Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Age of Context: Why it's headed for a bestselling future.

The Age of Context
It's fun to look at the New York Times Bestseller List like an anthropologist. Browse the titles and ask yourself, "what does this strange tribe of humans really want?"  Two things jump out at you immediately.  They are the basic questions all humans ask about their lives.  Is there life after death?  What's the future going to be like?  These have always been questions no one could really answer with authority, but that's about to change. 

You want to know about life after death? Now the bestseller, Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander can answer that first question for you. You'll see it's No. 6 on the bestselling nonfiction list this week.  Heaven and nonfiction don't seem to go together to my mind, but obviously many people want to know about life after death.

And how about the other question -- what's the future going to be like?  There's a new book out called The Age of Context that's headed for a bestselling future, since we all want to know about what comes next and how to prepare for it. 

The book caught my attention from the very beginning when it described a future full of amazing things:  "Cars without drivers. Calendars that send messages on your behalf. Front doors that unlock and open when they see you approach."

And what does it mean for business and for you on a personal level?  In their intellectually thrilling and thoughtful book, The Age of Context, geek authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel help you grapple with those big questions about the future -- especially the concerns with privacy and context. They answer, "what's the future going to mean to me?"   

But relax, you don't have to be a mega-nerd to understand where we're headed and how to prepare for it. They break it down for you and help you understand what context means in specific areas and then they point out the financial upside.  "All five of these forces--mobile, social media, data, sensors and location—are enjoying an economic sweet spot."

How can we participate fully in this exciting economic future?  How can we avoid the privacy pitfalls?  As you read their book, you'll suddenly realize that Robert Scoble and Shel Israel are already living in the future and they can't wait to welcome you to it. The Age of Context is the ultimate travel guide to a future you're going to navigate with ease and love living in, just as much as the authors love describing it. With Robert and Shel's insights into an amazing future,  you really will be ready to live long and prosper. 

Halley Suitt Tucker is the author of  Founders Less Than Three, a novel about startups and the fun of founding a new company that might just change the world. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sept 15: Half empty or half full glass?

We're half way through the month and how's it working out for you?  September is a tricky month. It feels full of much loss and much gain to me.  Summer is over, or trying to be. In Boston we've had 95 degrees and 45 degrees all in the same week recently.

But that hot weather didn't last more than a day or two. And we probably won't see much more of it.  So it's bye-bye beach and hello ... WINTER as many of us New Englanders can't help thinking. But wait, wait, it's not winter yet!

In fact, it's the best time of year EVAH!  It's autumn! And get ready to love everything that goes with autumn. The football, the pumpkins, the cool breezes, the soccer, the cider, the amazing leaves, even going back to school.  And how about the clothes, fleece jackets and wool sweaters and corduroy pants!

And for all you friends who are really sad to see summer go, why not do the right thing and book a winter vacation in a warm place today. Now. Just do it.  If you haven't been to New Orleans, get a few crazy friends and decide today to get down there in late November or even that dead time in January when nobody is going anywhere. You'll love it and be so glad you planned ahead.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

TitStare: All Men Behaving Badly or Has Ageism Caught Up With Sexism?

Sadly, I noticed how many high tech women I know weren't even particularly shocked by the TechCrunch TitStare CircleShake story. We already know high tech is just one big circle jerk and don't need a new app to remind us. Women are so accustomed to sexism in the startup community, it's never news. Strangely, I found many more MEN commenting on this story. And I have a theory as to why.

I think ageism has finally caught up with sexism. Women and serious men of a certain age have said, "Enough!"  Something has changed. These two young dopes at TechCrunch may have actually done some good by drawing a line in the sand.  I think men over 40 are being pushed out of high tech opportunities in this fluid economy and don't like young punks like these taking center stage.

And these kids are making other serious high tech men look really bad, as women damn the whole lot of them. Perhaps a new coalition of men and women in technology have had it with 18-year-old white male punks getting the lion's share of the funding, attention and publicity.

Even the specious notion that these kids can solve the big problems of our world with their bright young minds, is being questioned. With so many serious issues from climate change to failing infrastructure to biotech challenges, perhaps we've sobered up to realize well-trained entrepreneurs of any sex armed with graduate degrees are the next big thing.  Seriously, it's distressing to see a top notch tech conference giving time to "new apps" that solve problems Playboy Magazine pretty much took care of around 1960.

Okay, maybe it was only and always meant to be a joke, but it touched a nerve with women and even more men. And something may actually change.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Slow down please

Slow Down Please

Founders Less Than Three
by Halley Suitt Tucker
My purse is littered with receipts, business cards, brochures, bookmarks, boarding passes and matchbooks from restaurants 3000 miles from here this morning. I'm tossing things and straightening out what I mean to keep. I've been going here, there and everywhere promoting my new book, inviting people to take a bookmark so they'll recognize the title and cover art next time they need to read a new book.  I hope they'll buy my book, but I really hope they'll find time to read it. 

But the go-go-go-everywhere blah-blah-blah side of me is at war with the SLOW DOWN PLEASE side and I know who wins this Civil War. The slow down part of me is the reader and the writer and always wins out in the end. I'm a binge reader. I read like it's a dirty little habit, sneaking the time when no one is looking and I don't care who walks in on me while I'm in the act. Just can't help myself. I've been reading like crazy since I finished writing this book. But I've got that itchy finger feeling about wanting to start writing the next book too. 

All of that requires silence and endless hours going nowhere in the world and everywhere in the world in my head. It's about slowing down and taking the time. Some people can write anywhere, but I find it best to be firmly planted at my desk in my house. 

As for my "readers" I am wondering if they have the same crazy need to read that I do. When people show genuine interest and even buy the book, I know it may take them a while to actually read my book. I know many will buy it, but not read it. I suppose I should be fine with that, but I'm not. It seems a little sad for them, not me. I'd much rather have someone read it and not like it, than not read it at all. 

Sometimes I imagine my characters on a bench like a little baseball team, all ready to take the field. But they can't even get on the scoreboard unless a stranger -- a new reader -- slows down enough to read about them. They are so pumped when that happens, lining up proudly in their mismatched uniforms, ready to "PLAY BALL!"

Meanwhile, they just hang around the dugout with nothing to do, wishing they could take the field to bat one out of the park. Please don't make them linger too long.  I know the the alpha male characters will end up in a fight, showing off in front of the alpha females, or end up bullying the background characters to stand up and fight like a leading man! I can hear them slamming empty lockers in the locker room and that means trouble. Give these guys a chance to show off their stuff. 

[The book:  Founders Less Than Three -- right HERE on Amazon.]