Designing the Future of Work

Posts tagged ‘technology’


The Mother Ship

Recently two colleagues shared their tales of woe when they were forced to relocate to the Mothership of their companies. One had recently moved to a new company and the other had received a promotion to a global role.


Rarely is the location of the Mothership a desirable option, either because the location quite frankly sucks, or the existence of the Mothership has made property prices astronomical. In both cases, these were technology companies that should have known better. Why would you force people to uproot their lives when technology allows people, and the global world we live in requires people, to work from anywhere.

“Teleconferencing and other advances in communications technology make it easier to split up a workforce among several locations”

GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt in GE is huge, but its future headquarters will be anything but..

I have had my own tumultuous experiences with location dependent management.

While working at a technology law firm’s Palo Alto office (literally on Stanford’s campus) I was forced to commute on three of the busiest freeways in the area. Exhausted by the stress of it, I asked my partner (who by the way, although right down the hall, only came into my office once a week) if I could start working from our San Francisco office. He responded, “I don’t believe in telecommuting.” This was doubly ironic because our clients rarely came into our offices. All of our work, including deal closings, was done online or on the phone.

Later I worked for a biotechnology company that was obsessed with facetime. People spent at least an hour a day on shuttles going from building to building for meetings. When a senior leader, who had been performing brilliantly, failed to uproot his family and move to San Francisco within the deadline he’d been given the company let him go. “Seriously?” I asked, incredulous. I didn’t last there long  either.

Basecamp founder David Heinemeier Hansson, a hero of remote workers, made fun of Reddit’s 2014 decision to force remote workers to relocate to the pricey San Francisco Bay area or face termination.

Basecamp Tweet

Employees Don’t Want to Move

According to a survey done by the Worldwide ERC there are many reasons employees are reluctant to relocate:

  • 91% say it is because of slowed real estate appreciation and depressed housing market in old location
  • 86% say their old location is in negative equity
  • 28% say they and their family are resistant to the move
  • 28% blame high housing cost in the new location
  • 20% say their spouse is reluctant to leave their job
  • 17% cite the high cost of living in the new location
  • 13% say the new location is undesirable

There are far more Cons than Pros to forced relocation to the Mothership. Let’s take a look.


  • Build Trust – facetime allows you to build trust more quickly.

    Apple 2 Campus

    Future Apple Mothership

  • Spontaneous Innovation – co-location increases the likelihood that you will have impromptu meetings with partners and stakeholders

(think Steve Jobs’ circular building design – he was obsessed with this concept and moved the bathrooms as far away as possible to make employees walk about).


  • Productivity Loss – most corporate headquarters have multiple buildings and massive campuses which means that increasing facetime requires significant shuttle time. You’ll get to know the van drivers by name. A massive loss of productivity.
  • Lower Engagement – the reality of two career couples and the impact of employees having to uproot children makes this requirement especially painful. Engagement has to take a hit here.
  • Expensive and Complicated – relocation is complicated and expensive, especially if companies are in a place where the location of several Motherships has priced common folk out of the market. Examples, Seattle/Redman, San Francisco Bay area, Boston, New York.
  • Lost Opportunity to Build Critical Skill – your senior leaders are managing people all over the globe. Why do they need to do that from home office? Everyone needs to learn how to use technology to lead, manage and collaborate.
  • Limits Your Talent Pool – the company limits its options because the high performing talent may not want to relocate. See statistics cited above.

Teach the Global Mobile Way

There are lots of resources to improve the way you work remotely. I’ve shared several in this blog and here is one more from my buddies at Hubstaff. So, don’t move your leaders – upskill them and the rest of your team to be prepared for the Global Mobile Workforce.

How to Run a Remote Meeting





No Place Like Home


It’s natural that I would take stock of my time in Seattle on the day of my departure. It’s been an impactful trip. I am glad my reintroduction to the United States was in a city I didn’t know well. I could say hello to my country with a fresh perspective. With the same sense of wonder I greet each new city in my travels.

