Scottish Independence.

The recent Scottish election means Scotland finally has a real shot at independence. But do we stand on the precipice of utopia or apocalypse?

The Scottish National Party’s overwhelming victory in last week’s election increases the likelihood of an independent Scotland. I have never been one to discuss politics (or football, or religion) but I’ve noticed a very distinct pattern over the last few days that I feel is worth pointing out. Read more.

It’s a Clock for Android and Screen Saver.

I've made an It's a Clock screen saver just for you, and Android fans can join the party now too.

Last year I created a clock for your iPhone. It’s less precise than the clock that’s already on your iPhone, and you have to pay for it. I know, I know, I’m not really selling it to you am I? Read more.

Data Visualization & Infographics Glasgow.

I'm doing a talk at the Glasgow Data Viz meetup on Wednesday evening.

On Wednesday 20th April I’ll be doing a 30 minute talk at the Glasgow Data Viz meetup in Brunswick House, 15 Wilson Street, Glasgow. There will also be two other talks, ten minutes each, one of which will be by Ben Lyons from IRISS. Read more.

Fast, good, cheap.

Some clients are evil and their work is toxic.

I met with a potential client today and part of their opening gambit was how they were looking for revolutionary work delivered within a tight timescale, and if the work could be done at a reduced rate then they’d be able to send a load more work our way.

Let me distill this for you. They were saying that they wanted work that was fast, good, and cheap. And if the work was fast, good, and cheap enough, the reward would be the offer of more work that is fast, good, and cheap. Read more.

Free up your memory.

Our minds are like computers in that we have limited memory. New tasks clog the available memory and reduce our productivity, but there's a simple workaround.

The most striking revelation I gained from reading Getting Things Done, is that our brains work a bit like computers, in that we have limited memory and everything on our mind takes up a little space, reducing the memory available to carry out our main process—the task we are trying to accomplish.

As stuff pops into your head it reduces your ability to focus on the job at hand. You lack the ability to shelve it in the back of your mind without it adding to the overhead of what’s already on your mind. The same goes for new tasks arriving from others by email, phone, and in person. Read more.

Eat frogs for breakfast.

I've worked hard to improve my productivity over the last few years and I'd like to share what's worked for me. Most techniques are aimed at fooling our fallible minds, and this is no exception.

Whenever I encounter a skill I’m lacking that is demonstrably valuable to my personal, creative, or technical development, I address the issue head on by reading all I can about the subject, while diligently practicing what I learn until I become proficient at this new skill.

A lot of the time the subject matter in question has been technology related, but other skills I’ve tackled are negotiation, speed reading, leadership, and traditional marketing. Read more.

Autism and Programmers.

How reading The Speed of Dark is making me think about me thinking about how I think.

I’m conscious of how my mind works. I continually try to optimise my working processes to get the most out of my lack of mental discipline and my all or nothing productivity curve.

I love a barrage of disparate thought processes, typified by my current attempt to learn iPhone development, more design patterns, processing, Arduino tinkering, Maya particle scripting, and everyone else’s coolest After Effects tricks – while building an online illustration tool with supporting social network, reinstating pages from my old website into this blog plus fixing its CSS glitches, creating an animated short about the Pentagon hit on 9/11 featuring a VO recorded 6 years ago, coding a multiuser online installation to explore if some people are more lucky than others, and developing an interactive narrative about a lost child called Elsie. Read more.

Get more of what you want.

Learn how to negotiate by discovering your BATNA.

I’m stunned by how bad so many people are at negotiation. We tend to associate negotiation with not speaking to terrorists, unions going on strike, and other nasty scenarios, but the reality is we negotiate several times a day, every day. Read more.

Cultural differences.

A comparison of my recent experiences in U.S. and Scottish hospitals.

Last week I punched the air for joy in the hallway of the Holiday Inn Metrodome in Minneapolis. The problem with this was the concrete ceiling in th aforementioned hallway was significantly lower than I imagined and the result was one very sore hand. Read more.

Fearless.

My new year's resolution for 2009 is to be fearless.

I am now fearless. I’ve no plans to take up skydiving, or karate, or escaloptering though. The fear I’m talking about is that described so eloquently by Seth Godin in his new book, Tribes. Read more.

Scottish Enterprise. FAIL.

Scottish Enterprise have failed us.

It would appear that every page of every newspaper is filled with doom and gloom of recession, with the UK now experiencing the highest rate of unemployment in 16 years, and another 50 thousand Scots expected to lose their jobs over the next 2 years. The construction industry was one of the first hit, something we experienced firsthand as a result of so much of our work being connected to property marketing. Read more.