#CanDo: The Nation That Can Do Anything….

5 May

I am not certain why I appreciate the story of the Marine Corp.’s rebuilding California’s Catalina Island Airport In The Sky as much as I do.

There is a lot to it: Aviation from the barnstorming days. An impossible task for anyone other than the US Defense Department. Fighting SeaBees engineering and Marines. A gift to a grateful nation and a Pacific Island (albeit within view of Los Angeles).

Perhaps it is simply a reminder of a time when impossible tasks took only a few days to complete at a time in our nation when it seems the most trivial task can seem daunting and impossible.

Anyway: here’s the story:

There was an aging airport at the top of Catalina Island off the coast of California. It was costing a fortune for the state of California to maintain. It is a vital lifeline for the island — firefighting base, health care rescues, etc.

Enter the Marines. Seven decades ago, while not routine, Marines and their naval engineering brethren the SeaBees would storm ashore Pacific Islands during WWII and build airbases in the jungle in just a few days. Combat bulldozers and earthmovers, Mattson mats, living in jungle tents.

They can still do that. And they did. It took a little longer than a week,as this story points out:


And here are some mockups of what the airfield looks like now:




Joining the Team @McClatchy

29 Jan

Close readers of this site know I haven’t been updating frequently. But I do want to say how honored and excited I am to join McClatchy as president and CEO.

Some coverage is here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article128798744.html

And a video is here: https://youtu.be/X9brSWSq4iI

Winning and Learning from ‘Successful Setbacks’

3 Jun

I attended the annual CODE Conference outside of Los Angeles this week. Among the highlights was this session on learning the lessons of the esteemed General Magic startup, whose exceptional technical vision (visible in every smartphone used today) was matched solely by its exceptional commercial mis-timing and inability to pivot to the then-nascent internet.

My blog on learning the lessons of a ‘successful’ setback is here.

Wow — FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s New e-book is Pretty Astonishing

5 Dec

I just posted this on Amazon…

‘Net Effects’ – A Must Read, December 4, 2013
By C Forman
Amazon Verified Purchase

This review is from: NET EFFECTS: The Past, Present, and Future Impact of Our Networks (Kindle Edition)

It isn’t frequent: a newly minted public official has the vision, the career experience, the courage and — dare we say it — the elan to lay out his ‘theory of the case:’ what he or she intends to accomplish during his or her term ‘as a servant of the public.’

In this case, the FCC is the agency, and the public servant is Chairman Tom Wheeler.

In this landmark review, Chairman Wheeler not only lays out a powerful and convincing case for ‘data-driven and fact-based’ rule-making, but he does so in an entertaining recounting of the sweep of human experience with communications (from Gutenberg to fiber-optics) that would make our most influential public intellects — and a few professors — proud.

That Mr. Wheeler does this at all is notable. That he does it after only a short time since taking up his role is a sign either of a prodigious work-ethic or of working too hard. That he pulls it off with a style and freshness of voice that makes this not only a must read, but an enjoyable one, too, is simply astonishing.

So ‘Net Effects’ is an important work for anyone involved in technology, media or telecom. Or anyone who uses those services.

Which, after all, is everyone.

(Full disclosure: I know Mr. Wheeler, have worked with him and I am involved in the telecom, media and technology industries that the FCC regulates. I have no current business before the agency).


Data Meets Media: And a Brand-New Business Category Is Created

2 Dec

Data Meets Media: And a Brand-New Business Category Is Created

Happy to recommend this thoughtful post from Rafat Ali, founder and CEO at travel/data startup Skift.com about the increasing convergence of the media business and the data-intelligence business. And a new category is found….(Disclosure: I’m an investor here along with @crovitz and @JimFriedlich and many others)…@rafat @skift #Mediata

The Recent Post @ QZ.com Touched a Nerve…

2 Dec

I heard from a number of people over the Thanksgiving Holiday who have experienced their own ‘professional epiphanies’ in their careers. These ‘peak moments’ can define a career transition, or give you new energy to continue to pursue your entrepreneurial passion even when many people around you may be skeptical.

It’s important to listen to your ‘inner voice’ when these moments occur. 

Here is my post over at QZ.com 


‘Be Luckier in Life’ Is an Amazon Best-Seller!

2 Dec

'Be Luckier in Life' Is an Amazon Best-Seller!

Wow: Thanks to all your support (and holiday book-buying…), ‘Be Luckier in Life’ made it on to Amazon’s best-seller list this weekend, rising to #10 in the Career>Guides section. The ‘road to success is paved every day,’ so there is still plenty of road ahead. But I am really awestruck by the response from so many people! Thank you!