I’m a writer, collaborator and category design advisor.
I take complex ideas and make them accessible and interesting, and put them in context with technology, history and society. That’s what I do when I write for Newsweek; it’s what I do when I collaborate with thought leaders on books; and it’s what I do when I work with companies as they try to understand and explain who they are and why they matter.
My latest book is Play Bigger: How Pirates, Dreamers, and Innovators Create and Dominate Markets. The book describes the new discipline of category design. The story of writing it with three Silicon Valley veterans is almost as entertaining as the book. You can read it here.
As a result of the book, I now help companies develop a category-design strategy, working with a firm called Category Design Agency. Please see the CDA web site for more.
I just completed a collaboration with Hemant Taneja of General Catalyst Partners. That book, published by Public Affairs Books, will be out in March 2018.
Another book I completed is on hold. It’s an intimate story of the rise of India’s tech industry. You can read about it here.
I write a weekly column about technology and society for Newsweek, appearing both online and in the print magazine. You can find the columns here.
I write occasionally for other outlets, including Medium.
I work with CEOs and companies on writing projects that strive to be authentic and give something interesting or important to the world. Clients have ranged from IBM to IdeaPaint. I also work with graphic artist Mark Holmes to do graphic novel style storytelling about technology. Here is work we did for Cisco.
I co-authored, with TIBCO CEO Vivek Ranadive, The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future…Just Enough. It made the New York Times bestseller list and for a time hit No. 1 on Amazon’s rankings.
I’ve been a contributor to Fortune, The Atlantic, Fast Company and other magazines. I was contributing editor at Conde Nast Portfolio, joining the magazine prior to its launch in 2007 and hanging on until its demise in April 2009.
Before all this, I worked at USA Today for 22 years, much of it as the newspaper’s technology columnist. The job gave me the privilege of interviewing most of the biggest names in the industry. I’ve appeared on PBS, NPR, CNBC, and other media outlets, and I’ve frequently been a keynote speaker and on-stage interviewer at events and conferences.
On the music side, I’m now playing with a New York City rock band called Total Blam Blam. For music, news and gigs, see our Facebook page.
I graduated from Rutgers University, grew up in Binghamton, N.Y., and now live in New York City.