I felt I needed to learn more about the forces that propel technological innovation. I thought the best way to accomplish this would be to not only read more from those who had interesting things to say on this subject. I also had to force myself to explain what I had learned. Here’s another tip: write with a specific reader in mind, as you would a letter. I write for my dad, a retired attorney and the toughest editor I’ve ever had. He’s also one of the smartest people I know, and even though he doesn’t have first-hand experience in my field, he’s curious and asks thoughtful questions. I do my best to write to him, which encourages me to be clear, concise and uncomplicated.
I now shift my research and writing time to a subject that has been on my mind since before breast cancer catalyzed this blog. In 2009, my father and his brothers decided to sell a summer home that had been in the family for about 50 years. Since my wife and I lived closest to the property, we volunteered to inventory the home’s contents and take a stab at deciding what to keep, what to toss, and what to try to sell. I found a painting that belonged to my great-grandmother. It didn’t include the name of its creator, thus kicking off a two-year quest to determine who the painter was and how my great-grandmother came to possess it. Along the way, a tantalizing possibility emerged: the painting might have been a one-of-a-kind Grant Wood, which, if true, stood to change my family’s financial fortunes. Solving this mystery uncovered others, some of which I’m no closer to cracking than I was five years ago.
The journey and what I’ve uncovered along the way has excited me more than anything I’ve done since college. When I’ve talked about it with others, many have said something to the effect of, “That’s a book I’d like to read.” I would, too, which is why I’m authoring an account of what I discovered. I look forward to sharing it.
Thank you to all who have read this blog and encouraged me to keep going. I never aspired to attract an audience, but now that I have one, I have to admit I like it. Through it, I’ve connected with readers, old friends, and other writers. The first three posts may have come about to distract myself during a peak moment of stress and to boost my career, but your readership and feedback helped me produce the 197 that have followed.