2009: A Look Back and Forward

Thoughts on the new year.
Dec | 15 | 2009

Dec | 15 | 2009

iconconnectIt’s been an interesting year, to say the least. All things considered, I have to consider 2009 a rousing success—or at least as successful as a year can be with the following constraints:

  • A really bad economy
  • No truly new Rush material—although 2009 provided some great material from Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree
  • A progressively deteriorating golf game

As I reflect on the past twelve months, I am very pleased with what I have accomplished. Faced with a tough year on the consulting front, I was able to make productive use of my time and write a second book–as well as penning the second edition to my first. In this post, I look both back on 2009 with an eye towards 2010.

A Token of Gratitude

I’d be remiss if I didn’t start by thanking those who helped make this year a success. Many people either:

  • purchased, recommended, and/or reviewed a copy of Why New Systems Fail
  • read and/or commented on my blog
  • helped me with the second book in far too many ways to list
  • offered advice on how I could improve my site
  • connected me with others

I’m a big believer in community and, even though I work my tail off, much of my success hinges on the efforts of other people. While there are too many to name while keeping this post reasonably short, thank you to everyone who helped make this year successful.


Without question, holding a physical copy of my first book in my hand was an amazing experience, justifying the project’s time, money, and headaches. Also noteworthy was the book’s review on Slashdot and subsequent climb to #91 on, however fleeting. I nearly broke my finger hitting F5 on my keyboard as that number kept going up.

On the self-improvement front, I learned an enormous deal researching The Next Wave of Technologies. I’ve said this before: It’s like I received a real world MIS degree. While I don’t consider myself to be a true expert on subjects like cloud computing, service-oriented architecture, and green IT, I know enough to be dangerous. Really dangerous.

Writing and My Most Popular Posts

I am very pleased with the development my blogging and writing this year. I look back on some of my posts from February and March a bit sheepishly. The improvement in my writing skills and the launch of my new site in November have collectively resulted in much higher site traffic.

According to WordPress’ statistics, my most popular posts have all come in the last few months:

The Year Ahead: New Relationships and Directions

The new relationships I’ve forged with the contributors to The Next Wave of Technologies have already proven mutually beneficial. I’m also pleased to have cultivated good relationships with the folks at my two publishers: Cengage and John Wiley & Sons.

Just this past month, I began blogging for DataFlux’s Community of Experts, joining a panel of really smart people who know how to write. I just hope that I can keep up with these folks.

Also, I will be launching a new technology-oriented Internet radio show in January of 2010.

Wish List

As for my 2010 wish list, I’ll take the advice of Chris Brogan, a really smart guy and co-author of Trust Agents, a book that I reviewed it very positively. He seems to know a great deal about social media, a topic that seems to be all the rage today.

Chris recently suggested that people actually publish wish lists. I found this part of his post particularly interesting:

First, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Second, I like sharing how I see the world, because maybe it changes some of how you see things, or gives you ideas based off mine. Third, I find that by writing these lists, it causes me to focus on what I’m going to put out there for 2010.

So, here we go. I wish the following:

  • Colleges and universities will embrace the second edition of Why New Systems Fail. Color me biased, but I just think that it’s ideal content for many MBA and MIS programs. Now that I have a proper publisher for this one, I hope the book finds a wider audience.
  • The second edition of Why New Systems Fail and my second book aren’t released during the same week. I have a really big mouth but I’m not sure that I can handle blabbering about both so much in such a short period of time.
  • I’m not insane enough to try to manage a project with fourteen other contributors.
  • I can attend more conferences and speak at more of them.  2009 was a tough year for speaking engagements.
  • I speak better when given the chance.
  • I continue to develop as a writer, penning interesting blog posts and comments on others’ blogs.
  • I continue to diversify my consulting business.
  • Rush releases a new album and tours to support it.

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  1. Ellen French

    Terrific post out your accomplishments and goals. I wish for you continued growth, success and fulfillment. Happy Holidays!!!!

  2. Kathy Mast

    Phil, I really enjoyed your newsletter, as always. Likewise, the new website is looking great! I hope everything on your 2010 wish list is realized. You’ve inspired me to start on my list! Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year!


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