Life comes down to specific moments. Not necessarily minutes, hours, but a moment can be a day or a week.

When you look back over your life, it’s the moments you are proud of, or regret, or a least remember.

I’m expecting tomorrow may be a moment in my life. Which way? Can’t say. But all you can do is make it your best and regret nothing. (Sometimes I do like an existential view)

Since this “career pause” started, I have had so much time to really reflect on what I like, what matters most, and where I want to go. The vision is getting clearer every day.

As the calendar turns to a new decade, I face it with a better clarity than in had in a long time.


No matter where I go, where I land and what ultimately happens, I will always be,

That Planning Guy


I was reminded again today how important the relationships are that you build along the journey; often far more than the destinations even.

As I thought about that I reflect on a few specifics.

First, I had lunch with a former teammate who is still one of my favorite people. New hire became teammate became friend.

Next, I had a text ‘check in’ from another former colleague. Just wanted to see how I was doing. He worked with me for maybe 2 years, and left (and moved out of state) about a year ago. We still talk often.

I had another text chat later with a former colleague as well; I met her 18 years ago, and 3 companies ago. And we’re still close.

I had a call this week with a former account manager for a software company I used to do business with. We spent an almost an hour catching up. He hasn’t been our account rep in a several years, and I don’t even work there anymore of course.

And last, I am reminded of you, those who are reading this. Several work for a software company that we (my former company) left 2 years ago, but I can still call friends. Some left the companies THEY were with as well and we still talk.

The point? The mark you leave is more important than the ‘deal’ you made.

When you wake up in the morning, building relationships that matter is more important than anything else you do.

That’s how I want to live my life.

And today, as always, I am

That Planning Guy

Time still needs management

Funny while on this career pause- as a buddy of mine called it- I thought I would have all the time in the world to do all kinds of things and would have a lot of Leisure Time. Turns out I really don’t.

I still go to the gym every morning as my normal routine but I added an afternoon gym as part of a new routine. That leaves me several hours during the day of “open time” yet if I don’t plan this time out it seems to disappear the same as when I’m working.

So I’ve gone back to using a calendar. I plan my morning workout my afternoon workout and possibly another class in between.

The only difference now as it’s all for me, I’m not listing them as tasks; rather I’m considering them achievements or accomplishments.

When I look back on the day and I list the whole bunch of accomplishments, I definitely feel better about how the day progressed.

I hope I continue this methodology when my pause is over.

Time is finite, fellow #datanerds. It can never truly be replenished.

But I will always remain,

That Planning Guy

Toxic environment

If you have a very small sip of a toxin it generally doesn’t harm you, really.

You continue to have small does, often, daily, for a long time, and eventually you get used to it, adapt even. You don’t even notice it after a while. Or the feeling it creates.

But, once the toxin is removed, eventually you start feeling better. You didn’t realize until hindsight how bad it actually was.

That was what a toxic work environment is like. It’s hard to see from the inside.

Every day, slowly adapting and accepting. Becoming a new normal.

Only removed, and a sufficient time passing can I look and see what it was.

Now I can move forward, stronger, better, whole.


That Planning Guy

Unemployed Update

Didn’t want anyone to think I forgot my readers! I thought I’d pass on a few nuggets of wisdom I have gathered on the journey.

First lesson: you don’t have as many friends as you think you do. 1400+ LinkedIn contacts, 300+ Facebook friends, and my phone is not ringing off the hook. Where is everyone? I used to get 20-30 unsolicited mails a day. Now I don’t. So many Colleagues pinged me so often. I was guilty of confusing acquaintances for friends.

There is not enough time in the day. Every day I set out to do a lot of things, and every day I’m pressed for time. Time is still not replenishable. It’s finite. That’s been the biggest surprise.

Take time for your health. It’s amazing how fast you can heal/strengthen/improve when that’s your focus. And it always should be. Always.

Vacation coming up seems somehow different. I’m not ‘escaping’ from anything, so actually looking forward to trip for different reasons.

I don’t miss the environment I was in at the end, but I miss my teams. And miss a feeling of accomplishment that came occasionally. But now I enjoy the new accomplishments.

