posts tagged with the keyword ‘ignite’


Ignite Madison

The second Ignite Madison happened on February 12, 2014 and I was there… and if you weren’t there, you can still see the video of me talking due to the magic of the Internet!

A few notes: Doing an Ignite talk requires a lot of practice. You’ve only got 5 minutes! I’ve given plenty of talks, and when you have a bunch of slides, and a bunch of time, and no specific timing to stick to, it’s a breeze. But, add in 20 slides changing every 15 seconds and it gets a bit more difficult.

I managed to go slightly off-track twice, but in the end, I think it turned out OK. I won’t be hitting the professional speaker’s circuit anytime soon, but I am glad I did it, because, as you’ll learn from my talk, learning, sharing and inspiring are the things that drive me to make.


If nothing else, I’m glad I could help out the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Dane County by taking part in the event.

Oh, and check out the other presenters for the evening, they were all great! Thanks for the interesting evening, Madison!

Update: Slides are here.


Ignite Madison

As I recently mentioned, I will be speaking at Ignite Madison on February 12th, 2014, and since the organizers are smart people and want everything to go smoothly, they had all the presenters meet to go over their progress in preparing for the event. This is a really good idea, because it lets everyone meet each other before the event, and get a glimpse at what each person’s presentation looks like, even if they are still in-progress, and pretty much all of them were. (But hey, we still have a week!)

When it was my turn to practice, I said that I had to do quite a bit of yak shaving before I could work on my slides, and since no one was familiar with the term, I had to explain it. I basically said “It’s the work you need to do before you can do the work you need to do.” I cited one of the participants who said that before he built something, he had to build a workbench. (Obviously! Any yak shaver would agree.) As for me, before I could get my slides started I had to find an Ignite slide template, and then I had to find an Ignite Madison logo, and scale it down, and clean it up, and drop it into the template, and once that was all done I could totally start my slides.

So anyway, these best definition(s) I found for yak shaving were on the Wikitionary:

Any apparently useless activity which, by allowing you to overcome intermediate difficulties, allows you to solve a larger problem.
I was doing a bit of yak shaving this morning, and it looks like it might have paid off.
A less useful activity done to consciously or unconsciously procrastinate about a larger but more useful task.
I looked at a reference manual for my car just to answer one question, but I spent the whole afternoon with my nose buried in it, just yak shaving, and got no work done on the car itself.

So yeah… yak shaving. There’s a few interesting citations for the term as well. And even more interesting is Joi Ito’s realization that yak shaving is pretty much his job. Damn! I guess I should add “yak shaving” to the old resume, eh?

Hmmm, now where was I? Oh yes! Come hear 10 makers talk about making, and help out some kids in need. It’s a win-win-win situation! You can buy tickets to the event and all proceeds will be donated to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Dane County.


Ignite Madison

Mark your calendars for February 12th, 2014 and head to Madison where I’ll be speaking at Ignite Madison!

Ignite is an event where presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes. My talk is titled “Making Without A Choice” and will cover… well, you can guess from the title. Also, I don’t want to give it all away.

Making Without A Choice

You can buy tickets to the event and all proceeds will be donated to Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Dane County.

(And if you miss it, there’s a good chance a video will show up online.)


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