For Digital Nomads a sense of home is always a challenge or at least a peculiar idea. Home in any traditional sense, the country of your birth, is often a storage space or friend’s and families basements and garages. It is always a conversation, at least in our heads, where is the place we should plant every last possession we own. Each city you visit is answering that question. Is it the place you want to get nest like in the old days. So, when I touched down on the land of my birth it was a test of belongingness.

It has been a wonderful adventure. I’ve explored the city just enough to want to come back. I’ve had brilliant surprises like running into a SWA friend at a coffeehouse in the city. I’d gone there to write and had forgotten my converter for my now Czech laptop charger and it was just about to die. I was lamenting how I would entertain myself for three hours, before I could head to Oyster Happy Hour at Flying Fish. And then, a miracle. A friend walked by, looked about, our eyes met and we screamed. “Ray?” “Robin?” We were both incredulous to see each other in a Seattle coffeehouse. He was in town for a wedding and I was in town for work.

Robin and Ray Take Over Seattle

We spent three delightful hours learning about each other’s lives. It felt like kismet and karma and a plain good time. Ray was my people. Someone who loves travel as much as I do and integrates it in his life in powerfully creative ways. Ray is a dancer who uses his body as an instrument, and treats it well so that he can dance all across the world. Ray shared the amazing video he had made in cities like Paris and we talked about the travel show he is born to do. You can see his brilliant work @ Ray Takes Over the World

I’ve enjoyed the city. It surprised me with its beauty. Seattle is a town begging the sun to come and doing it justice when it arrives. The city is filled with balconies, rooftop gardens and restaurants with outdoor seating. Seatlites are prepared to celebrate the sun. I shared several sunny days while nesting in this city. Every outdoor deck was filled with smiling citizens. And, I saw Seatlites tuck under when the rain came. Umbrellas optional. There are plenty of fun and funky places to shelter, so it’s not so bad.

Two Tech Cities on the Bay

Seattle has been an amusing opportunity to see another city built by tech, whether it was internet or aerospace. And, the one thing Silicon Valley and Seattle have in common is traffic. So, I’ve enjoyed Seattle. At the same time, I have felt good about moving on. Two minutes on any news channel in my 700+ channels of nothing to watch, the reminder of how things have become dark in America settled my thoughts on exploring other pastures. I packed all the goodies that I could only get here in my suitcase (astonished it all fit) to head back to the city I’ve fallen in love with. That’s the life of Digital Nomads, we can love many cities. We enjoy each one for its unique beauty, tastes, and entertainment.




Illustration for Techonomy by Clara Kirkpatrick

How many times have you clicked on an app, went in search of that photo you took back then, or went to Spotify and thought “I hope it remembers me?” Hours later you may curse the invasion of your privacy at the hands of technology. But in that moment you want technology do what it does best, recall who you are and what you like.

I first realized how dependent I had become on my customized user experience when I had to do a system restore and YouTube forgot who I was. See  YouTube Doesn’t Know Me Anymore. It had become time consuming and just plain annoying to reintroduce myself to my technology.


Target Ads

It was always a love hate relationship. When I did internet research for client blog articles and I was pestered for weeks with ads related to my search I was annoyed, and frankly creeped out. However, when these ads actually reflected my true desires it was a different story. Like my recent good fortune when Facebook recommended the group “Prague Hamburger Lovers.” I discovered an entire group devoted to the search for the best hamburgers in Prague. It was an active group, with very current information, and detailed descriptions of sumptuous beef burgers with “real” cheddar cheese (the Czech version tastes a bit rubbery to some Expats). I hadn’t searched for this gift – it was handed to me on a Facebook silver platter.

A new study conducted by Accenture found that the majority of consumers in both the U.S. and UK are willing to have trusted retailers use some of their personal data in order to present personalized and targeted products, services, recommendations and offers. While 86 percent of those surveyed said they were concerned that their data was being tracked, 85 percent said they realized that data tracking make it possible for retailers to present them with relevant and targeted content. Almost half (49 percent) acknowledged they were willing to allow trusted brands to track their data in return for relevant recommendations, targeted offers, and information on future product availability.

