I’ve been catching up on manifestoes from ChangeThis.com recently and I enjoyed reading Michael Bungay Stanier’s “Stop the busywork!” - 7 Counter-Intuitive Ways to Find More Time, Space & Courage to Do Great Work.
There is some very obvious stuff in there like abandoning your job description and learning how to say no (or yes but more slowly). The part that hit home for me is the importance of your workspace to foster great work. I do a lot of my work from home these days as I’m on conference calls with colleagues around the world and make use of our VoIP system. I’m not saying I don’t go great work at home but when I really want to free my mind, get creative and where I most often come up with new ideas or do my best work is when I go to one of my favourite places to work. I have a few of these and actually keep a list of the ones around the world that I like in places like Seattle, New York, Liverpool and of course London.
Today is a great example – I needed some headspace to get out and plan for a big event next week. I’ve found a great new coffee shop in central London that is just my perfect place for doing great work. Why? Well it’s busy, it’s full of movement and full of people. It can just as easily be someone who walks past on the pavement as a car or something I overhear in the coffee shop or read in a discarded paper that changes my perspective. All for free (or the price of a coffee).
My advice to folks I have worked with at Microsoft for many years has been they need to get our more. Sure get out and see some customers but also take a day a month (at least) to find your space, create some room literally and metaphorically and do your great work.
In an unsurprising move, Twitter has acquired atebits and their excellent client for iPhone (Tweetie) will become Twitter for iPhone. With that renaming, does Twitter close the door to Tweetie continuing on OSX, let alone appearing at some point in the future on & Windows Phone 7? I could understand to some extend Twitter choosing not to invest in desktop OS’es but it’d be a shame to see their official Twitter client restricted only to iPhone. Sure it has the lions share of the Smartphone market and there are other clients on Windows Phone and Blackberry but will having the “official” Twitter client only on iPhone be a good or bad thing?
Time will tell. Meantime, Dare has a detailed and thoughtful post on the topic
[the new social view for Messenger]
[updated – my mistake, the bits are not quite baked enough for release yet. We’ll be releasing this to a limited number of individuals externally in the very near future, before expanding to a broader public beta, and finally to the full public release.]
The Wave 4 version of Windows Live Messenger has just been made available as a preview following an announcement by Steve Ballmer. You can learn more at www.messengerpreview.com
I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and it has a whole slew of social features built in. Not least, you get a totally new social pane in the main window that shows feeds from Windows Live, Facebook and other services. You see photos your friends have posted from Facebook right there in the Messenger pane. You can also send messages to Facebook directly from Messenger.
Bing search results are integrated, Hi-Def video is supported for video chat and you get a single contact list with your contacts across Live, Facebook etc. Tabbe conversations is just a simple idea that you realise you can’t live without and you can also change your status using a jump list of sorts on Windows 7 via the taskbar.
Over 320m people send more than 10 billion messages every day. I hope they like the new client – personally I think it’s a big leap forward.
Find out more on the Windows team blog
After some shenanigans in Mexico City that are worthy of an entire blog post of their own, I landed in Madrid today. Photos above are from the stunning Barajas airport by Calatrava Richard Rogers & Estudio Lamela. The middle one is of Neil, my comrade on this epic adventure.
Upon landing at Madrid, our colleagues in the Microsoft office there had done us proud by getting us on to an Iberia flight to San Sebastian. In return we provided the with a Windows 7 Phone that I had been asked to courier to Spain. Little did I know when I was handed the phone on Saturday afternoon that it would become the ultimate currency as I ended up in the precise city is needed to be :)
I got to San Sebastian in good time, clearing ~500 miles of road that some other colleagues from our Paris office were about to venture on and then it was to the road in a car. Next stop Paris!
I’m posting geotagged entries to Twitter for those wanting to track the adventure. Next stop Paris and then to traverse the English Channel. I hear the airspace is starting to reopen slowly which is fantastic news for all my friends still stranded in the US. For me, this has been a crazy and amazing journey that has been made even more fun because of all the well wihses via email and Twitter. Keep ‘em coming!
[NeilHo and I at SEATAC…free wifi and VoIP came in handy. BA staff looked after us…much love x]
Apologies it’s been a slow week on my blog – I’ve been extremely busy working in Seattle and trying to catch up on sleep when I can. I was due to head home on Friday but the small matter of a volcanic eruption in Iceland meant the cloud took on a new meaning for me. I’ve been working on the cloud for 2+ years but I didn’t think it would be quite so big….
anyway, my travel plans are in disarray and I’m currently sat enjoying free wifi in Seattle Airport awaiting a flight to Dallas, then on to Mexico and then to Madrid…hopefully arriving there on Monday or Tuesday. Then I’ll need to get to London and ultimately on to Liverpool
Why the rush? Well I didn’t plan to announce it on my blog or Twitter but I’m getting married on Saturday and somehow, some way I’m trying to get back to my hometown of Liverpool. Will I make it? I dunno….but keep everything crossed for me and stay tuned for updates here and on Twitter.
Normal blogging service will resume shortly.