About Me

In Brief

Closeted optimist. (Guess I’m out now.) Learner. Doer. (Especially on all things related to collaboration.) Lover of life.

I like to be clear about where I’m going, but I’m not afraid to build the plane as I’m flying it, and I’m always open to surprises.

Inflight Construction

Cartoon by the wonderful Brian Narelle. Thank you, Brian!

The Full Story

I have two goals in life:

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. Although my parents and teachers told me to be practical and conform, they showed me how to be authentic and chase my dreams. I listened to their words, and I did what I saw. Their greatest gift was encouraging me to play and to learn, which continue to be my favorite pastimes.

I went to college in Boston, where I learned how much I loved California and how much I hated Boston sports teams. I officially studied how change happened in scientific communities. (The answer: Not easily.) I unofficially studied how to become an entrepreneur. While writing my thesis on the history of software patents, I published one of the first books on web application programming.

After college, I moved to San Francisco, where I spent five years dabbling. While perfecting this art, I met Doug Engelbart, who taught me that making the world a better place was a legitimate career path.

Thus inspired, I spent 10 years (from 2002 to 2012) helping groups learn how to come alive and collaborate more skillfully together. I co-founded two social change consultancies in this pursuit: Blue Oxen Associates and Groupaya. I worked with C-level business leaders and social activists, rocket scientists and spies, billionaires and hackers, foundations and farmers. My work took me to nine countries across five different continents. Highlights included:

I’m currently in the process of figuring out what to do when I grow up. If you have any ideas, let me know!

In the meantime, you can follow me at:   Twitter    LinkedIn   Facebook

You can also follow my work and thinking on collaboration at Faster Than 20. I write about collaboration here too, just not exclusively.