FACEBOOK Wants to Shape Me

It was by accident that my partner and I discovered that even when we had the same friends, we did not have the same Facebook feed from them. Facebook collects user reactions to fine tune its News Feed. There is enormous power in that Like button.

The News Feed has hooked users on Facebook. According to a Time article nearly a billion people around the world now look at Facebook daily. The company runs the second-most-popular website in the world and the most-used mobile app in the United States. American users spend nearly as much time on the site per day (39 minutes) as they do socializing with people face-to-face (43 minutes). That has turned Facebook into an online advertising behemoth ….

I even surrendered to Facebook just to avoid constant logins and passwords, and answered yes to any offer to logon with Facebook. Which is even more troubling given the fact that I listened to podcasts about Facebook’s social experiments and I still gave them a key to the door of my life.

Radio Lab on Facebook

See NPR’s “Lab Rats One And All That Unsettling Facebook Experiment” and All Tech Considered. At the time the Internet was overwhelmingly outraged. “Even the Editor of Facebook’s Mood Study Thought It Was Creepy,” Adrienne LaFrance wrote, at The Atlantic.

The Price of Connection

Many of our favorite apps ask for a series of permissions upon download that should scare us; Contacts, media files, location, photos and ability to share with Third Parties. They do have some legitimate reasons for asking. Why we say yes is another matter.

I confess that I like it when my phone remembers my last google search, especially if it is the restaurant I now search for in the windy, twisty Prague streets. I’m happy that Podcast Addict recommends things for me based on my obsession with Serial, Tim Ferris and Girlboss. I even appreciate Google Maps saving that place I got completely lost trying to find last time.

But, now we also have to contend with facial recognition software. The current U.S. TV hit, Person Unknown, is in no way science fiction – its science fact. Facebook has built it into its system and the future uses on a platform that is the third largest country on Earth are mind boggling. Not even the infamous National Security Administration (NSA) has that many faces on record.

Apple has come out as somewhat of a privacy champion. Apple kicked out over 200 apps that collected personal data in violation of the company’s privacy policies for its online store. The iPhone maker made the announcement a day after researchers discovered hundreds of apps using Chinese advertising software that extracts ‘personally identifiable user information.’ Not everyone considers that a smart move on Apple’s part.

Apple is going to realize very soon that it has made a grave mistake by positioning itself as a bastion of privacy against Google, the evil invader of everyone’s secrets. The truth is that collecting information about people allows you to make significantly better products, and the more information you collect, the better products you can build. Apple can barely sync iMessage across devices because it uses an encryption system that prevents it from being able to read the actual messages. Google knows where I am right now, where I need to be for my meeting in an hour, what the traffic is like, and whether I usually take public transportation, a taxi, or drive myself. Using that information, it can tell me exactly when to leave. This isn’t science fiction; it’s actually happening. And Apple’s hardline stance on privacy is going to leave it in Google’s dust.

Developer Dustin Curtis

Who-Let-the-Cat-Out-of-the-BagThe Cat is Out of the Bag

Although it may be too late to get the cat back in the bag, last month the European Union passed new comprehensive data protection laws –some of the most progressive and stringent in the world. In the United States, the FTC is taking on an increasingly active role of policing the data-driven activities of companies under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act prohibiting ‘‘unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce.’’ In China, a draft Network Security Law released over the summer notably included requirements for Chinese network operators to safeguard personal information and obtain consumer consent to use personal data. Read more at

According to a study from the University of Texas, we can attribute our preference for personalized experiences to two key factors: desire for control and information overload. However, consumers are increasingly aware that their data has significant value to companies who keep the vast share of the derived economic benefit to themselves. A Eurobarometer Study published in June 2015, revealed that 67 % of respondents are concerned about not having complete control over the information they provide online. Will there be an “Internet Spring,” or are we destined to remain under the spell of technology.

Honestly, the people who are concerned that all of this personalization is too great an invasion of privacy still believe that they have privacy. I say go for it international privacy organizations. But, the Genie is out of the bottle. The days of personal privacy – unless you are living off the grid – are gone. Ask Angela Merkle, who will never look at her smart phone the same way again thanks to Edward Snowden. How ironic that the most UnAmerican activity has been aided and abetted by U.S. Tech companies. Even Phil Donahue was worked up (remember him?).

