I began my adult life with the idea of being a music major. I quickly realized that I didn’t have the talent to be a performing musician (my first big failure) and I didn’t want to be a band director, so I did the obvious thing; I majored in chemistry. In retrospect, that was a good decision. I’ve always been a better geek than artist, though I still want to be an artist. Go figure!
After graduation, I told my mom that I was going to take a couple of months off and just play. She was fine with that; I was working two weeks later. Actually, I can’t remember being without some kind of job since I was fourteen. The fact is that I like work. I always have.
Over the next roughly thirty years I had the priviledge of working for two amazing companies. I worked for Kraft Foods (How do you spell cheese?) and McDonald’s Corporation (hamburgers). I wish everyone could see these two companies from the inside out as I have. They are both quite remarkable.
My time with Kraft was spent in quality control and technology development. At McDonald’s, I started in quality assurance and finished in purchasing. It was at McDonald’s that I had the opportunity to get into Total Quality Management and what became a great passion: process management and improvement. This blog is a continuation, with some interesting twists, of ideas that I developed while at McDonald’s. I think of it as a laboratory that will allow me to take things to a new level. We’ll see.
I couldn’t tell my folks at Kraft or McDonald’s that what I really wanted was to be a failure…albeit a productive one. At Kraft I wouldn’t even have known what that meant. At McDonald’s, I developed many ideas about creative failure and had begun using them. Those ideas had just started to coalesce into a coherent stream as I “transitioned”. They called my exodus retirement, but since I have no desire to ever retire, I call it transitioning…moving on to the next mountain that I want to climb.
Failure is an exciting (frightening) and important concept. Culturally (in the US) we’re taught that it’s bad and to be avoided at all costs. It’s certainly not something you should ever admit. That’s a shame. Seeking and embracing failure is the path to moving beyond the impossible.
I’m unemployed (not out of work, just without a formal job), bored, and ready to climb a new mountain. I hope you find something interesting in my tinkering. All the books say that you need to focus the purpose of your blog. I find that discovering what really interests me may be what this blog is about. This is my first re-purposing of my blog. That’s a failure to celebrate. There may be many more.
My goals for 2012 are simple: 1) Figure out what I want to do when I grow up 2) Improve my fitness 3) Create at least one stream of income.
[Second relaunch of The Robotic Frog]
** Originally, I thought this shouldn’t be a commercial site. I’ve changed my view about that. We all need a way to keep food on the table; in this respect, I’m no exception. I don’t need a lot of money, but I need some and I really want to earn it doing something that I love. So here’s our disclaimer:
!!! [Caveat Emptor (Let the buyer be ware.)] !!!
Rather than continually disclaiming a relationship with companies and products that we mention, I want you to assume that we’re connected with everyone and every product that we mention. Assume that in some unknown, hidden, conspiratorial way we’re making a boat-load of money from the things we recommend. Use your own judgment; exercise a healthy skepticism and perform your due diligence.
Our promise: We like Linux, electronics, gadgets and technical toys. We will ONLY mention things on the Robotic Frog that we have tried ourselves and use ourselves, at least until something better comes along. When we stop using something…we’ll tell you. When we tell you about a product, we’ll tell you straight-up how we feel about it: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Robotic Frog is an idea lab and I hope many exciting things will come from the explorations done here. Feel free to play along.
THANKS: The RoboFrog gravitar was produced by Shane Shaw. He was extremely gracious in allowing me to use his artwork for The Robotic Frog blog. Thanks Shane.