When the next rainy day comes, get off your seat and tackle those real projects.
There is nothing as productive as a rainy day. You have no excuses. These are the days when your backlog list now comes front and center. You can now attack those long-overdue backburner projects without the delirious sunny options swaying your better judgment. Here's what's been in the recesses of my thoughts. It's now or never.
Forget the immediate "to do" list. I want to get at the projects that have been on the gray, frayed paper list, pinned to the bulletin board for so long that I have to dig under two other lists on top of it.
Read a book
Letís see...read a book about Nikola Tesla. Why? Because after Edison, his discoveries on electricity were profound, as was his eccentric life. He was an engineer, inventor, and futurist. He worked briefly with Edison and went on to obtain over 300 patents worldwide for his inventions.
Learn something new
Then there is learning to be done and thought about: how to solve the cybersecurity problem with IoT. Now I know that I canít do this alone or even hope to get my arms around it fully, but I want to understand it and learn which approaches may work best.
Write a book
My passion? Write a science-fiction novel.
And yes, my third project is a doozy, for it's my reoccurring idea for a tech-laden, science-fiction novel. I have the title: InfoMind.
The story plot centers around the amazing discovery of a brain wave harnessing technology that allows babies to be infused with all of the knowledge known up to current times so that they can build on this as they mature. No need to re-learn what others have learned — just go on from there.
Now letís take this invention for granted because this is where the story really evolves. The clash is over what is knowledge, what is bias, and what youngsters should be taught.
Beyond the storyline, my thinking goes right to the nub of the impending clashes that this brain discovery will bring out from all groups: Congress, rights groups, protectionists, mothers' groups, fathers' groups, religious organizations, teachers, etc. They will be picketing, using social media to enrage others, and causing chaos with our elected officials. After all, each of these groups can say with certainty what is present-day knowledge and what should be imparted to the newborn. There will be absolute truth from each group. But, of course, each group will have their own agenda (or truth). So I see an exciting story to tell.
Am I getting carried away? After all, this is just science fiction. Many have written far more advanced topics, including the topic of brain alteration. Most fade quickly without much notoriety. But having never written a novel, I am enthused about my story and its most ardent proponent. I don't want to have the slightest doubt. Just get started, keep up the rigor, and let it happen. I can picture it now: New York Times bestseller list, movie rights, C-SPAN interviews, and the inevitable talk-show circuit.
You can clearly see why my longer-term projects are still pinned to the board. By taking on any one of them, I am essentially abandoning the others. Ahead are weeks of effort, if not months. This is my problem.
But the rainy day is an opportunity that I don't want to frizzle away. I think that my embryonic novel offers the most satisfaction for an old technical marketer. Of course, the commitment is huge. But this is what these days bring out: the big, the hard-to-achieve, but mostly the opportunity to do something different and consequential.
Rainy days can bring about such life-changing events. It's a good thing they happen only once in a while, otherwise Iíd never get real work done!
Fred Molinari is a founder and former CEO of Data Translation. See all of Fred's EE Times articles.