I’m not confused that connecting all the information in my life could be used against me in hauntingly powerful ways.  Am I simply lazy or do I just accept the reality that privacy doesn’t exist. The internet of things makes it even less likely that privacy will prevail. The internet is driving my car, sending me a cab, and suggesting where I eat. It will now know how warm I like to keep my home and what I’m watching on TV.

The UX experience, which has begun to track where my mouse hovers to dish up content that is most likely to seduce me. Next my laptop camera will track my eyeball movements and reveal to a stranger that I secretly crave the chocolate bar in the ad on the sidebar, instead of the green drinks recipes I went to the page for. Just don’t share that information with My Fitness Tracker and the five friends who keep wondering why I haven’t lost that last 10 pounds.



You Can Win on Both Sides of the Chalkboard

Not even ten years ago, all that came to mind when I thought about online courses was dodgy internet degrees from exotic places and online licenses from churches you’d never heard of so you could officiate at a friend’s wedding in the mountains. Now Edtech is booming. A huge $2.51 billion was invested into edtech companies in the first half of 2015. The long list of education startups at Web Summit 2015 was testament to a thriving industry.

Shock was my response when my sister announced she would be teaching all of her classes online this semester. My sister did not own a computer until two years ago when I moved out of the country and she had no other way to keep in touch. The delivery and installation of this computer was a carefully coordinated mission between my techie brother and I. Something close to a Martian landing. Now her college had offered this solution so she could work from home and recover from health conditions, since she only had one year to go until retirement. Online education had arrived and officially impacted every demographic.

How Digital Learning Technology Will Change In The Next Decades

According to a 2015 Babson Research report one out of three U.S. college students is taking at least one course entirely online.

Digital classrooms are reshaping more than colleges and universities. Just as technology has blown open the music and publishing industries, learning is now an open source experience.

Digital Learning BoxDigital Learning Goes Open Source

Companies like Khan Academy launched a movement for free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy, founded by Salman Khan is funded by donations, now with significant contributions from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Google.

Online programs like Khan Academy are known as MOOCs, massive open online courses. These are generally free and available to anyone with an internet connection. Itunes University is a good example of a MOOC. You will find thousands of courses on a broad range of topics. Of course, because its free, you may study by yourself, usually without any feedback or accreditation.


Some Freelancers find it helpful to demonstrate their skills. Sites like Upworth and offer free online tests with scores.

Two high-profile companies have pursued a badge-based future: Coursera and Udacity. Both began their lives as providers of MOOCs. Coursera has bet on content and brands from top universities. The launched “Specializations” in 2014 and now offer 75 different programs, the vast majority from a single U.S. university.

Coursera CEO Rick Levin – former President of Yale came onboard last year, in part due to his unparalleled connections in China and throughout Asia – and has said that the Specializations/certificate model is “financially sturdy enough that it should pave the way for Coursera to become cash-flow positive in the foreseeable future.”

See PC Magazine Review of Coursera

Udacity pivoted in 2013, when it announced “Nanodegrees” developed in partnership with top technology companies like Google’s involvement in the Android Developer Nanodegree. Udacity has done the same with iOS (Apple) and Tech Entrepreneur (Google). Back in September, Udacity revealed it had 10,000 students enrolled in Nanodegrees – a number growing by 30% every month.

teach onlineThere’s Money in that Knowledge in Your Head

There are other online education marketplaces like CreativeLive, General Assembly, Treehouse, and Skillshare that offer freelancers the opportunity to get paid for what they know. Bloggers and “thoughtleaders” make money with online courses on these platforms. See “Why Top Entrepreneurs Will be Teaching Online in 2016.”

In the heavy weight division are emergent online providers like Udemy and PluralSight. Like the Uber of education, certain platforms, like Udemy, allow global teachers to create and benefit from their course content.

