Friday, November 20, 2009

Fred the Math Teacher: The Movie

FRIDAY'S POST caught up with our 2009 Teacher of the Year the other day. We wondered how the new school year was going.

In our post last June you heard about Fred the Math Teacher's out-of-the-box idea of filing daily school lessons up on the web so students can watch them at home at night and then come to school the next day to do homework during class.

A lot of people wrote in to say Fred's a really smart fellow with a brilliant idea.

Fred's picked up where he left off last school year and is now going to a new level. Turns out he's expanded his novel approach to every one of his daily classes this school year. And the results are really encouraging, when you ask the kids. Which is what Fred did in a short video piece.

Go see for yourself at Fred the Math Teacher: The Movie.

Have a great Thanksgiving. Makes me think I'll be thankful for teachers like Fred the Math Teacher this coming holiday.

Twitter tjmorin

Friday, November 13, 2009

Desire. Behavior.

Game changing innovation does best when addressing our desires. Innovating or automating behavior is a dead-end route.

Google didn't set out to automate how we find information. Had it done so, it might have created robotic library card-catalogue systems. Expensive. Heavy. Yuck.

Instead, it responded to our desire for better organized information. The result is easy search innovation that's changed the world's behavior in how it finds the information it needs. And met our hopes, desires for having quick, simple access to information at our fingertips in this knowledge economy.

Medtronic didn't set out to automate the behavior of the beating human heart. Otherwise it might've invented an artificial heart device. Instead, it responded to the desire of healthy, normal living while managing cardiovascular disease. Today it produces minimally invasive devices about the size of the coins we carry in our pockets. How excellent is that!

Would that our health care reformers pay mind to this as they advance efforts to reign in out-of-control costs while improving access in an aging country.

The next big thing for business software guys isn't automating more-and-more behaviors of their customers. It's going to be meeting the desires of people to be appropriately, commercially, efficiently, measureably social and community-centric in a business context.

Twitter's had some success here. But I suspect there's more to the desires of humans being social in business than what is being met so far by Twitter.

You want to be in on the next big thing at a time when our economy needs a lot of Next Big Things, you ought to be solving for desire, instead of solving for behavior.

twitter tjmorin

Friday, November 6, 2009


How do you greet revelation?

Mostly, I ignore it. Revelation moves in, then moves out. Mostly, it's months or years before I notice its movements.

Relevation is the subtle ingredient of awareness. Sometimes tough to hear in a noisy, media infested world. Sometimes difficult to embrace because it is so honest, so direct, so tough on illusion. Sometimes its patience lulls you to an easy place where you think you have all the time in the world to get back to it when, you know, it works best for you.

Revelation is about what's becoming, not what's been left behind. Which means its second-act is Mystery. And who really wants our play to go there from here.

Sometimes revelation breaks into life in a way that is impossible to ignore. Like when my wife called and said Those Words about our son: "He has cancer."

Sometimes it comes with a question that followed Those Words, "If it was time to take your boy, would he have cancer with a ninety-eight percent cure rate?"

Sometimes revelation hangs around long enough that you notice its greeting is all about life you cannot even imagine, like life ahead with a new spouse or partner, or with a new child. Something so good it makes you wonder, Am I worthy?

Or maybe it's telling you something's not right. Maybe its greeting is about a dead-end career or a stale relationship or a dear long-held belief or a deadly addiction. Something's dying; there's no energy; life in you or around you is draining away. Maybe you don't notice and you die or live a life without any life.

Sometimes revelation is a slow burn that creates just enough smoke and flame you can't help but notice. Maybe it's a business deal or some other hope stone that rolled off a tall cliff and you say the words my friend once said after getting swept up innocently in a good-deal-gone-real-bad, criminally-bad: "This is big trouble."

And maybe revelation pays its call and can't cut through the power and the glory and the omnipotence. As in There's No WMD Here. With Mission Accomplished the potent and powerful shrug and respond Then Glorify Elsewhere. And revelation moves on. Leaving the power and the glory and the potent in a boiling pot of cable television talking heads, moving no one, nowhere.

Revelation sometimes has two words serving up its alert: Holy Smokes or Holy Hannah or Holy Whatever-from-the Gutter.

When I hear them, revelation is nearby. It's in the house. My house. When I hear them I know the bets I placed on hope and fear, belief and unbelief, life and death are being called. Those words mean the jackpot of awareness is somewhere nearby.

But, here's the thing, maybe revelation's always been in the house.

What if it's me who moves in and out?

Maybe greeting revelation and letting it greet me means I'm finally home.

How do you greet revelation? What words call you home? Where do you go from there?