Last, I still haven’t actually decided what I WANT to do next. So many choices, and want to have a feeling of purpose in what I do next. That’s what I need to find.

For now, I remain,

That Planning Guy

Journey of 1000 Miles

Journey Of a Thousand Miles begins with a single step. – Lau Tzu

(Actually the expression refers to 1000 Li, which are about 360 miles!)

Interesting old expression, but I don’t agree. Isn’t the second step even more important? Taking the first step sets you in the direction but the second step gets you twice as far. Literally, 2x the first step.

It’s all about the math, #DataNerds

Make Today Matter.

-That Planning Guy

Pricing Principles in other Areas

Interesting. I just read an article about congestion pricing. I had no idea that it was becoming that commonplace. Implementation aside, I wonder how well we can use this to drive behaviors.

Everybody knows promotions are meant to drive buying. Demand pricing is two-fold: it’s meant to either capitalize on the increase, or slow down the demand. Or both.

If we lower the price of an item in retail, it’s meant to increase the velocity. Whether that’s a markdown, promotion, or just a new strategy, that’s always the end goal. When a restaurant does a promo (3 course meal, free desert, 2-20, etc.) it is always meant to drive traffic and move specific items (which I hope are margin builders!) Elasticity 101.

I’m curious how well this applies in other areas. And at what point does it become a little too Orwellian? Do we make people pay to drive on certain lanes of the freeway? Well that’s been happening for 20 years now. Will people pay extra for better seat locations on the (same) airplanes? Also been a common practice for a little while. Even early boarding is a form of a surge price. And obviously Uber has been using this since day one.

If we watch behavior, can we modify it to achieve desired results? In the case of traffic, less cars, less traffic, less pollution. That’s a win.

Dynamic pricing in its infancy was awkward and inconvenient. But now it’s becoming so mainstream people don’t even blink about it- or better, don’t notice it. Maybe that will be the new model.

Is there a huge difference between event or surge pricing and premium pricing?

Was Pay-per-view on your television pretty much the beginning of the event based pricing? HBO? Extra sports channels on your TV? Also premium. When I was young, Mike Tyson fights were on HBO. That’s why you had it- and some movies. Now? All big fights are PPV. (I know, that dates me!)

Same question on NFL Sunday Ticket: it’s still DTV exclusive for a little longer. I don’t want to pay $400 for all the games, but I would be $25 for specific ones. Give me a menu, and price it based on MY behavior. I won’t pay 400, but DTV would get a little more revenue.

You wonder at some point if things will be truly a la cart and then pay a premium for premium channels and premium services. I’ve been hearing big cable TV talking about this for years.

What’s the next frontier going to be? And as a better question do we have the technology to drive this using AI? Is this the next best use case for AI in society?

Marry the price to the demand to the consumer then blend in personalized and targeted marketing. That would be hard to beat.


Aloha Friday, #DataNeds

-That Planning Guy

Play Ball

It’s officially Spring, and Opening Day!

Why is opening day so fantastic? Because for the one time out of the year, everybody is optimistic, everyone is even, and feels like they have a shot at winning. There really isn’t another time in sports- or in Life- that you can say that. Optimism reigns supreme.

All of the moves in the offseason, all of the retirements, all of the trades, all of the player development, all of the improvements, all of the injuries, all boil down to one thing today: is the team going to be better or worse than the rest of the teams.

In individual sports, you are competing against yourself and a perceived field. No matter how well you play golf, how fast you run or swim, how fast you go down the hill on your skis, you are competing against yourself and a clock or a scoreboard. But also against the other people in that same event. You can break the world record in swimming, but the guy next to you might still beat you.

But in the team sports you’re only competing against other teams and relying on your team to bring their best, and they on you. If your team improves, but the competition improved more, you repressed. Sorry.

All of the posturing in the offseason, all of the experts predicting Championships, all come to an end today as actual facts come in.

A whole new set of data to analyze, #Datanerds.

Happy Opening Day, and as always, Go Sox.

I still am,

That Planning Guy

PS- I read the ” experts” predictions this morning. Almost all were Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers? Really? Way to go out on a limb, guys.