My “anti-Scoble” commenter Chris Coulter joins PodTech

If you’ve been reading here for a while you know that Chris Coulter doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with me. He’s been the longest-running commenter on my blog, dating back to my days when I worked at NEC — most of those comments have disagreed with a position I’ve taken.

That’s why when he stayed at my house a few weeks back it raised eyebrows.

So, why hire someone like that?

Well, the side of the story you don’t see when he comments here is that he’s sent me more news than anyone else and he’s been consistently good. He has contacts all over the place and is what I call an “invisible influencer.” Someone who loves trading information with other people.

Podtech needs those skills as it builds out the news department. You might not see his name on a podcast, but you’ll feel his presence as he gets us to focus on the breaking stuff.

Second, he has video skills that I saw but other people wouldn’t have recognized. He helped run a wedding business, but was sending me lots of other stuff over the past few years, including lots of news about equipment and non-linear editors.

Third, he has writing skills. If you’ve ever suffered one of his barbs, you know that he can be quite persuasive with his writing. He’s also edited books, articles, and I’ve read a few of his screenplays and found his writing to be compact, insightful, gripping, etc. I’ve always wanted him to blog, while thankful that he wasn’t out there competing with me.

Fourth, if I’m going to grow as a manager and as a leader I need people I work with who see the world differently than I do. Translation: who can tell me I’m full of it. Why is that important? Well, beyond keeping the ego under check, it’s where great ideas come from. For instance, look at Irina. She doesn’t write with the style I use. Doesn’t see the world the way I do. But she came up with the Vloggies. Having diverse ideas on a team is important and brings better ideas.

Fifth, in person he’s a lot more fun to hang with than he comes across in the comments here.

So, he’ll help with editing my show, coming up with some new ideas (I’d love to do a “TechCrossfire” show with him, but not ready to announce anything like that), he’s gonna work on doing a blog for PodTech and help the news group set its priorities, and help do some other video shows and segments.

Anyway, that was my secret that I’ve been keeping a while. Glad to have Chris aboard.

Comments

  1. Wasn’t too hard to figure out, Robert. Why else would he come and stay at your house? His writing skills are very impressive and he has certainly demonstrated his knowlege of digital video within the limited space of your comments section.

    The balance with him on board will be good for Podtech and for you too. Definitely a good hire.

  2. Wasn’t too hard to figure out, Robert. Why else would he come and stay at your house? His writing skills are very impressive and he has certainly demonstrated his knowlege of digital video within the limited space of your comments section.

    The balance with him on board will be good for Podtech and for you too. Definitely a good hire.

  3. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t see fit to announce such when it sent around emails to various folks. What was this? Something you and he cooked up between you?

    So much for Silicon Valley honor.

    You guys should be really happy together.

  4. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t see fit to announce such when it sent around emails to various folks. What was this? Something you and he cooked up between you?

    So much for Silicon Valley honor.

    You guys should be really happy together.

  5. macbeach: I’m missing his acerbic wit here. I sure hope he keeps telling me I’m full of it in my comments. If just to drive Shelley nuts. Geesh.

    Oh, wait a second, I should hire Shelley too. Then we could REALLY have an interesting tech debate show.

  6. macbeach: I’m missing his acerbic wit here. I sure hope he keeps telling me I’m full of it in my comments. If just to drive Shelley nuts. Geesh.

    Oh, wait a second, I should hire Shelley too. Then we could REALLY have an interesting tech debate show.

  7. TechCrossfire would be SICK. +1 for that idea … Let me know if you need to divy-up some tasks to make it happen sooner – would be super fun to watch.

  8. TechCrossfire would be SICK. +1 for that idea … Let me know if you need to divy-up some tasks to make it happen sooner – would be super fun to watch.

  9. Coulter is a talent – he is actually so good that I thought that you created him on purpose in order to keep the traffic coming to your blog. Congrats (even if you told me to take my *** somewhere else ;-) !

  10. Coulter is a talent – he is actually so good that I thought that you created him on purpose in order to keep the traffic coming to your blog. Congrats (even if you told me to take my *** somewhere else ;-) !

