Category Archives: Blatant self promo

It is Time that you “Went Beyond” My Friend!

What does it mean to “go beyond”? It means breaking out of your routines — at least for a moment — in order to grab for something new that you want. To go more deeply into something that you are passionate about.

An example? I have always been fascinated by 19th Century European Intellectual History. I  am passionate about it. Why? I am not sure. I just am.  And so I buy books that relate to this theme when I can. But I am not satisfied. I am not satisfied because my connection to the subject is not getting deeper. I am trapped at a given level.

I want to go beyond where I am, but I was not sure how to do it.

Have you got the picture?

I now know how to do it  And I propose that you can do it too.

Follow me here in Buzz for posts on going beyond. They will include discoveries, adventures, events,and  connections with amazing people and things. Most important — going deeper. And share with me — if you dare — the areas that  you are passionate about. Where does your heart lead you?

You won’t regret following. You might regret sharing. But be bold! As Napoleon said

de l’audace, encore de l’audace, et toujours de l’audace!!!!


The Lord Giveth Me Apples! And I … Errr … We Make Apple Cider!

This is the second year where I and my extended family gather together for a few days in the autumn weather to make apple cider.

Man is this fun!

The key thing for me is that I do have 14 apple trees in my yard.They were planted around 50 years ago by the prior owners of the property during the soviet years. And they were planted to give summer, autumn and winter apples. Very practical!

And every year, I think that the weather was not good enough to produce a lot of apples. And every year I get — an amazing bounty of beautiful apples.

I eat a lot of them. I cook with them. And we go to town on cider.

This is not hard to do if you plan a bit. No big surprise, you need first to collect the apples. They do not walk to the apple press themselves. You need a place to wash the apples. They have been “au naturelle” all summer and then fell to the ground where the stuff there was waiting. You know what I mean  You need a machine to turn them into pulp. This machine is a beast, and you need to invest in a good one that does the job easily BTW, cleaning this sucker is a job!  You need a press to turn the pulp into juice.  I use a hydrolic system which works well. You need plastic bags (I  find the 3 liter bag is best) to collect the juice. You need a freezer to store the juice.

And you need a group of friends who share your passion for really, really great apple cider.

Got that? Great! Enjoy!

This is nature’s bounty!

Falling in Love with heroic Aggregators

The overflow of data all around us is old news. And it seems that each day, more data is produced. But data itself is not very useful on its own. It only becomes useful if it can be converted into knowledge.

From data to knowledge?


And the first step in converting data to knowledge is for it to be collected into a single place where it can be analyzed and then converted to knowledge. That is what aggregators do.

We have taken a first step into the world of aggregation. That is what search engines and social media platforms do for us. They aggregate lots of data and offer us services based on their aggregation.

But these web platforms suck. They suck because they do not help us develop knowledge. Remember

from data to knowledge!!!!

I think aggregators that empower us to make that conversion are a next step in the world of digital transformation. Not just for big corporations that want to figure out how to sell more stuff. For all of us who are trying to get ahead in life.  I call these “heroic aggregators”. And I love the idea!

Image result for hercules

I was inspired to write this by Fred Wilson’s post where he complained that he needed a home data aggregator. Thanks Fred!

I am experimenting with this idea. Here is one story — the world is waking up to the idea that our data has value. Not only that, companies are taking our data and getting value out of it without our knowledge or consent. Worse still, they sometimes do not protect it very well. Our data can be stolen by hackers or other bad actors and we can get damaged. This has created a new area of law called “data protection”. Europe is leading the way with its “General Data Protection Regulation” or GDPR. The GDPR requires companies to have a person or persons who are in charge of complying with the GDPR. Those persons are called “Data Protection Officers” or DPO’s.

So far so good?

Ok. So the DPO is in charge of getting his or her company to comply with the GDPR (and a lot of other related laws). That may sound simple, but how do they do that? Good question. No one knows the answer. Keep in mind that the DPO does not have any power to do anything inside a big company without the help of management and cooperation of other staff. Not only that, the DPO has to keep up with a tsunami of information (data flow) about data protection. Yikes! Tough job!

So I have build a heroic data aggregator for DPO’s called “DPO Advocate”. This is brand new. Its goal is to bring together all of the data that a DPO needs to “level up” and get his or her job done better. Check it out!

Cool idea?

My Rescue Cat Story Continues!

Oscar the rescued cat is having a blast in my house!

I have written about our fun together before. How we got started (he was very emaciated at first and scared and nervous and needy). How this progressed as Oscar started to get used to being in the house (in short, he loves it).

And there was an issue. Oscar was afraid to go back outside. Perhaps he was afraid because something really bad happened to him out there. He bore the wounds on his neck from it. Perhaps he was afraid that he might not get back in.

But anyway, he would not go near the door. That is, until last night. I left the door open from the bedroom onto the terrace. He didn’t go out. Instead, he jumped onto the bed. But when I woke up, Oscar was nowhere to be found.

As I sat down to type out a post, I heard a noise. It was Oscar coming in from the terrace. Man was he excited! He reconnected to the outside world. Just a bit. But it is a start!

He is now fast asleep, squarely in the middle of my desk.

An Update on Oscar, My Rescue Cat

I posted a while back that I took in a rescue cat and named him Oscar. He was clearly traumatized and emaciated at the time, and it took a while to help him settle down and get used to being indoors.

But we are now at phase 2 of our relationship.

Oscar is now at home in my home. He is showing me the things that he likes. So in the morning, he tells me that he needs some attention and food and water. He also showed me that I needed to clean up his litter box. That one was really funny. He led me into the cellar where the box is and as I approached it, ran away. He is showing me how he likes to be held and massaged. And he is settling into deep sleeps on the window sill in the sun.

In other words, Oscar is converting from a rescue cat to a rescued cat. And that is really great!

Sometimes Innovation Means Scaling Back

Fred Wilson has a good post today about “hard decisions”.

These are decisions that we do not want to take. Why not? Because they mean cutting back on something we have come to love. Retrenching. Redirecting.

This is never a fun thing to do. And when we make the decision, it can lead us to an extended period of mess.

But no project, no firm, no relationship, no direction can be pursued without risk. And there will come times in all of our lives when we bump into a risk that we did not anticipate. The thing we love becomes impossible to sustain and we face a hard decision.

What to do? That is something we talk about in our “conflict management ” course here in Tartu. The answer is simple but not easy.