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Sunday, June 17, 2018

My Father the Visionary...

I remember when I was in high school, Freshman year, and I was taking algebra from Mr. Alford, who ended up being one of my favorite teachers at Evanston High School. I later found out he has passed away about 20 years ago from pneumonia or something like that. I remember that Mr. Alford was the head of the Chess Club, and I was into chess. I liked the game, and I remember in fifth grade I had won the chess championship for my class and my grade. Mr. Alford had talked to me about setting up a computer program that would track the chess members' scores against each other, and then when there were tournaments, track the scores of the tournament. He wanted me to set up a simple database in one of the computers that we had at the school, which were either the famous Radio Shack TRS80’s or Franklin or Apple of some sort or another mainframe or PC.  This was the early 80’s so there were not many personal computers in people’s homes yet, but it was starting to become a thing.  I remember I would go to a friend’s house, Nathan Frey, his dad was a big computer professor at Northwestern University and he had tons of computers.  We would stay up all night drinking 2 liters of Coca-Cola and Spite and would copy the source code from Byte Magazine where we would take turns typing in line after line of code to make some cool program or game work.  Of course, once we were done, about 10 hours later, it would fail on the 5 line of code, and we never got that thing working.

I remember I was talking to my dad about this program that my teacher had asked me to help write and put together, and I was going to write it in the Basic programming language, since between that and Pascal, they were really the only two languages that I could write a functional program in. I remember talking with my dad about how to plan out this application and database, and how we would want to enter in the scores and set up the different users and different members of the Chess Club. I think this ended up being my best interaction with the Chess Club, given I actually wasn't that great at chess. I was mediocre, and given I was a freshman, most of the good chess players were juniors and seniors. The thing I remember most about this was the time my dad spent with me to plan this thing out and talking about how we could make it work at school. He was so good at helping me figure these things out on my own, but also helping to show me what to do to fix the programs when they didn’t work.  I had high aspirations for building something amazing, but I didn’t know how I was going to do this.
 
One afternoon, after I got back from school, and it was a few weeks after we had started this project, I walked into the library and I looked on the table and there was a brand new Apple IIe computer. My dad had gone out and bought it from a local computer store, which back then probably cost $7,000 to $10,000 for this computer. He got it mainly because I was writing this program with him, and I think he wanted me to be able to succeed at it. He also got it because it was something the family needed. It was 1982, and personal computers in the home had become more and more important. I was excited about having this cool new computer in our home, where I could play games. I could work on software, such as spreadsheet software, like a program called VisiCalc. I remember my Dad bringing home a charting program that allowed you to build graphs and charts of data. But most importantly I remember the fact that my dad went out and bought this computer for the family, but he bought it because he wanted to have a way for me and him to work on a project together, and he wanted to help me because he knew I was struggling at school.

There are a lot of great memories that I have of my dad growing up, and this is one of them. I try and do that same thing with my kids, I guess. It is a different time and I want to make sure they know they have my support but also that I am going to also give them freedom to figure things out on their own.  My dad was great at allowing me to fail on my own and figure it out on my own, but also would do the work so he could help me. I'm glad he did buy me that computer, because it helped me become more competent with computers, and I think he was a visionary in understanding the way people would use computers in the future.

Every time I think about that Apple IIe that we had in the home, I think of my dad working on the computer late at night, or me and my sisters playing video games on it, or me and my friend, Dave Grossman or my friend Nathan Frye staying up late trying to write computer programs late at night. That was a fun time. It was a simpler time. It's when Apple was still just a fledgling company and was dwarfed by IBM and even Microsoft, to some extent. But it sure was fun. And looking back now, given where Apple is today, I guess my dad really was a visionary, given he chose Apple over all the other options.


Friday, June 15, 2018

The Case for Quality Content

“Internal comms has a far greater responsibility to make the content more compelling for the employee,” says Dynamic Signal advisor Marcy Massura.

The Case for Quality Content

Marcy Massura is a big believer in encouraging employees to help spread the word about all of the good things a company is doing. Too often, she said, companies are “leaving a free marketing channel on the table” when they’re not mobilizing potential brand ambassadors. But for that to happen, they must arm employees with […]
Dispatch

Dallas ThinkTank: Fearless Communication with...

Dynamic Signal's thought leadership event is bringing together peers in communication for an insightful discussion on fearlessly communicating with today's modern employees! Don't miss the first-ever Dallas ThinkTank on June 21.

