I was recently interviewed by Josh Spector, the man behind For The Interested, a curated newsletter of interesting articles and other information that Josh both finds and occasionally writes himself. There’s an associated For The Interested Facebook group made up of newsletter subscribers, and as part of an experiment to learn more about the people in it, Josh has been conducting a few short interviews.
Here’s mine, presented here with his permission.
In one sentence, what do you want people to know about you?
That I’m a geek and an entrepreneur that loves technology, the promise of technology, my wife of 37 years, my Corgis, and my coffee. (Though not always in that order. )
You’ve been giving advice about computers and tech for a long time now through Ask Leo! – what’s the single biggest mistake people make regarding their computers?
Not backing up.
It’s something I feel like I harp on a lot out at Ask Leo!, and there’s a reason.
It’s rare for a day to go by where someone doesn’t reach out with a problem that wouldn’t have been resolved, or at least seriously mitigated, had they backed up.
The stories of precious irrecoverable data loss (think photos and the like) are by far the most painful.
It’s admirable how long you’ve stuck with the Ask Leo project. What advice would you give to people about how to stick with a project for the long haul?
Have a support system.
By that I mean not just people who’ll listen to you on the days where things aren’t going well, or celebrate with you the days where they are, but people who really understand what it is you do and can offer help and advice along the way.
For me that was a mastermind group I joined shortly after leaving Microsoft in 2001.
Ask Leo! was born there, and much of what it has become is a direct result of discussions, feedback, advice, arguments, and ideas that also had their genesis within that trusted group of peers.
Even now my most exciting future plans are the result of recent mastermind discussions.
What one thing have you recommended to people the most in 2017?
“Start backing up!”, without question.
Next to that it’s probably not to be afraid of technology and change.
I hear from a lot of people who are so afraid of their tech, or so frustrated by change they don’t understand, that they’re unwilling take a few steps further to play, experiment, learn, and exploit everything that the world has to offer.
What impact has sharing a piece of positive news every day through your Not All News Is Bad project had on you?
The project started as just me sharing something every day on my personal Facebook page because I was starting to get a little frustrated and overwhelmed by all the negative news showing up there.
I simply wanted to expose myself to something to balance the scales.
Besides helping keep the frustration at bay, I’ve been surprised and delighted by the feedback once I took it more public with a mailing list.
I regularly get comments from subscribers who basically feel the same way I do about the imbalance in their news sources, and really appreciate having something positive show up every day.
The irony is that the hardest part of the “job” is selecting which of several items to select each day.
There’s no shortage of good news and stories — it’s a distribution and awareness problem. 🙂