It isn't every day that you get to hand out awards in the same hall that the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony takes place. But this fall, David Lavenda got to do precisely that.
And as with all things he does, he went all out — wearing a tux with tails to add the proper pomp and circumstance to the ceremony. It is this attention to detail and this awareness of the history that informs the technology field that David brings to all of his articles and to his generous feedback.
While I still have suspicions that David has found more hours in the day than the rest of us are privy to, we're lucky he uses some of this time writing for this site.
What’s your proudest accomplishment of 2015 (personal or professional)?
There are two actually, one in each realm. In 2015, I became a grandfather for the first time. While not strictly my personal accomplishment, I am the proudest grampy to my grandson, Liam.
In the professional realm, I completed a Masters’ degree in Science, Technology and Society (STS), and began my doctoral studies in Information Management, exploring how mobile devices and cloud technologies are changing the nature of information overload experienced by workers.
What excites you about your field today?
What never ceases to amaze me about business and technology is that there is truly “nothing new under the sun.” To try and predict how new technologies and business practices will play out, one often only needs to look back and pick the appropriate example from the past.
Information overload is a great example. While we think that this is a new phenomenon brought on by computers, the Internet, mobile devices, the cloud, etc., the truth is that people have long felt overwhelmed by having to deal with too much information. Of course, the degree of overload has grown by orders of magnitude and that makes a huge difference. But, the realization that this is nothing new provides some direction for finding solutions. I call this ‘looking forward by looking back.”
What inspires you?
The opportunity to be a part of the sweeping ongoing information revolution.
There is a preconception that it’s hard today to have an impact on our surroundings because of the scope and the speed of business and technology. The truth is there has never been a better time for motivated individuals to affect a change on their surroundings; whether that change is in the world of business, charity or society. The wide-scale availability to affordable global resources makes this possible. All you need is a vision and (especially) the drive to see it through.
What personal or professional goal have you set for 2016?
I have several goals for 2016. One is to move my dissertation forward by crafting an action plan to examine large scale data sets of various enterprise mobile users. This will involve enlisting at least one cloud service vendor to participate in the study by providing anonymized data.
Another goal is to initiate an industry effort to standardize the format and publication of enterprise cloud service notifications. In the coming multi-vendor cloud world, it will become increasingly difficult for individual business users to see ‘the big picture’ because they will need to toggle between many different mobile apps to piece together lots of details. Standards will provide a way for users to see all their app updates in one place, thereby enabling the market to scale.
If I had a magic wand and could change one thing about my industry it would be …
To cut the BS. It’s not specific to "my industry" but the new marketing buzzword is "content marketing," so armies of writers have been enlisted to write poorly-crafted, thinly-veiled sales collateral and pass it off as "content." It’s annoying and if I could wave a wand and make it go away, I would happily do so.