This page answers the question: Who am I? Don’t worry. I don’t get all existential.
I SIT SQUARELY AT THE INTERSECTION OF DATA, TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, AND COMMUNICATIONS.
How I Got to Now
I attended Carnegie Mellon University and studied Policy and Management with a minor in Political Science. The experience had a profound effect on me.
In December of 1993, I graduated. Unfortunately, I was
clueless a bit unsure about what I wanted to do for a career. I settled in at Sony Electronics as a customer relations rep while I figured things out. I ultimately attended graduate school at Cornell University in August of 1995. For three semesters, I worked as a teaching assistant (TA) in labor economics and collective bargaining. This experience would serve me well down the road.
During my summer internship in 1996, I began working with PeopleSoft, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. It didn’t take long for me to learn new reporting applications.
After grad school, I started my brief career in corporate human resources. That wasn’t the best fit for me—a lack of match quality, as economists say. I quickly gravitated to work rooted in technology, data, and systems.
In 1998, I took my first quasi-IT job, traveling extensively to Latin America on a global PeopleSoft project for Merck. During that time, I taught myself advanced Microsoft Excel and Access, Crystal Reports, Structured Query Language (SQL), and a host of other applications. I became very adept at manipulating enterprise data and identifying issues with it—something that my Merck colleagues either loved or hated. To paraphrase Walter White: I liked it. I was good at it.
The next step shouldn’t surprise anyone: I started working as a systems consultant in 2000 for Lawson Software—now part of the behemoth that is Infor. Beyond consulting, I taught software classes to clients and even to some of my colleagues. I decided to become my own boss in 2002.
How I Pay My Bills
Here they are:
- Slack For Dummies (Wiley, 2020)
- Analytics: The Agile Way (Wiley, 2017)
- Message Not Received: Why Business Communication Is Broken and How to Fix It (Wiley, 2015)
- The Visual Organization: Data Visualization, Big Data, and the Quest for Better Decisions (Wiley, 2014)
- Too Big to Ignore: The Business Case for Big Data (Wiley, 2013)
- The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business (Motion Publishing, 2011)
- The New Small: How a New Breed of Small Businesses Is Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technologies (Motion Publishing, 2010)
- The Next Wave of Technologies: Opportunities in Chaos (Wiley, 2010)
- Why New Systems Fail: An Insider’s Guide to Successful IT Projects (Cengage, 2010). AuthorHouse originally published this book in February of 2009. Later that year, Cengage bought its rights and subsequently published an enhanced version of the book. The second edition far exceeds the first in every possible way. Seriously. It’s not even close.
Aside from writing and speaking, today I advise all types of organizations on matters related to communication, strategy, management, data, and technology. I like to think that I’ve been reasonably successful. Over my career, I have cultivated close to 100 clients in a wide variety of industries, including health care, manufacturing, retail, education, telecommunications, and the public sector. I have worked with many different organizations that use technology in many different ways–some better than others.
In August of 2016, I joined the faculty at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. I spent four years there and decided in May of 2020 to return to the independent life.
It was time.
I am presenting speaking to a number of schools about teaching in some capacity.
Yeah, it’s in the third person so people can easily grab this. Trust me. I never refer to myself that way. Major pet peeve.
Phil Simon is a sought-after speaker and recognized authority on technology, trends, communication, and management. He advises companies on how to optimize their use of technology has written nine books, most recently Slack For Dummies. His contributions have appeared in Harvard Business Review, CNN,& Inc., The New York Times, Wired, NBC, CNBC, Wired, The Huffington Post, FoxNews, abcnews.com, forbes.com, BusinessWeek, and many other high-profile media outlets.
Simon holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Cornell University. He lives just outside of Phoenix, AZ. Stalk him on Twitter at @philsimon. From 2016 to 2020, he served as a full-time faculty member at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business.
I’m a big believer in transparency.
All thoughts on this site are mine. A few times each month, I write sponsored posts for my clients, but these are clearly delineated as such. The same holds true for white papers, webinars, and other forms of content.
For a while, I owned some Apple stock. I don’t anymore. At present, I own no stock in companies I cover on this site.
I want to be someone who someone would want to be.
It’s essential for me to keep my mind sharp and my powder dry. My need for cognition is high. I enjoy reading, Scrabble, Sudoku, movies, and music. The same holds true with my body. I play tennis, golf, and basketball. I am also into running and weightlifting.