The path less traveled…
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Early in my IT career I did a lot of connections between mail systems. I connected cc:Mail to MSMail, Lotus Notes to MSMail, Lotus Notes and Later Lotus Domino to Microsoft Exchange. I learned three valuable lessons in that period of my career that I continue to leverage now.

  • Be willing to walk away from a technical problem you cannot solve in an hour. If you can’t solve it in the first hour, get someone on the phone or there in person who can solve it.
  • Teams celebrate wins. Great teams pull together when there is a problem.
  • Communication is so critical you need to say it more than once (communication, communication, communication)

I started that IT career on a helpdesk. By the way for anyone wishing to grow as a professional I highly recommend helpdesks as a great place to start. You learn about the complexity of solutions (see my other blog today on the quest for simplicity. You also learn about the concept of problem ownership. There is a transfer that occurs when you pick up the phone to call for help. Whoever answers that call now owns your problem. It is the genesis of the first two rules.

I started this blog now nearly 10 years ago based on horrible customer service. (Vonage). I setup up my initial rules based on my last rule communicate, communicate, communicate where I wrote about products (reviews) noting in the review process my own bias and never using names. I have broken that last rule a few times, in that my original blog series was about horrible customer service, I’ve had really bad customer services since then (Noah’s Properties of Gaithersburg MD and Vonage are the two worst ever). While the third rule certainly started inside the first rules, customer service drives the communication need and therefore the starting of this blog.

Based on my three lesson’s I’ve built my blog into the place where my ideas flow.

My rules:

Never use names (three exceptions)

  • Exception 1: Horrible customer service
  • Exception 2: great customer service
  • Exception 3: products I am reviewing good or bad

No foul or unprintable language.

Only pictures posted with permission (ie you’ll never see one of my beloved wife)

Humor when possible.

Sadness when required.

Post as many days a year as you can.

Respond personally to all comments.

Remove SPAM from the comments quickly.

These are the rules I live by for this blog. I use the same rules for my podcast and will continue to do so. I believe that no one should have their name on the Internet without their direct permission. I also believe that organizations that have horrible customer service deserve to be called out. It isn’t hard to follow the first rule and realize once you pick up the phone or sign the contract you own that relationship.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow

A tribute to a voice and greatness
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I  learned of the message of Dr. King when I was seven years old in first grade. We were exposed to his speeches and I was instantly a fan. His death, like that of Bobby Kennedy is a memory of my childhood I cannot shake. I have a dream Dr. King because of you.

My dream starts with equality for all. Regardless…religion, weight, height, skin color, accent, disability or orientation we are all equal.

My dream is easier than Dr. King’s. Why? I don’t have to stand in the streets and be beaten or sprayed with a fire hose. I don’t have to walk in fear across a bridge. My dream is possible because of the men and women who stood next to, in front of and behind Dr. King. The people willing to die for dreams.

So on this day let us remember his greatness. A shared common good that makes each of us stronger. It makes us a better nation still struggling for that dream. No, not a nation only, a world. A better world for the struggles that cry out to us “I have a dream.”

The drum major doesn’t only lead us when the band is playing. He leads us when we are quiet and alone or standing together not playing but the music is there. The beat Dr. King you started will never stop.

We have a dream.

It was once represented by the lady in the harbor. Her beckoning arms open and inviting to any and all that would come. Then the drum major became you Dr. King. The statue in the park now. Taken from us far to early with so much of the path yet to walk.

We still hear you.

We still dream.

In memory of Dr. Martin Luther King…

“And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great, (Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. (Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir, Amen) a soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant.” (From Dr. King’s last sermon).