The Unknown

I prefer the unknown.

This is pretty simple. Pretty clear. This occurred to me the other day. I couldn’t think of an exception.

Sure, I like to know. I like having knowledge. I’m not a proponent of staying ignorant. I respect knowledge of others.

I am drawn to, I see, I prefer to put myself into the unknown.

I like learning what I haven’t known before.

I seek new people.

I seek new experience.

I seek unfamiliar points of view.

In my work, I operate large amidst the unknown. New ideas. New business models. Unknown markets. Unknown threats. Unknown skills. Unknown rewards.

Startup expertise and negotiating power

  • Agenda: self-promotion
  • subject: expertise as a source of power
  • scenario: startup negotiating for expertise

Every startup founder – and their original team – goes into the world mostly not knowing anything about their “business”.

Many of them are acutely aware of their lack of expert knowledge. In response, they seek expertise outside the firm to supplement their team’s capabilities. To fill the “gaps” in their knowledge.

This seeking help, support, is a sign of self-awareness, a key trait of leaders and terms that can get better.

One consequence for founders and teams of this acutely felt ignorance of “business” knowledge is unconfidence. In a way, this lack of confidence is a positive quality: signifying self-awareness, healthy, durable self-esteem, modesty and respect for others’ distinctive value.

So, why am I writing? What’s my point? To praise mature adults?

I see this, and it doesn’t serve the team, not their nascent business’ future strength: the founder’s unconfidence …

Orbital Mechanics, drawing by Tim Makepeace

Agenda: share a great work of art
Artist: Tim Makepeace
Medium: acrylic on paper

Orbital Mechanics: Galactic Center of Mass- 9 stars v.2
sumi ink, acrylic on paper 49″ x 49″, 2020
By Tim Makepeace

Galactic Center of Mass- 9 stars v.2 sumi ink, acrylic on paper 49″ x 49″, 2020

The Science of discovering Nature’s biosynthetic pathways: colchicine in the flame lily

Agenda: Share inventive, determined scientific experimentation

Whitehead Institute
July 2020 Monthly Roundup
In the News: How the flame lily synthesizes a therapeutic natural product
Read a commentary in Nature by Institute Member Jing-Ke Weng on new research from Elizabeth Sattely’s lab at Stanford on how plants synthesize the medicinal compound colchicine and how this could help engineer organisms to produce colchicine more efficiently.

This flame lily is not a model plant like Arabidopsis thaliana or rice. Little is known about its genetic make-up, and no tools were available that would enable convenient genetic manipulations and analysis. Finding the gene set for colchicine biosynthesis in the total complement of G. superba genes was therefore like finding a needle in a haystack. This is a common problem for plant researchers

Nature Magazine July 22 2020
How the flame lily synthesizes a therapeutic natural product
Jing-Ke Weng
Figure 1 | Part of the biosynthetic pathway of colchicine.
DOI: 10.1038/d41586-020-01675-0
The discovery of the biosynthetic pathway for colchicine, a medicine produced by plants, holds promise for the use of metabolic-engineering approaches in producing reliably high yields of this compound.

My Keywords:
Plant sciences
colchicine biosynthesis
flame lily Gloriosa superba
autumn crocuses Colchicum autumnale
specialized metabolic enzymes
biosynthetic pathway
plant biosynthesis
metabolically engineered organisms
inflammatory diseases
crop plant breeding
enantioselective synthesis
phenol-ring coupling
unprecedented molecular ring expansion reaction
tissue-specific transcriptomics data
metabolomics data
cytochrome P450 enzymes
Nicotiana benthamiana
benth benthi
activity-guided fractionation

Nature Magazine Indexed Subjects:
Plant sciences

New Deal: New Bets

FDR did make a “deal” with the American people, that’s true and the name, “New Deal”, is apt.*

I ask, How did he do the supporting programs and reforms that were his side of his deal with Americans? The dynamic and trade-offs of the deal he struck are interesting. And why they worked is interesting history of policy and political science. But more interesting to me is how he manifested the outcomes he promised to deliver. You could say my question is, how did he govern? Or a better word, how did he administer?