Udemy is a website that enables anyone to teach and learn online. Launched in 2010, Udemy tries to democratize online education by making it fast, easy and free to create online courses. Like Amazon with eBook publishers you keep 70% of the revenue from your courses (or 85% if you directly refer the customer to the course). How 10 Instructors Earned $1.6 Million on Udemy in One Year.  If you are a visual learner go to Slideshare – 16 Tips to Make Passive Income on Udemy.

Former high school math teacher Rob Percival, the company’s top instructor, has made more than $2 million since 2014. And Percival’s friend and tennis partner, Ben Tristem, says he earns in the high six figures teaching game development.Not everyone gets to Malta, though: Average Udemy teacher take-home pay is $8,000.

Read More in Fortune.

Another online teacher success story is Kunal Desai, founder and CEO of Bulls on Wall Street, a company that teaches people to trade stocks online. Desai came to his idea to launch Bulls on Wall Street while working as a successful stock trader. Read more at Why Online Education is a Popular Path for Entrepreneurs in 2016

Pluralsight began as a provider of online technology training, and recently acquired the Orlando, Fla.-based Code School, which offered dozens of instructional courses and videos for developers. The $36 million deal was Pluralsight’s sixth acquisition in the past 18 months, as it continues its strategy to buy up smaller companies to expand its footprint in the online learning industry, and strengthened its position against companies like Skillsoft, and new competitor, LinkedIn.

online learning providersWith LinkedIn’s acquisition of, Pluralsight is geared up for an online education fight. In early April, professional social network LinkedIn shelled out $1.5 billion to acquire, one of the largest and oldest online learning marketplaces; their goal to become the professional enrichment destination of choice.

Pluralsight surpassed $85 million in revenue last year and roughly doubled its revenue every year. The company is prepared to IPO early this year. While LinkedIn’s shares recently fell 42% on news of larger than expected losses. If you are curious about how LinkedIn tries to make money see more at LinkedIn Financial.

So freelancers can both feast and be feasted upon in the online learning market. If you are in the market to upgrade your skills take a look at The 10 most popular free online courses for professionals.

If you think you have something to offer here are a list of additional resources.


  • Another way to earn money teaching online is YouTube. And, of course there is a YouTube Video to tell you how. “How to Make Money Teaching Online Courses on Udemy, Skillshare, Skillfeed”


The Global Mobile Worker – A Solution to the Talent Gap

War for TalentA consistent theme at #WebSummit 2015 was the war for talent. Every co-founder cited getting good talent in the door as one of their greatest challenges, and one most didn’t expect.

What Founders learned was talent is not just about developers. It takes a range of skills to build a company.

These Founders thought there would be talent knocking down the doors of the hottest, hippest new thing. Sorry. There are a lot of shiny objects being flashed in the faces of Digital Natives.

Global Mobile Workers are the Solution

Everyone wants MillenialsPerhaps a new perspective on talent is required. Because startups still operate on the same paradigm as larger, older companies. Everyone wants Millennials and they want them geographically located at headquarters or a satellite office.

I mentioned in my last post that I was disappointed by this outdated way of thinking about talent, the internet makes geographic distance simply a state of mind. After all, this was the largest “technology summit in Europe.”

Remote workers more complex work testimonialStrategy, user experience, marketing, sales, back office operations, customer experience; remote talent can be a solution for all of these needs. Talent that is living in a city they love, and in more affordable conditions than the traditional headquarter cities of San Francisco, New York, London or Berlin.

Besides, these cities are swept up in a highly inefficient game of talent swap.talent-changing-jobs

Despite a decade of talk about flexible work arrangements and telecommuting, the idea of leading a remote workforce still seems as exotic as SpaceX.

There has been some progress. Almost 50% of managers in the US, UK and Germany are allowed to work remotely. And, the trend is global, the percentage of managers who work remotely in many developing countries has risen to between 10 and 20 percent.

It’s not just millennials driving the movement. Every generation has expressed a desire for remote work options. In their book Making Telework Work, Offstein and Morwick, found that workers nearing retirement also prefer to work remotely in order to spend more time with their families and to have a more flexible schedule.

