What I do and how I do it
If I haven’t covered it elsewhere on my site, here’s some more information about working with me.
Click here if you want to learn more about how I can help your organization take advantage of Slack.
Questions and answers about my live events and seminars.
What topics do you speak about?
Quite a few, actually. Recent talks have focused on platforms, Big Data, management, technology, trends, disruption, innovation, and communication.
What are your speaking requirements?
I prefer to use my own computer. I’ve had way too many issues with using other people’s machines. Beyond that, I’m pretty low-maintenance. I like using projectors, lecterns, and confidence monitors. I prefer lavaliers to proper microphones. I arrive the night before events to ensure that there are no travel snafus. Finally, on the day of the event, I like to do a soundcheck at least two hours before I’m scheduled to go on. Belts and braces, as they say.
Are your talks boilerplate?
No, they are not. They are all customized. I work with my clients through a series of phone calls to determine what they want from my talks—and, just as important, what they don’t want me to cover.
Can I watch some of your talks?
Will you sign books before or after your talks?
Absolutely. I really enjoy individual interactions with conference attendees.
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
Questions and answers about my books, blog posts, and articles.
How would you describe your writing process?
Can I reprint or cite your articles and blog posts?
Most of the time, the answer is yes. (A few of my articles and white papers belong to the companies who contract me to write them.) The majority of the content found on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. This license means you are free to share, copy, or distribute my work under the following conditions:
- You must attribute my work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
- You may not use my work for commercial purposes without express written permission from me.
- You may not alter, transform, or build upon my work without express written permission from me.
You can read more about Creative Commons here.
Will you write for my site for free?
With rare exceptions, the answer is no. I get the whole Chris Anderson “Freemium” argument but my mortgage company doesn’t accept exposure as a form of payment. On occasion, I will guest post on different sites sans payment but this is the exception–not the rule. I have bills to pay and writing helps me do that.
Of which of your books are you most proud?
I suspect that my answer here is somewhat analogous to parents who are asked about their kids. I’m proud of all of my books, but two in particular stand out. Why New Systems Fail will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first. I didn’t know if I could even do it. The Age of the Platform is special to me for several reasons. First, it took my career to a new level and sold nearly 20,000 copies. It won an award and has been translated into Indonesian and Korean. Finally, some things were going on behind the scenes that made its publication challenging.
How much do you charge?
Check out my rates here.
How do you arrive at these numbers?
My rates reflect several things:
- The value of my content
- The time that it takes me to generate articles, white papers, and blog posts
- The prices that those in my cohort charge
Do you control the prices of your books?
Only for two of them: The Age of the Platform and The New Small. The rest are out of my control.
Are you working on a book right now?
Yes. Slack For Dummies.
Coaching and Consulting
Questions and answers about my advisory practice.
What are your payment terms?
I bill my clients on a net-30 basis, but I strongly prefer working under a retainer arrangement. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that billing issues occur from time to time, and a retainer helps me mitigate them.
What kinds of consulting arrangements do you offer?
A few types:
- Traditional or full-time, on-site consulting
- Milestone consulting (although I admittedly have my reservations about the effectiveness of this type of arrangement)
- Remote consulting
Do you sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with your clients?
If requested, sure. They just can’t be too onerous.
Will you work as a subcontractor?
Usually no. I want to maintain a direct relationship with my customers. I strongly prefer not having to deal with third parties as it pertains to billing and other administrative matters.
Do you offer any guarantees for your coaching clients?
Yes. Click here to learn more.
Questions and answers about my professor gig.
What is your AACSB classification?
Under the guidelines of The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), I qualify as a scholarly practitioner. Click here to learn more.
Will you connect with your students on social networks?
Just on LinkedIn.
What is your teaching philosophy?
It’s pretty straightforward. Click here to learn about how I approach it.
Does your professor gig limit your availability to do other things during the academic year?
