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Hi folks... I'm not the kind of guy who likes telling people what they should read, (a lie) so I'll just tell you a bit about some of the stuff I've read so I can better understand technology culture (so I could build the Atlantic Web Fitter culture.
The advanced degrees I earned... well, they are not exactly computer focused, so when I started AWF, I needed to essentially become my own professor and locate suitable reading so I could advance my understanding and build something sustainable and interesting.
I decided that I would start from the beginning and that's what I did, I started with IBM. How did they ever get started? I Googled, "IBM founder" and soon I was in possession of the Maverick and His Machine. I read the book quickly, and highlighted everything, put sticky notes in, and pulled everything I could out of the stories so eloquently written by a 20 year USA Today Tech writer named Kevin Maney.
I ate the book, slept with it, carried it everywhere, left the car home to ride public transportation and when I was done, I felt I had consumed ol' Tommy boy and digested him quite nicely. Books, in my humble opinion are the window to the soul.
I didn't exactly have questions about the book per se, but of course, I was very interested in the man who wrote the book; so I Google Kevin Maney and soon found out what he did for a living and thought to myself, 'oh man, there is no way you are going to be able to communicate with someone who is read by millions and millions of people every week.' So I said to myself... 'I need a story.... that will pique Mr. Maney's interest in what I'm doing.'
It wasn't long before I was asked to help the US government, secretaries of state and the military on a project. After taming the architecture (we used DotNetNuke as the framework), I sent Mr. Maney an email... "Hi, I read your book Maverick and wanted you to know I'm doing a job for your country, let me know if it's okay to email you further details"... clicked send... and waited (not really, I keep pretty busy).
Mr. Maney emailed back requesting details (which made me dance around my little office); and so I gave him a brief background and then kept him in the loop (hoping he would break the story) as we drew near to project completion.
I'm done writing for now... suffice to say, The Maverick and His Machine, is a must read, but you ought to also get to know the author who is still cranking out first rate, easy to read books about the every evolving tech world we live in.
Read your tech history folks, it'll do you good to understand how it is that we came to have the things we have today. IBM is still a huge player and you want your clients to understand that you have done your homework and have developed a passion for technology... otherwise, they'll think you are a flash in the pan.
Happy Reading !!
Kevin Maney wrote this about knowing me the last five years:
“Gifford is one of the most unusual people I've met in technology -- in a good way. Here is a guy who grew up a Nova Scotia lobsterman (he's shared lobster recipes with me) and was educated as a minister...and without shedding either of those identities built a serious tech company about as far geographically from Silicon Valley as you can get. He's won the attention of Microsoft and the U.S. Military. And he's always been willing to share his expertise with me. All in all, Giff is a great story.” June 10, 2011
~Kevin Maney, Columnist, Tech Columnist, Tech Writer, Cover Stories Editor, USA TODAY
His website is http://kevinmaney.com
The Two-Second Advantage
Out in September 2011, the book hit NUMBER ONE on Amazon.com it’s first day. Published by Crown Business, The Two-Second Advantage is a journey through the intersection of brain science and computer science. It delves into the science behind talent, and how discoveries about human talent are being used to develop the next generation of computers.
Making the World Work Better
Out in June 2011, the book is a look at IBM’s role in the world over the company’s 100 years of existence. Written by three prominent technology journalists, it dives into the evolution of information technology over 100 years, the rise of the modern corporation, and how technology has changed the way the world works.