  11. Good Job Robert.

    No, seriously. It takes a lot of maturity, and leadership to hire someone who disagrees with you regularly, and shows a willingness towards the message George Marshall tried to get across in a quote I read quite often:

    There is no limit to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.

    Having your work behind and in front of the scenes acknowledged is always nice, but doing what needs to be done to help your company grow is FAR more important, and for what it’s worth, impresses the hell out of me.

    It shows…professionalism, and that is not a word I use lightly.

    Again, good job dude.

    As far as the “OMG, YOU DIDN’T TELL THE KEWL KIDZ” stuff, well, not everyone needs to know everything at the same time. Funny how “keeping your side of the bargain” is suddenly dishonorable when it keeps someone from an inner circle. Ah, sweet, sweet, ego, how you make hypocrites of us all.

  12. Good Job Robert.

    No, seriously. It takes a lot of maturity, and leadership to hire someone who disagrees with you regularly, and shows a willingness towards the message George Marshall tried to get across in a quote I read quite often:

    There is no limit to the good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.

    Having your work behind and in front of the scenes acknowledged is always nice, but doing what needs to be done to help your company grow is FAR more important, and for what it’s worth, impresses the hell out of me.

    It shows…professionalism, and that is not a word I use lightly.

    Again, good job dude.

    As far as the “OMG, YOU DIDN’T TELL THE KEWL KIDZ” stuff, well, not everyone needs to know everything at the same time. Funny how “keeping your side of the bargain” is suddenly dishonorable when it keeps someone from an inner circle. Ah, sweet, sweet, ego, how you make hypocrites of us all.

  13. Ha ha… No wonder Chris Coulter wants to see my corporate video editing.

    Chris Culter: Tell us when you have your blog up and running. And where you host your edited videos. I like to see your work too.

    Robert: Your blog is amazing. As soon as we touch on video camera equipment and highlight Canon, today Amazon put Canon XL2 on their homepage with extensive detail specifications.

    Canon: If I have to mention your Cannon XL2 here, would you consider donating a video camera to Web SIG http://www.thewebsig.com so that we can cover our event podcasting? Web SIG is very poor right now. I like the fact that the camera is white and it looks so stylish. It matches my white jeans and white jacket :)

  14. Ha ha… No wonder Chris Coulter wants to see my corporate video editing.

    Chris Culter: Tell us when you have your blog up and running. And where you host your edited videos. I like to see your work too.

    Robert: Your blog is amazing. As soon as we touch on video camera equipment and highlight Canon, today Amazon put Canon XL2 on their homepage with extensive detail specifications.

    Canon: If I have to mention your Cannon XL2 here, would you consider donating a video camera to Web SIG http://www.thewebsig.com so that we can cover our event podcasting? Web SIG is very poor right now. I like the fact that the camera is white and it looks so stylish. It matches my white jeans and white jacket :)

  15. “Stupid people surround themselves with smart people. Smart people surround themselves with smart people who disagree with them.” —Aaron Sorkin

  16. “Stupid people surround themselves with smart people. Smart people surround themselves with smart people who disagree with them.” —Aaron Sorkin

  17. My first reaction to this was the same reaction I had when I heard James Carville and Mary Matalin were getting married. (Chris will get the analogy, you likely won’t, Robert as they are not geeks) Two more opposite people could not be getting together. I second what John Welch said: Good Job. Hopefuly this is evidence of you realizing the world is not as you think it is and Chris can help with that. If done right, only good can come of this. Hopefully Chris can do for you what Matalin has been unable to do with Carville…;-) Again, good job. Great hire.

  18. My first reaction to this was the same reaction I had when I heard James Carville and Mary Matalin were getting married. (Chris will get the analogy, you likely won’t, Robert as they are not geeks) Two more opposite people could not be getting together. I second what John Welch said: Good Job. Hopefuly this is evidence of you realizing the world is not as you think it is and Chris can help with that. If done right, only good can come of this. Hopefully Chris can do for you what Matalin has been unable to do with Carville…;-) Again, good job. Great hire.

  19. That’s kinda funny. Shows that Microsoft blood still runs in your veins – if you can’t beat them, acquire them.

    :)

    Cool!

  20. That’s kinda funny. Shows that Microsoft blood still runs in your veins – if you can’t beat them, acquire them.

    :)

    Cool!

