5 Questions to Answer During My Southeast Asia Sabbatical

“The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one’s appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship.”

– Amelia Earhart

One of the things that we believe at work is the importance of designing one’s experiments properly: if experiments are designed properly then it’s impossible for them to fail. You always learn something and that is, after all, the point of an experiment. So what are some of the hypothesis that I’m looking to test by going through this sabbatical experiment?

Read More →

A Big Change

Note: I wrote this on 20130304 with the intention of starting a blog and keeping track of all my experiences. The good news is that I finally got my blog up…the bad is that it took me 5 months (well, it took me 3 days, but I didn’t start until almost 5 months after initially deciding to do it!)…and as I review my blog post, I notice that I procrastinated in it too! I’m sensing a theme :/

As I begin writing this I’m sitting in O’hare waiting on the next part of my life to start! It has been a long day. I went to bed at 1am EST after spending most of the day procrastinating by NOT packing up my life. I then set my alarm for 5am (but woke at 4am) at which point I continued consolidating everything I would take with me on a 9 month experience in Palo Alto.

So let’s step back a minute: I’ve spent my entire life in West Michigan. I was raised to be a good Dutch boy (I’m cheap…frugal if you like to dress things up a bit)…and I’m pretty proud of that fact. I’ve gotten some great deals on things, and I like great deals almost as much as Warren Buffett does! My roles at Steelcase have given me a broad base of both domestic and internal experience and have certainly broadened the way I look at business opportunities. Even though I’ve expressed interest at working within our innovation engine vs. our performance engine, it was still a shocker when I got an e-mail which asked if I’d be interested in moving to California for 6 to 9 months to launch a new venture! Almost exactly 3 months later, all my worldly possessions that I hold dear are packed and (hopefully) safely stowed in the belly of my plane.

  • My camera and tripod: I love capturing photos. They’re priceless memories, and I find the process of creating a beautiful image to be cathartic
  • My iDevices: iMac, iPad, iPhone(less about the devices themselves, and more because they provide and channel to the ever important digital-space that allows me to connect with friends and family)…plus access to the many epub books which I enjoy collecting
  • My clothes…and I have a ton of them. Hopefully I brought everything I need.

Read More →