While writing my blog post today on “Epistemology of Software,” I credited Drew Paine with “making me think.”
In 1981, I worked for an executive vice president at Digital Equipment Corporation, Don Busiek. Whenever Don would introduce me to someone, he would say “I would like you to meet Skip Walter. He makes me think.”
I took that as the highest compliment anyone had ever given me.
Whenever I would be in a seminar where they would do the Tombstone Exercise (what would you like to have on your gravestone?), I would always answer “He Made Me Think!”
Several years after I left Digital Equipment, I ran into Don and thanked him for his wonderful compliment of “he makes me think.” Don laughed and said “You know I never meant that as a compliment. Whenever I asked anyone else who worked for me a question, they gave me the answer. You’d start asking me questions and make me have to think for myself to get at the answer. I hated that, particularly when I was in a hurry.”
We both laughed and went on our separate ways.
I like my version better.
It’s probably why I enjoy teaching so much. Or as my graduate students would now channel Don Busiek in a different way “Skip, enjoys torturing us so much.”
Lifelets are brief glimpses of daily life that are small creative acts of bringing new life to my inert digital media captured over a lifetime.
For a humorous look at the wonderful world of innovation and new ventures, checkout Fl!p and the gang at Fl!p Comics.