Yes, it does. Still, I am able to accommodate most of my clients’ needs during this time.
Are you interested in teaching at other colleges and universities during the summer?
Yes. It’s scorching in Phoenix in the summer and it’s great to escape the heat. I am able to teach different colleges both online and in person.
What types of students have you taught at ASU?
For my first two years, I have taught seniors almost exclusively. They have either studied analytics, information systems, or both. As of the fall of 2018, though, I’ll be teaching freshmen.
Changes aren’t permanent but change is…
Do you have tenure?
No. I’m on a nine-month appointment.
Do you use your own books in your classes?
I use Analytics: The Agile Way in the analytics capstone course. I penned the text specifically for that class. In my other classes, I’ll occasionally give out brief samples or chapters of my books as supplemental reading. Why New Systems Fail includes some relevant case studies for my system design capstone.
Isn't that a conflict of interest?
No. In accordance with ASU policy, I donate my book’s royalties to a scholarship.
How can I work with your students on a capstone project?
Click here for more information.
I'm a student. Will you write me a recommendation letter?
Yes, if you meet the following criteria. First, you must have received at least an A- in my class. Second, you must have received at least a 40/50 for class participation. If you qualify, then I’ll happily sing your praises to future employers and grad schools.
Do you believe in extra credit?
Do you visit your Rate My Professor page?
I never have and I never will. Here’s why.
Do you select the courses that you teach?
I do not. Sure, I can express my preferences, but I teach the courses that my department chair mandates.
Do you prefer teaching online or in-person?
I have taught both but I prefer the personal interaction that only in-person classes can offer. As much as I like using technology to communicate with students, I’m well aware of the limitations of remote tools. Beyond that, recording lectures for future viewing doesn’t allow me to tweak them before live classes.
For all of these reasons, if I had my druthers, I would teach largely in-person courses.
Do you make your slides available online?
Yes for on-line classes. For in-person classes, though, the answer is usually no. I qualify this because I try to be consistent with my colleagues when teaching coordinated glasses.
I did this for my first few semesters at ASU. As expected, I found that attendance and overall interest dropped with some students. What’s more, there’s a good bit of research that supports the notion that students will retain information long-term when they take notes—especially written ones. I’m sure that my student evaluations have suffered, but I firmly believe that this helps them over time.
How often do you check e-mail?
Far less frequently than I check Slack.
Questions and answers about my side projects.
What is 5marbles?
5marbles is a boutique software-development shop that I founded and run. We use Agile methods to quickly build powerful databases, mobile apps, and websites for our clients.
Do you still run Motion Publishing?
No. I sold it on August 4, 2017. Click here to read more about the acquisition.
Are you open to other side projects?
I’ll always have a conversation.
Questions and answers about everything else.
Where do you live?
Got a current resume?
For a very long time, I didn’t maintain one. If I did, I figured that it would look like the ones referenced here. In short, I believe that my body of work on this site and many others trumps a three-page, text-laden document that proves that I can conform to rules. I have worked extremely hard over my career at creating what I believe is interesting and valuable content, the vast majority of which you’ll find on this site.
I still believe these things. However, In 2015 I pursued—and landed—a full-time professor position. As a result, I buckled and put one together.
I like your website. Can you build mine?
First, thank you for the compliment. For a while, I built websites for a select group of clients. I ultimately decided, though, that the squeeze just wasn’t worth the juice.
Who built your website?
Can I guest post on this site?
No. There are more than 1,100 posts on this site. There’s plenty to read.
What keeps your powder dry?
It’s very important for me to get my ya-ya’s out. I like to get a proper sweat going every day either at the gym or on the tennis court. Depending on the time of year, I might torture myself on the golf course. Beyond physical activity, I feed my brain via reading, Sudoku, Scrabble, Jumble, and other games designed to keep it sharp.
Do you endorse books?
Over the past five years, I’ve endorsed a decent number of books. Typically, I have known the author for a while.