Synthesis : Scott Becker

2012 Midpoint Review

So it’s 11:45pm, cutting it a bit close to the wire for day two of the July challenge. I had a long day and wasn’t able to sit down to write until about an hour ago. Tomorrow I plan to get started earlier.

A new wrinkle in the challenge has appeared: my friend Kevin Lynagh has proposed a wager to make things more interesting, and I’ve accepted. He’ll do the challenge as well – write every day and run three times a week for July. If either of us fails, we pay the other $500. Not only would I fail publicly and suffer the embarrassment, I’d also lose a significant chunk of change. Or 100 IPAs.

So today I ran for the first time in the fancy new shoes. I also used the Nike+ app to quantify and track my progress. 2.23 miles in 25 minutes, around the ol’ neighborhood. Not bad for the first in over a month. Feels great. Also helped a friend move this afternoon and played drums for an hour this evening, so all in all an active day.

2012 Midpoint Review

Now that it’s July, it’s a good time to review the past six months. This year I planned to go back to working for myself, and did so. In February I started Olio Apps, a company dedicated in part to web development consulting, and also in part to launching new products. The classic strategy. On the consulting side, I’ve got a steady stream of work coming in. On the product side, I’ve made good start/stop progress on a couple projects, and hope to get one of them out the door in the next month or so. I need to update the website, start a company blog, and a host of other things. I love the freedom to pick and choose which projects to work on, who to work with, and what technology is used.

I also planned to do some slow travel and working remotely with my girlfriend, and we successfully accomplished that earlier this year – staying a month in Hawaii and a month in Florida. It was a great experience in both instances. I now feel a basic freedom of movement. The trade off for this freedom is a small amount of additional stress. Figuring things out, securing plans for a place to stay and transportation, the additional expenses involved, finding someone to take care of the cat, and receiving important mail. Both places we stayed this spring were in the United States, so it’s still relatively easy. We’re considering going somewhere outside of the county next time.

I planned to start establishing a presence in the tech community again, and to that end I started attending more local tech events including the local user groups for Ruby, JavaScript and Clojure, and gave two talks at Open Source Bridge last week. I’ll talk more about it and post the slides soon.

I picked up Clojure, a very cool programming language based on Lisp and focused on simplicity. I’ve absorbed the functional programming dogma and have started preaching the good word to others. More on that soon as well.

So the goals for the rest of the year – continue to build on Olio Apps initial success. Refine the messaging and post an online portfolio. Launch a product that’s currently in the works. Possibly travel later in the fall. More tomorrow.


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