  21. Again Robert,

    You are right on target. Encourage those who disagree with you,or who disagree with the system never to be silent. True growth and knowledge come from healthy discourse not flogging and flamming.

    Remember those who don’t work hard and study wind up as a Senator. ; ) Not in Iraq.

    Don’t forget to vote right. Transparent to a fault.

    Plieze chk teh spillin.
    Thank a SOLDIER when you read this.

  22. Again Robert,

    You are right on target. Encourage those who disagree with you,or who disagree with the system never to be silent. True growth and knowledge come from healthy discourse not flogging and flamming.

    Remember those who don’t work hard and study wind up as a Senator. ; ) Not in Iraq.

    Don’t forget to vote right. Transparent to a fault.

    Plieze chk teh spillin.
    Thank a SOLDIER when you read this.

  23. Years ago, a boss of mine suggested that I find my biggest critic (I was writing a technical monthly about Borland Delphi), and engage this critic in a discussion of how to improve things. I can remember him saying clearly, “Tim, passionate people are hard to find. If you find someone who’s complaining, it’s because they’re passionate about the subject. Don’t let that person get away.”

    Similarly, Patrick Lencioni comments on the need for “healthy conflict” in team environments, and says that frequently springs from a lack of trust. Robert, if you trust that Chris has the best interests of the organization at heart, why not value the conflict? The conflict represents an effort to make things better. We may disagree on strategy, and argue around until we get it right, but if we’re all shooting for the same thing, then we’ll be better off by listening to conflicting voices.

    This, in my opinion, is the major shortcoming of most political people (on both sides). We have no ability to even engage in a healthy discussion when we jump to immediately label a dissenting opinion as “knee-jerk liberal” or “right-wing nutjob.”

    Even more unfortunate, it seems technical people seem all-the-more inclined to this behavior because of the ability to hide behind behind the isolation of impersonal communication. Instead of a face-to-face meeting, we send an e-mail or leave an IM or a text.

    Tim

  24. Years ago, a boss of mine suggested that I find my biggest critic (I was writing a technical monthly about Borland Delphi), and engage this critic in a discussion of how to improve things. I can remember him saying clearly, “Tim, passionate people are hard to find. If you find someone who’s complaining, it’s because they’re passionate about the subject. Don’t let that person get away.”

    Similarly, Patrick Lencioni comments on the need for “healthy conflict” in team environments, and says that frequently springs from a lack of trust. Robert, if you trust that Chris has the best interests of the organization at heart, why not value the conflict? The conflict represents an effort to make things better. We may disagree on strategy, and argue around until we get it right, but if we’re all shooting for the same thing, then we’ll be better off by listening to conflicting voices.

    This, in my opinion, is the major shortcoming of most political people (on both sides). We have no ability to even engage in a healthy discussion when we jump to immediately label a dissenting opinion as “knee-jerk liberal” or “right-wing nutjob.”

    Even more unfortunate, it seems technical people seem all-the-more inclined to this behavior because of the ability to hide behind behind the isolation of impersonal communication. Instead of a face-to-face meeting, we send an e-mail or leave an IM or a text.

    Tim

  25. This is one of the more interesting things you have written about (and done). Thanks for the inspiration.

  26. @23. You saw them SPEAK???? Wow!!!!! Actually I have no idea why that point is even remotely relevant but if it makes you feel all that more important to add that, knock yourself out. Again, congrats on the great hire. Hope it results in further success.

  27. @23. You saw them SPEAK???? Wow!!!!! Actually I have no idea why that point is even remotely relevant but if it makes you feel all that more important to add that, knock yourself out. Again, congrats on the great hire. Hope it results in further success.

  28. [...] One thing I’ve noticed. When debate ensues, strange things happen. People’s thinking changes. More important, their behaviour changes. Almost always for the better. Other strange things happen as well. Recently, Robert Scoble hired Christopher Coulter. Christopher was one of Robert’s fiercest critics, almost always taking him to task. Today, Robert says he misses Christopher’s kick ass views. Personally, I think Robert might want to rethink that masochistic tendency. But then some people have a harder time with criticism than others. [...]