Hobbies and opportunities

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Hey. It’s Wil.

I write about the intersection of communications and technology, especially for those looking to build new ways to communicate with their B2B clients. Thanks for being here.

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I like numbers and text.

Not content or information necessarily – that’s the pretty stuff.

Rather, raw data. The source.

Like the goofy stuff hidden deep within S-1 filings.

Maybe it’s because I spent a few years in San Francisco at an investment bank or a short stint at a taxonomy-based equities startup.

That time in San Francisco bumped up against the dot-com boom and bust. I was young, however I had already worked on the Y2K bug and had my first taste of open source through a RedHat email platform.

Silicon Valley was fun back then.

It wasn’t just the technology, it was also watching the leaders that defined that era. From government to finance to business, the folks that lead the technology push were fascinating to watch and learn from.

It was the people that defined how that technology would be implemented and used.

Data. Technology. People.

With those three topics in mind, Forrester’s Predictions 2022 report sets up a clear battle between people and technology as 2022’s success.

  • Consumers expect companies to double down on building a successful and sustainable digital customer experience
  • 70% of B2B marketers will adopt an always-on digital engagement strategy focused on automation and complex tech stacks
  • Yet ongoing digital sameness and failing returns on IT investments will cause firms to focus on employees as their differentiator

What’s interesting is the attempt to connect ‘human-centered technology initiatives’ between employee and customer experiences. And using that connectivity as an increase in measurable productivity gains.

Maybe it’s no surprise given the focus on workforces during the pandemic. However productivity gains have traditionally been driven by new technologies.

So, what does all this have to do with hobbies and opportunities?

When I think about people and technology, I think about today’s popular words of sustainability and scalability.

And these two words have immense tension between them, since you can’t focus on both of them at the same time.

You either grow your business sustainably or scale your business.

And if the future is focused on human-centric initiatives, then we have to look at a sustainable business model. And that means focusing on people.

Take this tweet from Marco Arment as an example:

While Marco’s tweet is focused on podcast advertising, we can also look at it from a people and technology perspective.

We’re inserting ads programmatically (technology) into podcasts in an effort to scale revenue instead of having the host (people) read the ads themselves.

This ends up being a terrible customer experience.

And an unsustainable business model.

The team.

Focusing our efforts on building a sustainable business also means building sustainable teams and professionals.

As leaders, we need to encourage our teams to step away from our jobs and take the time needed to sustain their hunger, excitement and dedication.

And as professionals of a sustainable-focused business, we need to work on taking a break from work.

And that’s where hobbies and opportunities to learn come in.

Find something outside of your work to focus on.

For me, it’s photography.

As an example, this morning I left home for a 90-minute drive north to Salmon Lake. I’ve been up to Salmon Lake a few times and taking photos during the winter time is really neat.

From ice fishing to frozen lake camping and snowmobiling, there’s a lot to photograph.

The temperature was a little tough – by the time I arrived, it was 3 degrees.

However, as soon as the sun peaked above the mountains, the views were incredible.

The data.

I talked a lot about people and technology, and not a lot about data.

While important – even critical to many organizations – data isn’t a business model focus. It’s a foundational requirement for businesses following a sustainable or scalable model.

It’s not a differentiator though.

Sources and references



  • Audio: AudioTechnica ATR 2100 (link)
  • Video: Canon M50 (link) / Meike 25mm (link)


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