Yet, companies are still struggling with the concept. When I worked as a corporate lawyer in the Palo Alto office of a global technology focused law firm, I asked my partner if I could work from our San Francisco office because the commute was crushing me. He said he “didn’t believe in telecommuting.” I later learned one of my colleagues had moved with his family to North Carolina without telling anyone. It had been two years, no one seemed to notice, and he was enjoying a more family friendly lifestyle in Raleigh/Durham.

So what’s the problem?

Many of the greatest companies in the 21st century, including Virgin, 37signals, and IBM have built successful businesses providing people the freedom to work where they want, when they want, and how they want.

People criticize working remotely because they find it difficult to measure the number of hours their employees are working. What they forget is that going into the office does not equal productive work.

“Office workers are interrupted—or self-interrupted—roughly every three minutes.” The Wall Street Journal

I once worked at a Silicon Valley life sciences icon that had built a sprawling campus on the Bay. It took 10 to 15 minutes to get around campus and meetings were a constant. Everything had to be face-to-face. I spent hours every day shuttling around campus to share my face. The company struggled to get people to even read the flexible work policy because nobody believed you could succeed without riding the campus shuttle several times a day. Most people ended up doing their real work at home at night, and large segments of the population were living in burnout.

Then, what does it take to promote remote work? What is required is a culture of trust and respect, empowering your employees; which, guess what, has also been shown to increase engagement, productivity, and company loyalty.

Managers have to get better at understanding and focusing on results

Focusing on output forces everyone to prioritize tasks that will have the biggest impact. It forces managers to better define the tasks, even repetitive tasks or what is required to oversee a process. Employees will have a clear understanding of expectations, another driver of engagement and productivity. This chart keeps it simple.

Results oriented approach

Systems such as ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) are being introduced to promote output work cultures, where employees are evaluated on performance, not presence. It has been implemented in companies such as Best Buy and Gap, where they’ve seen: 20% improvement in productivity, 90% decrease in turnover rates, and increased customer satisfaction.

Who has done it successfully?

Education startup Citelighter has workers scattered around the world, from developers in Romania to account executives in Northern California, and another group in Baltimore. The company recently shared with Fast Company how it successfully manages it dispersed workforce.

Citelighter goes beyond online communication tools, they designate certain people as communication leaders, who are expected to know the answer no matter what. If, for some reason, those people aren’t available, there is a backup person. Distributed knowledge in action.

“I’m not just left in the dark because our developers are in Romania,” said Co-founder Jokl. “That expectation eliminates a lot of the risk.”

Founders of companies like Zapier, built with a distributed workforce, evangelize the movement. Zapier published The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work. Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson from 37Signals, whose Basecamp product is designed to support teams (I’ve used it – it’s intuitive and fairly robust), wrote Amazon Bestseller Remote – Office Not Required.Remote Amazon Bestseller

You can speed your rate of growth by having a diverse team from the start, not the same 20-something demographic that is shaping every other startup in your town. Having a geographically and demographically diverse team from the start can be your “blue ocean” competitive advantage.

Managers and talent leaders may fear the thought of managing a virtualized workforce – terrified of losing the ability to track employee progress. Yet, there are success stories and the future global workforce is inevitable.

Top 10 companies winning at remote work culture and their secrets

100 Top Companies with Remote Jobs in 2015

76 Virtual Companies and Distributed Teams

50 Best Companies Hiring Remotely

By establishing core values, like clear and frequent communication, with a strong onboarding program and embedded collaboration tools, you will be streaming workflow seamlessly between on-site and remote employees. The bonus, you create a company that organically seeks to bridge differences and be inclusive.

Now Hiring Remote Workers

Next – Finding employees that “fit” and global mobile workers being found are the two ends of a market as inefficient and equally hated by both sides as any that’s ripe for disruption. Not Ready for the Global Mobile Worker – Talent Sourcing is Broken.


The Technology Dance

Dancing with Technology neon

There is so much technology dancing on my laptop that sometimes while everything is loading I see the screen jiggle a little bit. Whether in terror or anticipation I can never tell.

