Author Archive

  • My readers will know that I tend to focus on topics related to collaboration, user-interaction, and generally building products that help us work together. You may be surprised to learn that a significant amount of my time is spent thinking about security. As devices become increasingly attached to our enterprise networks – those same devices must be secure, good citizens of the network infrastructure. Even products that were once considered “standalone”, for example most AV hardware, are connected to the network for better monitoring, ease-of-use, and pervasive access for users. As an aside, if you ...Read More »

  • I recently returned from an event in Toronto where I had the chance to meet technology leaders from both academics and industry. We were in the Distillery District - a neighborhood of cobblestone streets, open cafes, and hidden lofts supported by dark wooden beams. The venue was beautiful but felt a bit elitist, so I was really happy to discover that the conversation turned to accessibility for the impaired and the challenge of building technologies that can support everyone. The point was made that most companies view accessibility features as an ...Read More »

  • In a field where technology and computer science are the disciplines of focus – it’s easy to imagine that user experience is an afterthought or at least tends to be less important. While it’s true that we spend much of our time looking at recent advancements in video compression, encryption, or analytics – most of our product development time is spent trying to get the user experience that wraps all of this wonderful technology together correctly. This is never more true than when I’m on the road talking with customers. Often the dialog turns ...Read More »

  • Social media type tools have found their way into the workplace in the form of collaboration suites. Tools like Microsoft teams, Slack, and Confluence can increase communication frequency and create simple archives of documents, images, and even our conversations. While this can be a powerful thing, there’s also a dark side that can lead to individualism, isolation, and disengagement. I covered the potential pitfalls of collaboration tools in the previous post and what type of products we’re building ...Read More »

  • We don’t need the recent media coverage to understand that social media can impose a negative influence on our lives. The rallying cry around social media that it 'brings people together' should be questioned. We can all relate to having twitchy thumbs that override what would normally be a relaxing moment of solitude, low-grade stress, and the feeling of isolation that comes from a constant feed of other people’s carefully curated, better-than-normal media streams.  Social technologies are not the only culprits – wearable IoT devices, 'collaboration' software (I’ll explain the air ...Read More »

  • I spent part of the weekend with some friends who are in the early stages of a new startup. While we don’t always talk shop, it’s inevitable that someone will open up about their latest challenges. The conversation we had ended up being interesting enough that I wanted to cover the topic with my readers. The discussion started with a simple statement from a founder and chief marketing officer who is looking to disrupt the healthcare payment space. She made the statement “our approach to product is 100% data-driven”. She’s a fantastic marketer ...Read More »

  • No industry is immune to change, and this is even more true for technology-based economies whose life cycles can be measured in time spans as short as three months. If you’ve worked in the audio-visual (AV) industry in the past decade, you’ve witnessed a hardware-centric community transform itself into one driven by software and innovation.  I’m a computer scientist that’s found my way into the AV community almost by accident.  I’m glad it happened because it’s given me the opportunity to witness the revolution of a $12B stable hardware industry into an innovative ...Read More »

  • Information is (accessible) everywhere. It’s changed the way we think, problem solve, and interact. In an age where developers can cut/paste code into demo products, marketers can re-purpose infographics into rapid-fire click-bait, and anyone with 10 minutes on the right Wikipedia page can sound like an expert – it’s worth asking: what skills can we foster that remain valued? There are plenty of these skills – deep cognition for example, or the ability to see connections no one else sees, create new generalizations, and make an inference to collect more information. I’d ...Read More »

  • I recently came across a marketing brochure from a competitor that outlines 'facts' about their offering and our own. The 'facts' turned out to be nothing more than marketing fantasy. Perhaps it’s my academic background, but unsubstantiated facts almost make me break out in a rash. Later in this article, I’ll outline the tests I ran to show their claims are wrong.  But I asked myself, why don’t we do something similar? It also made me ask, what role should marketing play at our company? I would argue that a successful marketing team ...Read More »

  • Collaboration is so far past being a buzzword that it’s almost become kitschy.  Nearly every booth at the upcoming 45,000+ attendee ‘InfoComm’ conference will figure out a way to entwine the word collaboration in their messaging somewhere.   But collaboration is truly important.  It’s at the core of how the workplace is changing to accommodate modern workstyles.  Collaboration can leverage everyone’s expertise in open forums, transforms serialized presentation meetings (i.e. PowerPoint) into parallelized problem-solving sessions, and encourages employee engagement.  Selfishly, embracing collaboration can invigorate your own career: by being aware of its personal ...Read More »