When you’re building a team, each role is best filled by someone on a range between generalists and specialists. The first is flexible but lacking expertise, and the latter is experienced but lacking range.
Of course, like the term use among animals, most of us are somewhere on a spectrum, but it still can be a helpful prism to see your applicant pool. Some celebrate the generalist and others honor the specialist but both are necessary and nuanced. And perhaps most important to remember: anyone can move along that spectrum, depending on their willingness and adaptability. But be conscious of your choices.
Continue reading Generalists and specialists: when to hire for habits and when not to
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This summer I was asked some questions for some marketing materials for the Temple University College of Liberal Arts — aiming to convey there is life after a liberal arts degree.
Find what I shared with them below.
Continue reading Life after a liberal arts degree: my contribution to my alma mater’s marketing
Number of Views:740
This summer, I was really proud to receive a leadership award from Temple University’s Fox School of Business. The next day the local tech news site I cofounded, Technical.ly, ran a highly critical analysis of that school’s signature business plan competition and widely panned it as having lacked any real successes in 15 years.
A year ago, we replaced me as Editor in Chief and I have been transitioning to more of a publisher (connecting and overseeing business and editorial). The experience brings up an interesting reminder of my role in a news organization I helped found but no longer have complete control over.
Continue reading The news business is the only where the CEO isn’t meant to control controversy
Number of Views:203
How are so-called innovation clusters happening across the country and in Philadelphia specifically? Alongside Dilworth Paxson law firm CEO Ajay Raju, I was interviewed on the subject over drinks at Parc on Rittenhouse Park.
The interview was for Temple University law school’s blog and came in a two-part series from a Temple law professor and transcribed by a precocious law student.
Read part one here, in which we talk about Philadelphia’s own development of a tech and entrepreneurship communit
Read part two here, in which we talk about what that development can mean for the rest of Philadelphia.
Number of Views:249
The research on low-cost, educational robotics led by Drexel University professor Pramod Abichandani was the focus of a profile I wrote for the college’s academic journal. It ran this summer.
We’ve written about him on Technical.ly here. My piece was a bit more focused on his research process. Find the full story online here.
As I do with my freelance writing, I have some extras that I cut from the story below.
Continue reading One professor’s attempt at a $25 programmable robot: my profile of Locorobos and Pramod Abichandani
Number of Views:260
Leadership development and team building programs are full of small-scale physical challenges that require collaboration. Though they’re mostly just simple puzzles that follow similar models, having just participated in another a few weeks ago, I can say there are many lessons worth being reminded of.
Outdoor education nonprofit Outward Bound is one of those groups best known for these corporate training affairs, and LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, one of the older local civic training nonprofits in the country, had me again take part in an afternoon of such activities as part of a program of theirs I’m in. I want to share some of what I left the event thinking about back on Sept. 18.
Continue reading A few leadership lessons I was reminded of during an afternoon with Outward Bound
Number of Views:361
I got engaged. Then I got married.
Between those two dates, I built one of the most involved spreadsheets of my life (yup, that’s something I think about). SACM and I used that spreadsheet to choose our wedding venue, predict attendance, invite guests, track purchases and monitor gifts. We’ve also been using it to give advice to friends.
Some of what we collected is private but lots of it is worth sharing for your own planning and budgeting purposes. That’s what I do below.
Continue reading I got married. Here’s a bunch of data on the experience.
Number of Views:738
For the fourth annual Baltimore Innovation Week, we at Technical.ly exercised a wide range of event formats. Years into exploring events as mission delivery and revenue accrual and marketing balance, we still need to get better. But I continue to be proud of what we accomplish.
To show that, I want to highlight a few event formats I was personally proud to be a part of during #BIW15, which featured 57 events during 10 days and close to 10,000 people — it was big, bigger even than last year.
Continue reading 7 events our news organization held for Baltimore Innovation Week #BIW15
Number of Views:324
You won’t have too many people for the event you’re hosting. Make a bet on it.
Many of us will host events at some point in our lives — choosing a date, creating some programming and inviting people to come. I do quite a bit of this, some 50 events a year for work, a dozen or more a year for social groups I’m a member of and maybe that many among friends or one-off special get-to-gethers.
Often you might hear someone express frustration with the delicate balance, that you don’t want too few people there but you also can’t have too many. I’m here to help you: in very nearly every case, it’s better to have too many people than too few so that’s exactly how you should optimize. Don’t waste energy worrying whether you have too many people coming.
Continue reading Stop worrying about having too many people at your event
Number of Views:590
To an audience of 100, I gave the keynote at FOSSCON, a one-day, open source conference held in Philadelphia for attendees from around the country this Saturday. (I also covered the event for Technical.ly here).
It was easily the most technical event at which I had a prominent speaker role — usually, I’m a side show to offer reporting background on a related issue. This time, I was closing out the event, which featured prominent open source leaders. But I wasn’t there to offer technical insight — which I don’t have — but instead meant to take reporting perspective and put it through the open source lens.
My title was “How Open Source is Changing the World,” and the argument was that open source software culture has shaped so many other changes happening in local tech communities — how technical recruiting gets done, why governments are pursuing open data, where tech businesses are locating.
I did an OK job at this.
Continue reading How Open Source is Changing the World: my keynote speech at FOSSCON
Number of Views:697