In large part, the answer is: his administration experimented.

I find the fact that this great reform vision was achieved by – making bets and seeing which ones worked and which ones’ didn’t and calling that his New Deal governing.

In his New York Times Opinion column of July 30, 2020, “The Future of American Liberalism“, David Brooks writes these characterizations of the FDR adminitration:
People … want a leader, like F.D.R., who demonstrates optimistic fearlessness.
…willing to try anything that met the specific emergencies of the moment.
…a wanton willingness to experiment.
…a populist revolt that…F.D.R. …mostly he just outperformed them with talent.
If you want to unleash a torrent of action you have to let individual members of Congress drive their own initiatives…
F.D.R. …was so shifting and pragmatic…
…it’s possible to get a lot done…if you are willing to be…openly experimental.


* Stuart Chase, an economist and member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “brain trust” who coined the term “New Deal,” died Saturday [November 16, 1985] … his most famous work, “A New Deal,” published in 1932…

Los Angeles Times Nov. 18, 1985 Chase, Roosevelt Adviser Who Coined Term ‘New Deal,’ Dies

All My UXs are in Texas

  • My Agenda: self-promotion
  • My Role: Information architect
  • The Stage of the Business: Mature
  • Who I work with: CEO & the team
  • How they found me and engaged me: Word-of-mouth

One current client engaged me to provide information architecture advice to it’s client.

The client’s site has a vast number of pages, as well as vast numbers of other sorts of files – mainly written reports, articles, and booklets in PDF form.

They see themselves as a resource. And one implied meaning there is: they are place to go to DO something, take action, make progress. Get what you need.

Pitching to any old investor

This week I attended a set of pitches for capital to investors. Anyone was invited to attend, not just registered investors.

I’ve been working with a number of startups – including helping them prepare their pitch for investors.

I studied this week’s performances with an eye to how they are different from and similar to those I’m helping draft.

Use of Cookies and Other Technologies

Hewlett Packard

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End User License Agreement

Hewlett Packard

Rev. 10/06 356369-001

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY: THE USE OF SOFTWARE AVAILABLE AT THIS SITE IS SUBJECT TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS THAT FOLLOW. IF YOU AGREE TO THESE TERMS, PLEASE CHOOSE THE “I ACCEPT” OPTION LOCATED ADJACENT TO THE SCREEN WHERE THIS AGREEMENT IS DISPLAYED. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THESE LICENSE TERMS, PLEASE CHOOSE THE “I DO NOT ACCEPT” OPTION AND DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANY SOFTWARE FROM THIS SITE.PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS EQUIPMENT: This End-User license Agreement (“EULA”) is a legal agreement between (a) you (either an individual or a single entity) and (b) HP Inc. (“HP”) that governs your use of any Software Product, installed on or made available by HP for use with your HP product (“HP Product”), that is not otherwise subject to a separate license agreement between you and HP or its suppliers. Other software may contain a EULA in its online documentation. 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IT Certifications that no one questions

My agenda: attention. readers. lip service. clients.

My method: Lure people to my site with brief comments on a durable topic.

I remain skeptical of certificates of training sold to students. To whom shall we grant authority to set a standard regarding what someone needs to know to preform their work to a predetermined level of quality.

This last week I joined a lively discussion of the market value – and recognition – of Agile certifications. So, when I happened upon this article (well, really clickbait, let’s be frank), I decided to comment on it and publish excerpts for self-serving ends.

CIO Magazine June 12, 2020
Top 15 certifications in demand for 2020
By Sarah K. White, Senior Writer, CIO

IT certifications can help you quickly gain and validate valuable skills and know-how in a domain that will further your career. Here are the most popular IT certs today.

Top 15 certifications in demand for 2020 by Sarah K. White, Senior Writer, CIO Magazine, June 12, 2020

15 most in demand certifications for 2020

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect
  • Certified Data Professional (CDP)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker
  • Certified ScrumMaster
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • CompTIA A+
  • Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
  • Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Salesforce Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer