What I learned from “Whack Pack” guy

On the plane I was thinking about why some people just have more fun than other people. Roger von Oech came to mind. That dude has a good attitude, plus you can tell he’s smart. But I learned some other stuff too from him that he wasn’t even trying to teach me.

1) Take risks. He called me up, didn’t know if I’d be interested in him. Took a risk. Invested some time getting to know someone new.
2) Spread fun. Soon after meeting me he pulled out some of his stuff and showed me what his new product did. Was generous, brought several for me to hand around the office.
3) Listen and learn. He wanted to know all sorts of things about me. I noticed he was a great listener. You can tell that from the blog post he wrote about me. He didn’t take notes, but was mentally trying to learn something new.
4) A smile goes a long way. I found Roger to make me feel good. Why? Cause he was just happy. I don’t know how else to explain it. I guess that if you are creating products that try to get you to be more creative and innovative that you better be creative and innovative yourself.

Thanks Roger, love my new “Ball of Whacks.”

Comments

  1. Roger’s a great guy and the Ball of Whacks is addictive as all get out. I love showing it to someone for the first time, and 10 seconds later it explodes and they panic thinking they have broken it ;)

  2. Roger’s a great guy and the Ball of Whacks is addictive as all get out. I love showing it to someone for the first time, and 10 seconds later it explodes and they panic thinking they have broken it ;)

  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Ts%27o

    I met this guy in Boston a couple months back.
    I broke a glass while talking to him. He was not fun to be around. Neither is anybody I know from IBM.
    Why do you only interview people from MS and the valley.
    Why not interview some of these not fun people at IBM too?
    Or go to the Red Hat summit and interview Eben Moglen.

    The smartest people are a real drag to be around. Though I’m sure you would get along with Eben because his personality is very similar to yours. Though he is also a very, very intelligent person. Not exactly fun to be around though.
    I also spoke to Bruce Perens. There’s another person you could interview. He is actually a nice person.

  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Ts%27o

    I met this guy in Boston a couple months back.
    I broke a glass while talking to him. He was not fun to be around. Neither is anybody I know from IBM.
    Why do you only interview people from MS and the valley.
    Why not interview some of these not fun people at IBM too?
    Or go to the Red Hat summit and interview Eben Moglen.

    The smartest people are a real drag to be around. Though I’m sure you would get along with Eben because his personality is very similar to yours. Though he is also a very, very intelligent person. Not exactly fun to be around though.
    I also spoke to Bruce Perens. There’s another person you could interview. He is actually a nice person.

  5. Pop-Heraclitian philosophical fragmental nuggets with a neo-Rubik’s Snake® thing…am I happy or what?

    You realize none of Heraclitus writings exist, only requoted (or rather spun) from other later philosophers? That’s why it makes a good basis for his supposed “creativity”, you can put into it whatever you wish.

  6. Pop-Heraclitian philosophical fragmental nuggets with a neo-Rubik’s Snake® thing…am I happy or what?

    You realize none of Heraclitus writings exist, only requoted (or rather spun) from other later philosophers? That’s why it makes a good basis for his supposed “creativity”, you can put into it whatever you wish.

  7. (Something bothers me though. Has anybody else noticed how somebody that supposedly reports IT for the entire software industry can completely ignore a juggernaut like IBM, or Red Hat, or a slew of other companies that are major players in the industry?

    Scoble pretends that IT consists of Cisco, Seagate, and Microsoft, along with Microsoft’s ISVs.

    The software industry is so much bigger than that. When he was at Channel9, I could understand why he wouldn’t be able to report on the rest of the industry.
    But now that he’s been gone for X many months, he’s still reporting out of the same little keyhole viewport that he was when he was at Channel9 with some minor exceptions of doing MS ISVs and shaky valley startups.

    Would there be retribution if he went to RH summit or interviewed some people at IBM or Linus?
    It almost seems that way. That he’s still tethered to the same rope. Anybody he does interview that isn’t in those categories are people like Roger who are out of the way.

    I dunno, just an observation, and I’m sure I’m way off here)?

    I enclosed the entire comment in parenthesis and postfixed it with a question mark in classic don’t hold me accountable fashion.

  8. (Something bothers me though. Has anybody else noticed how somebody that supposedly reports IT for the entire software industry can completely ignore a juggernaut like IBM, or Red Hat, or a slew of other companies that are major players in the industry?

    Scoble pretends that IT consists of Cisco, Seagate, and Microsoft, along with Microsoft’s ISVs.

    The software industry is so much bigger than that. When he was at Channel9, I could understand why he wouldn’t be able to report on the rest of the industry.
    But now that he’s been gone for X many months, he’s still reporting out of the same little keyhole viewport that he was when he was at Channel9 with some minor exceptions of doing MS ISVs and shaky valley startups.

    Would there be retribution if he went to RH summit or interviewed some people at IBM or Linus?
    It almost seems that way. That he’s still tethered to the same rope. Anybody he does interview that isn’t in those categories are people like Roger who are out of the way.

    I dunno, just an observation, and I’m sure I’m way off here)?

    I enclosed the entire comment in parenthesis and postfixed it with a question mark in classic don’t hold me accountable fashion.

  9. I dunno, just an observation, but jeeze, Chris, are you a barrel of laughs today or what?

    You should try doing worth talking about one day [like both Robert and Roger actually have] and find out just how hard it is.

  10. I dunno, just an observation, but jeeze, Chris, are you a barrel of laughs today or what?

    You should try doing worth talking about one day [like both Robert and Roger actually have] and find out just how hard it is.

  11. One more thing, Chris, now that you’ve gotten my attention. The great thing about Robert [i.e. one of the secrets of his success] is that he’s fallible. He’s not perfect. He knows a lot about a few things, and not enough about some other stuff that maybe he should know. Just like the rest of us. Which is why we like him. Which is why we’re interested in hearing what he has to say, even if his expertise doesn’t spread as far and wide as we would sometimes prefer.

    Just remember, if you take enough pops as somebody, eventually the crowd will turn around and start holding you up to as high scrutiny as you’ve been holding others to. And not everybody is ready for that to happen, so be careful.

  12. One more thing, Chris, now that you’ve gotten my attention. The great thing about Robert [i.e. one of the secrets of his success] is that he’s fallible. He’s not perfect. He knows a lot about a few things, and not enough about some other stuff that maybe he should know. Just like the rest of us. Which is why we like him. Which is why we’re interested in hearing what he has to say, even if his expertise doesn’t spread as far and wide as we would sometimes prefer.

    Just remember, if you take enough pops as somebody, eventually the crowd will turn around and start holding you up to as high scrutiny as you’ve been holding others to. And not everybody is ready for that to happen, so be careful.

  13. http://domino.research.ibm.com/comm/research_projects.nsf/pages/metronome.index.html

    Ted was telling me about this just before I broke the glass in front of him. It’s an RTOS for Java. They actually rebuilt the entire java garbage collector from scratch to eliminate latency with the JVM. That’s why java apps on websphere have little to no latency compared to those on JBoss or RH.

    It’s way better than .NET

    That’s the type of thing that matters in IT. Not these here today gone tomorrow startups from Cali living on a prayer from VCs. Put some meat into your sandwich Scoble!

  14. http://domino.research.ibm.com/comm/research_projects.nsf/pages/metronome.index.html

    Ted was telling me about this just before I broke the glass in front of him. It’s an RTOS for Java. They actually rebuilt the entire java garbage collector from scratch to eliminate latency with the JVM. That’s why java apps on websphere have little to no latency compared to those on JBoss or RH.

    It’s way better than .NET

    That’s the type of thing that matters in IT. Not these here today gone tomorrow startups from Cali living on a prayer from VCs. Put some meat into your sandwich Scoble!

  15. Robert,

    Roger and I now talk on the phone on a Regular basis because he took a originally took chance and called me out of the blue. He’s a great resource for getting your creative juices flowing and making you think. And to use his words—he’s “a trip”.

    Glad you both met.

  16. Robert,

    Roger and I now talk on the phone on a Regular basis because he took a originally took chance and called me out of the blue. He’s a great resource for getting your creative juices flowing and making you think. And to use his words—he’s “a trip”.

    Glad you both met.