Technology is being hurled at me constantly.
I’m applying for these writing gigs that challenge me to have perfect grammar or else and up pops tantalizing ads for Grammerly and other grammar apps that promise perfect phrases. Grammerly took me off to a confusing page that seemed to be missing the “Free” promise that brought me there. I did a “hell no” and aborted the download. In stepped Ginger, quite gingerly I must say. The download was smooth, it offered to do all kinds of setup and connections for me.

Ginger on WordI awoke the next day to discover it had taken over my Word screen, hidden my menu so all I would think about is Ginger and how badly I needed it.

Then, when I went back online there was Grammerly on every sidebar of every search screen, even YouTube. “Don’t forget me,” it called, seemingly unaware that I had chosen another. Grammerly and I were over before we ever started, literally.

The dance is constant and when it becomes a group dance you pray everyone will know the same steps. I upgraded to Windows 10, clearly nothing to lose given my Windows 8 disaster (See most of 2013 – 2014 archives). But our Toshiba laptop is Windows 7 and it is working perfectly, and as the sole portal to our U.S. TV watching it was not to be tampered with. We already struggled to get our Hotspot Shield to recognize the Windows 7 laptop (We’ve been forced to use the Chrome extension) and the Shield doesn’t even have an option yet for Windows 10.
There is too much technology dancing across my screen and it won’t all play well together.

incompatible technologyThe Hulu TV only works with HOLA, but HOLA is apparently opening my home to cyber terrorists (see Take Me Hola, I’m Yours). The streams best with our paid VPN, Hotspot Shield, but it will only work on the Toshiba with Windows 7 as a Chrome extension, but HOLA and HotSpot refuse to work together on the same Chrome browser so one must be disengaged to use the other.

The McAfee Web Advisor keeps leaping out at me to assure me sites are safe. Would it stop me? Is this slowing me down? I already took it off my phone because it was.

Did I invite McAfee to execute all of this behavior somehow with something I downloaded or clicked on? Where is the off button?McAfee Web Advisor






At what point does this become madness?



Maybe I should join next years UNPLUG DAY





Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Recently I joined the planning team for the 5th Pride Business Forum. Event details were flying fast and furious the email gateway. Two weeks away from the event my highly anticipated trip to London to meet my daughter, on her way back from the U.S. and headed to Singapore, arrived. The team was a bit frantic, but I assured them I wasn’t going offline, just out-of-town. Half of our planning team were in other countries . I would be back before they all touched down in Prague.

After all I am the Global Mobile Worker.

My daughter and I, like clockwork, met at London’s Heathrow and navigated the Tube to our AirBnb apartment in a trendy, formerly down-and-out neighborhood. The post had advertised WiFi, the truth was the AirBnb host expected us to bootleg WiFi from the apartment upstairs which she was also renting through AirBnb.

We tried to connect phones, laptops, iPads with zero results on my Asus laptop and Samsung smartphone. The winner in this really bad situation was the MacBook and the iPhone, but even they could only get connected in one spot in the kitchen.


TMobile GlobalTo the rescue TMobile Global. While my daughter had to search through London minimarkets for an iPhone sim card, I was connected the minute I powered up my phone at Heathrow.



                          So, my mobile global technology, WiFi at cafes and in WiFi zones, with the incredible support of dropboxDropbox and Adobe Acrobat, I was able to email, review, revise and keep moving forward all the critical to do’s for the Forum.


I postponed a few items knowing I could rely on my trusty superfast UPC Wi-Fi when I returned home. Euphoric from a fantastic trip to London; food, strolls, musical theatre, and the changing of the guard, I came home to find my dismayed partner pointing at a completely dark modem. No flashing lights. It was dead. Could not be resurrected.

Friends CafeThe next morning I fled to Friend’s Café to catch up on the backlog and the following day I was back working my smartphone until the UPC technician arrived with a new modem (they get 48 hours to respond).

Moral of this story. A Digital Nomad can go digital in remote villages in Guatemala, beaches in Belize, hotels in Havana. One thing we know how to do is stay connected!


The event was a smashing success thanks to Londoners, Evan Davis, BBC economic anchor, and business icon, Lord Browne.


Being Thanked at Prague Pride with arrow

Planning Team and Volunteers for 5th Pride Business Forum







See more photos at

Thank you www.


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