The Dark Forces of 2020 In 3 Movie Clips

There are 3 sources of earthly power colliding this year. They are the Power of Organized “___________.”

1. Money

Network: “There is only one holistic system of systems…”

2. Ideas

Matrix: “It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth…”

3. People

The Dark Knight Rises: “You think all this can last? There’s a storm coming…”

Good-bye Twitter

A decade ago, my friend and colleague, Susan Scrupski, persuaded me to finally get with the program and start using Twitter.

At the time, Susan was already rapidly growing a social media following that would eventually contribute to her being recognized among the Twitter elite. At least one ranking authority calling her the #1 most influential woman in her category.

So, following her lead, I created my account in October 2007. It was slow at first, but eventually I settled into a pattern that became my norm for nearly ten years. Until now.

After a recent re-evaluation of the way I allocate my time and the rewards – or penalties – for doing so, I just can’t justify using it any further. So, my account is officially in long-term, suspended animation.

I’m not ready to kill it entirely; but, I don’t see any value in keeping it active anymore. Why? Well, let’s start with the data: after all of this time, I’ve compiled 11,900 tweets, with 1,144 followers.

In other words, that’s an average of 9-10 new followers per month, or 2-3 per week. Out of nearly 100 tweets per month, or 3-4 per day.

For every day’s tweets, I would tend to scour event listings, accelerator newsletters, investor research reports, local tech and business newsletters, and more, for about 1 hour — usually in the early mornings or late evenings.

The goal was to identify unique, yet broadly topical bits of info that were interesting to me and, hopefully, my follower audience. In other words, if you translate that into 8-hour workdays, I was spending nearly 2.5 workdays per month searching for the perfect tweets.

And, what did it get me? A handful of nice, ego-stroking mentions, like…

And, every once in a while, I would hear from someone who followed my Twitter account and knew me, relayed that they had read some bit of news or seen some event or program listing in my Twitterstream, acted upon it, and received some kind of positive outcome for themselves.

In many ways, that was the most satisfactory to hear, because it is very aligned with my personal, pay-it-forward philosophy. But, in the end analysis, it wasn’t enough. Especially with other social media options, like LinkedIN, Facebook, and newer ones.

Sorry @Jack, @Biz, @Ev…thanks for helping to put SXSW Interactive on the map — even though the Southby launch story is more legend than truth — as a must-attend tech festival years ago. But, I’m @done.

UT Dallas, Here I Come!

For those who know me, you know that I began taking steps to transition from my long-time owner-operator role with new ventures studio Powershift Group a few years ago, after turning age 50.

It began when I lucked into the opportunity to teach the New Venture Creation class for the St. Edward’s University MBA program, as an adjunct professor.

While it was more work than I had expected, it was also quite rewarding. Enough so, in fact, that I re-upped for additional classes, ultimately teaching the New Venture Creation class again, as well as MBA classes in Branding & Promotion, Global Business, and the MBA Capstone class.

Along the way, I began seeing a transition path from the “all in” nature of the work demanded by the executive roles I served in various Powershift Group-related entities, to one where I could spend more time on the things I most enjoyed:

  1. mentoring first-time founders and students of entrepreneurship,
  2. using my network and experience to help promising founders, and
  3. promoting their ventures, where possible, to help them succeed.

It felt like a university setting, or a role with a heavy university affiliation, might be the ideal place for this career transition.

I won’t take you through the search process, because it spanned 5 years with a couple of well-intentioned starts-and-stops along the way, in pursuit of the best fit.

But, over the 2016-17 Christmas/New Year’s holidays, I finally found what turned out to be what feels like the right place to be, with UT Dallas.

Rather than going on-and-on about UTD, the School of Management, or the particular group that I lead as executive director — the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship — I’ll the links below do the talking.

While we still have our home in Austin, I now live in Dallas and urge all of my colleagues in Austin and around the world to come visit, any time!