Dallas ThinkTank: Fearless Communication with...

We're taking our ThinkTank Roadshow to Dallas! Join Dynamic Signal in Dallas for an engaging discussion around the importance of employee communication with Robyn Hannah and BNSF's General Director of Internal Communication, Kristen Rabe!
Dispatch

Stanford creates innovation lab to advance...

Read how VMWare donated $15 million to Stanford to build "The Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab" and close the gender gap in tech. “Gender equality, like clean air, is a social good that benefits us all,” says director and professor Shelley Correll.

Stanford creates innovation lab to advance...

Main navigationProspective StudentsPreparing for Graduate SchoolGRE PreparationGraduate School Prep TimelineConducting Research Before Graduate SchoolH&S Summer Research ProgramsPaying for Graduate School Current StudentsDiversity Resources and ProgramsHumSci 201Fellowships and FundingSterling Award for UndergraduatesAcademic and Community ResourcesAcademics and ResearchCenters, Institutes, and AffiliatesCareers of Humanities AlumniNewsAboutH&S DeanDiversity and InclusionH&S CouncilSenior...Read More
Dispatch

Collaboration Vs. Communication, And Why The...

Technology has fundamentally changed the way we all communicate in our everyday lives. But these tools need to work in service of creating connection and alignment. See Joelle Kaufman's piece on the important difference between collaboration and communication

Collaboration Vs. Communication, And Why The...

Technology has fundamentally changed the way we all communicate in our everyday lives. But these tools need to work in service of creating connection and alignment.
Dispatch

Driving Adoption for Your Employee...

“The worst thing that can happen when you add a new tool is if the leaders don’t use it. That’s a real problem. The leaders have to be on there all the time sharing their thoughts." -Mark Ragan in Dynamic Signal's latest must-read

Driving Adoption for Your Employee...

Hands-on examples and best practices about how companies can drive high adoption rates for their Employee Communication and Engagement Platform – at the initial launch and for ongoing success. This must-read also features advice from many Dynamic Signal advisors and customers - don't miss out!
Dispatch

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Going Beyond the Intranet

"The intranet is an antiquated destination model. But a modern, personalized distribution model will deliver the most important information to each employee so that they can easily do their work." See why it's time to go beyond the intranet in Dynamic Signal's latest resource.

Going Beyond the Intranet

Companies are clinging to a dream that their intranet can be fixed. The truth is, the world, and your workforce, has changed. Employees expect a more modern and streamlined approach to communication.
Dispatch

"Russ Fradin, CEO & Co-founder of Dynamic...

"Russ Fradin, CEO & Co-founder of Dynamic Signal, on building 6 companies in 22 years" from Founder Real Talk by GGV Capital on Apple Podcasts - absolutely worth a listen!

"Russ Fradin, CEO & Co-founder of Dynamic...

Download the episode "Russ Fradin, CEO & Co-founder of Dynamic Signal, on building 6 companies in 22 years." In this episode, Russ tells the stories of life as an entrepreneur, including knowing when to pivot…or not, how to build delightful company culture, and how to be unapologetic about work-life balance.
Dispatch

NYC ThinkTank: Fearless Communication With...

Communicators are facing big challenges today. But that also means there's an incredible opportunity to redefine the importance of employee communication and engagement. Join some of the best for Dynamic Signal's NYC ThinkTank on June 14!

NYC ThinkTank: Fearless Communication With...

Our second-annual thought leadership event is bringing together peers in communication for an insightful discussion on fearlessly communicating with today's modern employees. Join Mercer's Adam Schair, Global Colleague Communications Leader, and Robyn Hannah at Dynamic Signal's New York ThinkTank!
Dispatch

Announcing...Summit by Dynamic Signal!

Announcing Summit by Dynamic Signal, October 11 in San Francisco! Join this exclusive group of people who are changing the way organizations connect with their most valued asset – their employees. Ask me for my promo code to receive $100 off!

Announcing...Summit by Dynamic Signal!

The Dynamic Signal Summit brings together an exclusive community of communicators and marketers for a full day of learning in an interactive setting with Employee Communication and Engagement experts. This is a unique opportunity for industry leaders and hands-on practitioners to discuss best practices, innovative strategies, and common challenges while developing meaningful relationships with peers.
Dispatch

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