"Where the west begins" is how Fort Worth, TX (where I went to school) describes itself. I found myself there last week. It was delightful to see Maxine and Grant, now in their 80s, good hosts to this young pup back then. Nary a PC or mobile phone or HDTV in their lovely home. It was great to see Nicholas, 6 - my cousin's son with every electronic toy known to man in the bustling new Dallas suburb of Frisco.
52 miles, 3 generations between the two. And countless accents and cuisines which now call that sprawling "metroplex" home. Cross-currents of every sort.
And I thought what an appropriate end that trip was to a fascinating year. Cross-currents of every sort. Plenty of clients willing to look at new frontiers - from utility computing to mashups to E. Europe. Over 500 posts on the Deal Architect blog on disruption in status quo in technology. 10 international trips for clients. Over 300 blog posts on innovation in technology on the New Florence blog. Readers of my blogs from 191 countries.
So, as I look forward to another year of cross-currents, I want to thank a few folks for the year that was:
One of my proudest moments this year was at a conference with plenty of VCs, entrepreneurs and software executives. At the beginning of my presentation I asked every CIO and CTO to stand up and had the audience applaud them. I believe in our industry we treat customers way behind investors and partners. So, my first set of thanks goes to my clients and technology buyers everywhere - we are nothing without you.
Thank you for letting this Marco Polo delight you and annoy you with the tales from my travels. You have many other options for your time, and I appreciate your debating, encouraging, or just plain skimming what I write.
My firm helps companies with reducing waste and fat in IT. No matter what we say though, nothing moves buyers more than having viable alternatives they can see and feel and touch. So here's to the SaaS, utility computing, new-wave outsourcing, third party maintenance, open source, VoIP and whole bunch of other vendors who challenge the status quo in the industry.
Hands down, my most enjoyable activity every week is to catch up and catalog on the New Florence blog all the innovative CIOs and all the innovative vendors who are blazing new paths in nano-technology, telemetry, mobility and more. My new year's resolution - write a book on the New Renaissance and celebrate all you innovators who keep making us go "wow" about technology.
This band of ragmuffins has to be one of the smartest group of folks I have been associated with in a while. We debate fiercely - and we cannot agree on Twitter or Facebook or Google Groups as a messaging platform, but I would be remiss to not thank you for your camaraderie and insight on a wide range of topics.
Central and East Europeans
While I have enjoyed your beer and friendliness, my various trips this year have introduced me to how much you cherish freedom. We take it for granted. You lost it, and fear losing it again. I hope I can go to at least one new Central or East European country every year - and get a renewed boost of your zest for that precious commodity.
I have an incredibly supportive family for allowing me to travel as much as I do. And blog as much as I do. I should thank you every day, not just at end of year. Make that another resolution for 2008
So please join me in a moment of melancholy and remember recently passed Dan Fogelberg and his version of Auld Lang Syne.
Then toast to technology to help navigate the cross-currents in 2008!