First and foremost, I’m a dad and husband, but most of the time I describe myself as a professional geek.
I’m passionate about a lot of things, especially the things that enable my family to develop and thrive, as well as the communities of which I am part.
You can find out more about my professional activities on my “day job” web sites at WebFund and Ligntning Lab where we launch online startups, and Think Tank Consulting where I help clients with governance, strategy, sensible exploitation of IT, and lexicography. My LinkedIn profile provides a good overview of my credentials and colleagues. I’m an active member of AngelHQ, Wellington’s Angel Investment Club, and am a director in a number of companies including The Appreciation Engine, Domain Name Commission Limited, Publons, Expander, and Starup New Zealand Limited. I’m on the InterentNZ Council, and a strong supporter of Open Source software. I think that software patents are stupid. I’m also a Councillor (director) at Open Polytechnic because I think distance learning is about to completely disrupt tertiary education, and I believe OP’s non-MOOC blended model is a winner for delivering vocational education in New Zealand and around the world.
If you want to know how I think about business, read my post on empathy and success in business.
I’m very involved in the local Jewish community. I served as President of the Wellington Progressive Jewish Congregation – Temple Sinai from 2004-2006 (there’s a two-year term limit), and later served two years as its Treasurer. I am the Jewish co-chair of the Wellington Council of Christians and Jews. Judaism teaches me that in our lives we make decisions moment by moment that impact the world around us; the trick is to be mindful of these and make informed choices. I built the Poetry in Hell website with my parents, a monument to the Yiddish poetry in the Warsaw Ghetto.
My main hobby is music. I do lead vocals and play trumpet and recorder in the Klezmer Rebs. My listening tastes are very ecclectic; I’ll listen to just about anything once. For relaxation I tend to listen to classical though, particularly Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Beethoven.
I like riding my bike around town, especially in nice weather. Ever since I got hit by a bus in the Basin Reserve a few years ago, I’ve been more circumspect about the conditions I’ll ride in. I’ve avoided the Basin since!
I also love cooking; there’s no better foil for intensive mental work or long-term projects than cooking. There’s something tactile and visceral as well as immediately gratifying about putting together a good meal. Lately I’ve been perfecting my breadmaking skills, but I enjoy making all sorts of stuff. One of my aims with this blog is to record recipes from some of my more successful culinary experiments.
I do like political discussions, and was the webmaster of The Yes Vote campaign for the referendum on child discipline. My Facebook profile describes my politics as “off the axis”. I think that Left and Right as political labels attempt to map a complex multidimensional phenomenon into linear simplicity, and it doesn’t work for me.
If you’d like to engage with me on any level, feel free to contact me. I always like talking to interesting people who have different ideas and are true to themselves and others.